Friday...................Barcelona, Helsinki, to Stockholm
Stockholm Travel Blog› entry 116 of 129 › view all entries
Get up at 7 so that Iâ€™m packed and ready to check out by half past. The staff here are great, much friendlier and more helpful than in NY or Madrid. Get a cab to the airport. Iâ€™m flying Finnair to Helsinki. There are 24 seats in business class and only me. The seating is economy, seats donâ€™t even recline, no movie, not even music. The flight attendant tells me that the difference between business and economy is that nobody can sit in the middle seat in business! The seats may be economy but there is a lovely flight attendant and the service is business classâ€¦..and they even have champagne, not just sparkling white.
Land in Helsinki and when I go to check into Scandinavian Air to fly to Stockholm Iâ€™m told that my bag is overweight.
Plan B, take all the heavy stuff out of suitcase and put it into carry on bag. Go back to check in. Suitcase is around 21 kg, but hand luggage weighs a ton. I try to pretend it doesnâ€™t. As Iâ€™m quite early for the flight, the check in guy suggests that I catch the 4:25 instead of the 5:30. Do I have time? Yes, go to security check 4, thereâ€™s hardly anyone there.
So I go to number 4, but of course there are dozens of people there.
I rush to the gate but the plane has left. Iâ€™ve not needed a trolley before, but the hand luggage is really heavy. I get a trolley and go to get a boarding pass for the original plane I was to take. 15 minutes in that queue. I get the new boarding pass and the woman checks and says that my luggage hasnâ€™t left, so she arranges for it to go on the plane with me. Iâ€™m told itâ€™s the same departure gate as the other plane. Go back to the departure gate; itâ€™s now only 15 minutes before the plane is due to leave, but thereâ€™s no-one there.
Very suspicious, so I go looking for someone official. Cripes, Iâ€™ve only just got the boarding pass, but the gate is wrong. The required gate is, of course, at the other end of the airport. Eventually get on with my incredibly heavy bag. Fortunately itâ€™s only a one hour flight.
Land in Stockholm, but no suitcase. Oh well, because of the luggage weight fiasco, at least I have around 10 kg of luggage with me which I wouldnâ€™t usually have, so thatâ€™s handy. Iâ€™m given the requisite overnight package for those whose suitcases donâ€™t arrive with them.
Catch a taxi to the hotel, USD82. Itâ€™s a long way, hadnâ€™t realized, 45 km. Kelly has organized Hotel Clarion Sign which was only opened this year. She and Joris flew in last night. We finally catch up about 8; are rooms are on the same floor and close to each other. Hotel Clarion Sign 2082SEK, around AUD390 for 2 nights.
The hotel bar/restaurant area is noisy with music so we decide to find somewhere else to eat, eventually finding a vaguely reasonable Chinese restaurant. Apparently itâ€™s been a horrible cold and wet day in Stockholm and the air could be best described as bracing. I am rueing all those fantastic restaurants that I passed by in Barcelona. Canâ€™t even get a glass of wine with dinner; ah well, the companyâ€™s the thing.
The roomâ€™s aircon is set at 20; you can go up or down a maximum of 3 degrees each way. As I donâ€™t have warm clothing I con the guy on the front desk to bring up a heater for me. Staff here are very pleasant. My suitcase hasnâ€™t appeared yet.