Thursday, 22 November 2007

Traveling to Kiruna

I bought my railway ticket to Kiruna. Traveling by train is actually the cheapest possibility. The night train to Copenhagen (first ticket 29 euro, second ticket 49 euro), then the X2000 to Stockholm (200 Swedish crowns), then Norrlandst├ąget to Kiruna (330 Swedish crowns). Prior to deciding to book this, I had investigated twelve possible iteneraries. This one was cheapest, and took only 36 hours - for 2700 km. I will depart on Wednesday 13 February 2008 and arrive on Friday 15 February.

Three others wished to join me. Then I found out that there are only three cheap tickets available for the night train: one for 29 euro, three for 49 euro. The next one would raise the total cost by almost 200 euro. So that was not an option. We discussed and decided to split in two groups. Two will depart on Tuesday, two will depart on Wednesday.

Booking the ticket at nachtzugreise.de went without any problems. I booked two tickets and got a confirmation via e-mail. Booking the tickets from Copenhagen to Kiruna was quite more difficult. I had filled in everything and was about to pay when veolia.se told me that I could book it only with a 3DSecure-able card. My card was not able.

I phoned the Swedish customers support and got through the waiting time after about five minutes. The three other students were in my room, waiting. When I got through. I heard that booking via internet without 3DSecure was not possible. I could book via the phone. So I did. All my data, including my creditcard number, unencrypted over a phone line :-/. Fortunately I have a 250euro-limit and spent 220 euro already (including the two railway tickets). But it worked, or should have. I should receive the tickets by post.

Then helping the other two booking their tickets. Nachtzugreise.de went comparably well. Website in English, booking worked, only my Dvorak layout was giving them difficulties. For veolia.se I had to help them. In the end, there was no error like with me: just a blank page. So was it booked or not? He tried to phone the helpdesk, but they closed at 20.00. It was 20.05. They will try again tomorrow morning.

Now all I need to do is buy a bike reservation and bike ticket. I need to go to the ticket office for that. I will do so on Saturday. Won't be a problem.

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