Lina Herbertsson, Researcher, Biology
With a mobility grant from Formas, I had planned to perform parts of my four-year project at UC Dublin. I have a family and wouldn’t go without them, but luckily Formas mobility grant supports the increased travel and living costs, including school fees, for bringing the family.
The first time we took the train to Dublin was in July 2019 when the project started. By this time, we only had one child. When we returned in October 2021, we had two kids and were in the middle of a pandemic. We wouldn’t let these conditions force us to fly, but crossing Europe by train with a baby and a seven-year-old, during an ongoing pandemic, certainly required some preparations. We carried valid PCR results, a bunch of face masks and Passenger Locator Forms for several countries, and we struggled to stay updated with the covid restrictions of each country.
We had no reason to worry. When we – two days later – arrived in Dublin, we had enjoyed live swing music and dancing in Copenhagen, sushi with good old friends in London, coffees, juices, and cakes at stations along the way, two movie nights on the train, and Frozen II on the ferry between Wales and Ireland. And the only time our oldest child had asked if we weren’t there yet was before we reached Malmö.
How to make travelling with kids fun
When I decided to stop flying, I also decided to make our train journeys a more exciting alternative. We usually try not to hurry, but to have time for an extra ice cream or some fun in the cities along the way. On the train, we draw, read stories, and play games. As the evenings can be challenging when travelling with children, we make each evening a proper movie night, with a good movie and surprise snacks.
The most beautiful way to Dublin
We have taken the train to Dublin twice and we hope to do it soon again. With the new night train to Hamburg, it is possible to leave Skåne in the evening and arrive in London – or Paris, if the schedule allows a little detour – the next evening. The highspeed trains connecting London with the mainland arrive at St Pancras station, an impressive Victorian Gothic building from the 19th century. Within walking distance, you’ll find Camden Town where loads of people enjoy street food and a couple of beers along Regent’s canal. From London the trip continues to Chester and along the Welsh coast with an astonishing view over lush green hills, old castles and the sea. The train takes you all the way to the isle of Anglesey where the entire coastline has been classified Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The train’s end station is Holyhead, from where the ferry takes you the last bit across the Irish sea to Dublin.