Only a few days now before Craig and I set off.
Thankfully most of the travel plans are in place – only the simple matter of booking a flight home from Moscow!
Thank goodness that everything can be booked online. What did we do before the internet?
We’ve got a fair bit of travelling to do on our third stage of the journey. We’ll have spent 3 nights in Belgium and the Netherlands, so there’s a bit of catching up to do to get to our next destination – Uppsala in Sweden.
Day 6 – 9th September
Travelling from Amsterdam to Hamburg, via Bremen
Day 7 – 10th September
After an overnight stay in Hamburg, we’re off again on the train to Copenhagen
Day 8 – 11th September
Another day of travel, taking the train across the Øresund Bridge from Denmark to Sweden, and across country to Stockholm. From there we travel north to Uppsala.
Day 9 – 12th September
Uppsala has very special memories for me.
It’s where Craig, Jane and I spent our last holiday together.
Craig was starting a post graduate course at the University there in August 2011, and Jane and I travelled with him, to help him get settled, and to visit Sweden for the first time.
After Jane died, I sat down one day with a notebook, and I wrote down everything I could remember of that holiday: what we did, where we visited, snippets of conversations that were still fresh in the memory – even down to what we ate in restaurants.
I couldn’t bear the thought that one day I might not be able to remember what we did on that holiday. It was upsetting to do, everything was still so raw, but I was determined that one day I would be able to pick up that notebook and all those precious times would come flooding back.
One memory will always be with me, with or without a diary.
It’s of Jane standing on the esplanade at Uppsala Castle.
We had just come out of the castle where we’d visited an art exhibition. It had been raining heavily when we went in, but by the time we came out the rain had stopped, and the sun was beginning to emerge through the rain clouds.
Jane asked if I would take her photograph, and she stood beside a canon, with the backdrop of botanic gardens below, and a little Roman style villa at the end of the gardens.
Just as I was about to take the photograph the sun burst from behind a cloud, and was right in my eyes.
“I can’t see you Jane” I said.
“I’m here Dad………..just take the photo.”
I did. It’s not the best photograph I’ve ever taken, but it came out well, considering.
And I treasure it.
For a long time after we lost Jane, I would say to myself, “I can’t see you Jane” hoping that I might just hear those words again, “I’m here Dad.”
But I never did.
We’ll be meeting some of Craig’s former lecturers, and his friends who are still in Uppsala, when we’re there, and I’m looking forward to that.
Day 10 – 13 September
We’re off on our travels again, back to Stockholm to catch a ferry to St Petersburg, Russia.