I am writing this on the night train from Rovaniemi to Tampere, where we will get the plane back to London tomorrow. I am not hopeful of posting it tonight because the Wi-Fi seems to be broken. This is unusual for Finnish trains, which generally seem to be brilliant in every respect. I do, however, have a bed, and a bathroom, which is pretty amazing on a train on the whole.
Impressions from the end of the Championships are as follows:
1. You have to take your clothes on and off a lot. It’s very cold outside, very hot inside, and you’re swimming, so impressions range from “If I don’t take some clothes off right now this minute I will die” to “My, but this water’s chilly”.
2. We won a lot of medals, but where we really excelled was the cheering. South London Swimming Club totally OWNED the cheering. People were taking pictures of us cheering. If cheering had been in the competition we would have medalled for sure.
3. Lapland is lovely, much lovelier than I expected, and I would definitely go back. I have seen it in winter and would like to see it in summer. Hopefully one day I will.
Tomorrow we arrive at Tampere at 5.50 am. A very nice Finnish man is going to meet us off the train and take us swimming in a lake. There are few holidays where lake swimming for a party of 35 is merely thrown in as an additional extra because you happen to meet a fellow nutter with a kind heart and a key to the changing rooms. There was some discussion about where and when we would meet him, but given that there are 35 of us all in matching stupid hats I suspect he will find us. I will tell you all about it tomorrow, or later today, depending on when I find some Wi-Fi.