Have Arrived in Stockholm

I’m not exactly sure what took longer: the flight from Tokyo to Stockholm (via Frankfurt), or the time we waited for our luggage to come off the plane at Arlanda Airport. I don’t ever recall having waited at least thirty minutes for the turnstiles to start turning here before. As I looked around those waiting, even the ever-patient Swedes (who are usually quite okay with waiting in queues), seemed a little frustrated. When my luggage finally arrived, I made a quick executive decision: I would take the more expensive high speed train over the less expensive, though still very fast, airport bus. Having spent something like fourteen or fifteen hours in transport, I was anxious to check into my hotel, have a shower, maybe a beer, and then go to bed.

The view at 3.00am from Stockholm's Hilton Hotel
The view at 3.00am from Stockholm’s Hilton Hotel

But there were further frustrations. There was a Spanish speaking family who was trying to work out the ticket machine for the Arlanda Express without success. And there was an older American couple who were trying to purchase a travel card, without knowing what they really wanted, and with several credit cards, none of which worked. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, get out of the queue”, I might have whispered under my voice.

One of my favourite places in Stockholm, Katarinahissen.
One of my favourite places in Stockholm, Katarinahissen.

I finally made it to the hotel at about 7pm. Though I’m spending almost all of my time in Stockholm in a “cosy” AirBnB apartment, I’ve checked into the Hilton Hotel for a couple of nights. After lengthy travel, I figured a few “creature comforts” wouldn’t go astray. As you can see from the photographs, I have spectacular views of the central parts of Stockholm. The bed is also, probably, the most comfortable bed I’ve experienced in my life. I went to bed about 9.30 or 10.00 (remembering I’d been flying since about midnight, Stockholm time), after watching the sunset over Lake Mälaren. When I woke at 3.00, the sun was still there in the background, providing some beautiful colours over the city. A few hours later, I’m fully rested. I’ve had a great breakfast. I’ve got a Swedish SIM. I feel like I’m prepared for this next part of my holiday.

Sunset at about 9.20pm in Stockholm, as viewed from the Hilton Hotel
Sunset at about 9.20pm in Stockholm, as viewed from the Hilton Hotel
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