A long, long time ago, I can still remember when I used to walk…properly. I’d decided that I’d walk the entire length of the North Downs Way. Mainly because it started in Farnham. Not in one go, you understand. It is 153 miles after all. No, I intended to walk a bit every now and then of a weekend. As it turned out I managed to get as far as Merstham and never resumed.
I have always almost felt a sense of regret that I never finished, particularly given I would now be unable to do any of it.
Actually, not really. I don’t waste time on regret when there’s a whole world to explore, regardless of my beastly feet.
There is a reason for this reflection. It is not just the random ravings of a once long distance footpath attempting madman. Actually, there was a time when Nicktor and I planned to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall.
While I never finished the North Downs Way (or even started Hadrian’s Wall), today I achieved something almost comparable. I managed to complete the entire route of the 840 SL bus.
I’ve been from our place to Nacka Strand a couple of times but I’ve never ventured in the opposite direction before. Before today, that is. Because today I had to meet with the public notary in Handen Council Building. And to get there, I had to catch the bus to the end of the line at Handenterminalen.
There’s a lot of building work down at the railway station (photo above). I had to go there in order to get some cash for the notary. Cash. I’d almost forgotten what it was. The only Swedish cash I’ve had was from an ATM in Ahus when I needed change for a shopping trolley.
Anyway, although it’s been a while, I managed to work out how to use the ATM and headed back to the Haninge kommun council building. (Handen is the town, Haninge is the wider area.)
The notary had told me he’d be just near the reception. I figured he had a little office there but, as I entered and approached the reception desk, it was obvious there were no offices on the ground floor. A restaurant, yes, but no notary office. The lady behind the desk confirmed this by saying I should sit in the centre and wait for him to arrive.
While the outside of the building looks like any old red brick building, it belies the fact that inside is another matter entirely.
I sat and read and waited for the notary.
And he duly turned up and did his witnessing thing. I thanked him, paid him then went off to scan the pages for emailing to the solicitor. It took five minutes. I then headed back to the bus stop to go home.
Except I didn’t.
I had a message from Mirinda asking me to see if I could find something for her so, rather than waiting at the start for the bus, I walked ahead a stop, up to Handen Centrum.
Again, from the outside, the building looks like just an ordinary black of flats.
Inside, however, there is a labyrinth of shops, escalators and people. It’s like a TARDIS in there. I didn’t take a photograph because, firstly it wouldn’t have fit into one image and, secondly, because I was too awe-struck to think of it.
I’m glad I popped in, just for the experience, but it proved fruitless as far as Mirinda’s request went. I left empty-handed and caught the bus back home.
All very exciting and unexpected. Mind you, by the time I reached the house, my feet were in great need of a rest.