4th January 2011


Jumbo Jet Breakfast. Click to enlarge.

08h00 – Up fairly early, used the shared shower and washing facilities which were adequate and clean.  The shower I used was rather slow to drain, I reported this to reception and they took immediate action to verify the problem and get it fixed, a welcome change from just ‘OK sir thank you, we’ll look into it’.  I had confidence by thier attitude and action that this would be fixed.   Leisurely breakfast and chatting to other overnighters, some on their way to go dog-sledding with the Sami in the north of the Scandinavian block and some on their way home. Freindly and helpful staff at reception again.

09h30 – Free bus back to the airport terminal then we took the Arlanda Express train to Stockholm Central Station in the city centre, an expensive way to get there but what the heck.  For the price of a ticket to the city centre we could, according to local advertising, got a flight to London or Milan.  It was then a short walk to the hotel at Tegnerlund, a small square not far from the centre or the main shopping street Drottningatan – Queen Street.  We had decided not too travel too light as it was winter so we had taken suitcases, the type which also has small wheels.  These small wheels did not work very well in the soft snow which was falling onto already icy pavements, they continuously blocked but this was soon remedied with a sort sharp reverse movement and then off forward again.  Tegnérlunden and the Tegnérlund Hotel were up a hill, normally not too onerous but in the snow and ice and constant watches aloft for avalanching snow and falling icicles it was hard going.

11h30 – We had arrived early but the friendly and efficient reception said that our room was ready and we could go straight up.  They also informed us that tomorrow, Thursday 6th Jan,  was a public holiday in Sweden, Trettondedag – 13th day (Epiphany),  and that not many places would be open, including cafes and restaurants.  We settled into our room which was clean and quiet but a little over warm, dare I say hot, for our tastes.  Having unpacked and sorted out the heating and windows we were ready for exploration.

P who had been learning Swedish for some months before we went had made a list of places to visit and we agreed upon a strategy of each being in-charge on alternate days but day one, today, was to be just a general orienteering day.  First stop lunch.

14h00 – We took out first tentative steps out unhindered by luggage, it took a short while to get our snow feet but after walking into Tegnérlunden park (lund translates as grove but seems to apply to any small green space) and it’s small inclines we became more confident.  We soon found the Backpacker’s hotel on our way back to the city centre where we settled down for coffee, expresso, and Free WiFi.  Stockholm seems to have more Free WiFi than the whole of France, great.

L‘Echiquier web-site.

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