Today marks day two in Swedenland, the pre to the pre pre’s of a six month exchange extravaganza with Stockholm University. Our travel itinerary was that our first flight would be at 11.50 pm Malaysia, our second at 10.30 am London time and we were to land at 1.30 pm Stockholm time. You can imagine how confusing it was having to convert this to Australian Eastern Time for Robert. Bad math and a flight delay meant I arrived a whole two hours after my projected time, oops.
The first leg with Malaysian Airlines (MAS). Excuse my brief spiel of patriotism here but it is not biased, MAS is a really great airline and I never have problems with rude cabin crew. After one flight delay, eight hours of sleep, Silver Linings Playbook and five episodes of The Big Bang Theory later we were in London! Heathrow airport was a bit of a pain with the copious amount of lining up that was required and by the time it all was done we were pretty starving. Unfortunately for us I also got suckered in by the marketing ploy of putting a celebrity chef’s name on everything and our lacklustre breakfast for dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food probably belonged in hell (‘s kitchen). I’m here all week folks.
The second leg was a two hour flight to Stockholm with British Airways. You would think that at this point little things would stop ceasing to wonder because we’re both extremely tired from sitting down for almost the length of a day. But as we landed, we started to see snow falling. And for the remainder of the day this was basically me.
Taken on the train from Arlanda Airport to Stockholm City Centre
For all the freeze I am feeling (which I will write in a second post), Stockholm is absolutely beautiful. Having spent the majority of my life in South East Asian Malaysia and dry as a desert Australia, I have never seen this much snow in my entire life.
The sunsets at around 3.30 pm in Winter time. With sunrise at about 8.30 am this clocks in a grand total of seven hours of daylight. This is already a good hour more than Sweden’s shortest day of the year where the sun calls it a day at 2.50 pm.
Mum and I also went to check out my university and accommodation. I’m still new to this whole photography business but here I’m trying to capture how the snow really accentuates the scenery making it look like a vast expanse of cotton candy. I don’t think my university is particularly large but the cold makes walking slow and all this negative space created by the white snow makes one feel like there’s a never ending journey in store.
It’s extremely charming but I’m not quite sure where a never ending journey, university and myself fits in this bar joke.
Everywhere indoors is temperature controlled. Initially I was worried that this meant negative celsius outside would be juxtaposed against 27 degrees indoors (such as that one time in China) and I would have to carry my summer/winter wardrobe around with me. But apparently the Swedes have more common sense than I seem to have credited them for, it’s comfortable enough that you may want to loosen your scarf but not boiling heat that makes you wish for your string bikini.
Because of this we find ourselves constantly seeking solace in whatever building we find on our way. I am instantly reminded that I am in some kind of RPG where it is acceptable practice to barge into anyones home and loiter. My impeccable Swedish tells me that this is a laboratory with an electron microscope.
I am writing in a way to emphasise my optimism. Everyone has been extremely polite and my photos do not do justice as to how stunning this city is. However the cold continues to beat down on me, snowing down on my parade that is the exchange experience. I feel like a tropical bird left in the artic, soon to be consumed by cute carnivorous baby polar bears. Oh please, oh please let them be cute.
Now Playing: Flesh and Bone – The Killers