Exactly 6 months ago to the day, we arrived in Stockholm to begin our month-long Scandinavian road trip. It was just after the Northern summer solstice and it seemed like it was light all the time. We didn’t see any stars for a month.This time, it’s the complete opposite. We arrived yesterday morning and it was overcast, rainy and the light was dim. We went for a walk in the afternoon and by 4pm it was completely dark. Which was fine by us – we were ready for bed, although flying here this time was a much nicer trip. The first time, we flew Malaysian Airlines, stopped at Kuala Lumpur and Heathrow and arrived 34 hours after we left home. This time, we flew Qantas/Emirates, stopped at Dubai and arrived 22 hours after we left home.
We’re staying at the Hotell Dialog again. We stayed there night before we left Stockholm to start the Russian part of our trip. We know this part of town, it’s near the largest Ikea in the world and a heap of other shops – we need to shop for a few things before we head north in search of the Aurora. Food, snow shovel, more food, booze …. I’m beginning to understand why schnapps is popular in cold weather climates, it certainly gives one a nice warm glow.
It’s not actually very cold here, and there isn’t any snow in Stockholm. Yesterday the temperature range was 2 – 5C, and the forecast is similar for today. I haven’t quite worked out how to dress for both walking outside AND being inside heated shopping centres. Yesterday I wore a pair of thermals and a couple of other layers to walk to the shops, then peeled most of it off when we were inside, and piled it all on again to do more walking. I guess I’ll just get it all worked out, then we’ll head north and I’ll just want to wear everything I brought with me, all the time.
Greg is watching the Space Weather website for signs that we’re going to get to see some lights soon. There is a lovely video which was taken on Christmas afternoon, from the lake we’re heading to, so we’re feeling hopeful that we’ll be lucky enough to see them. The customs officer told us that he had never seen any in Stockholm – too much light pollution in the city. Greg will do a post soon about the technical stuff, with some of the websites he’s following for information.
It’s almost 8.30am and there’s a glimmer of light outside. Time to get this day started.
One more thing, for Sam and Brianna … and any other Scrubs fans reading. We’re sitting having breakfast at the hotel and back-to-back Scrubs episodes are playing on the TV, with Swedish subtitles.