Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stockholm Wonders!

What another blog on travels? Not done with travel blogs yet?
Ok that is just my presumption of what my blog readers MIGHT think (which I hope is not it??) Cos this is my 2nd blog, n coincidentally, it's abt travel. Well, it's not that i don't wana write about other things, but travelling (to some places at least) is sorta the Main highlights of my live now! Too peaceful in my new job nowadays.. No backstabbing or grunges about stupid managers or boring late nights...

Anyways, back to the topic in question, my 1st trip to Stockholm, of cos muz blog! I've been to Bangkok & Melbourne so far but i did not blog about those cos nothing much was done or happened. Stockholm, 1st time visit of cos muz talk abit abt it! It wouldnt be long (nothing compared to the Gunung Stong blog).

Some background info abt the trip:
Dates: 3-11April 2008
Purpose: Global conference (at least once a year)
Weather: Cold or cooling (snowed one day!)
Flight time: 12 + 3hrs in transit
Take away: Weight gain from the good food (this is not good!) & of cos knowledge!

Let's start... From Day 1 to Day 9! Haha kidding i'm not going day by day, it'll be boring!

Anyways, set off by THai Airways to Stockholm via Bangkok (3hrs transit in the wee hours is a terrible thing). Once i boarded the 2nd leg of the flight, it was immediate concuss & sleep...

Central station (just a train station)

Reached Stockholm in the early morning @7am & checked into hotel & off to office. Well since i was already awake, might as well just start the day! Our headoffice has a realli nice building, whole of 8 floors to themselves so cool! There's a gym & a big cafeteria inside where all employees take their lunch. It's not cheap though (for us maybe). It's buffet style & u pay 70SEK (~$16.70) each. Imagine having ur lunch e'ryday that costs u that much! But well, e'rything is expensive there. 1st day in Stockholm, weather is still fine, not THAT cold actually, just cooling with wind, manageable. 1st 2 days, nothing much, more of working in office & meeting the pple from my dept.

Sightseeing started on day 3 (the weekends). After a late breakfast, we headed off to walk ard the city enroute to our 1st stop - Old Town. I like the buildings in Stockholm. Very authentic & olden feel, really a town feeling!

Fruits galore!! Strawberries r damn sweet

Scenery of Old Town. Nice sky!

The gate of Old Town!

Beautiful clouds!!It was a 'great day' in Stockholm!

Old Town - Even older building, all very small shop houses that just looked like they're lifted from the fairytale stories! The walkways are also rather narrow! We went to walk through the narrowest lane (only 35inches apart!).

The narrowest lane in Old Town

Me@ the narrowest lane!I wana stretch my legs!!

Royal Palace was up next. This is nothing compared to Palaces I've seen elsewhere. It doesnt really have the very grand feel to it (maybe I should have gone inside to take a look??) but it doesnt offer a great view of the archipelago!

Royal Palace, not as royal as I had hoped

We continued just walking around Old Town (it's situated on a separate island from the main city) and off to another island and another. I walked a total of 3 islands! Along the coast, and viewing the scenery from opposite, gives a very calm & relaxing feeling. How great it would be during the summer to just walk along the coastal area & lazing the day away. (Abit too cold this time of the year with the wind blowing to njoy)

Katarina Lift. A great bird's view of the surrounding!

Saluhall, a Swedish market but it was not open when we went

Day 2 of sight seeing (Sunday) we went to Skansen, another big island. It's another serene island with lots of trees & nature & u c families bringing kids out for a walk! very relaxed mood. Good plc for families to spend on a Sunday morning!

Overlooking Djurgarden

Map of Djurgarden

Stockholm city from Djurgarden

Along the coast of Djurgarden
Hungry Hungry Yinkait devouring hotdog bread
Skansen!It's actually a museum
Memorabilias from Sweden

Map of Vasa Museum

Coast of Djurgarden

After Djurgarden, we went for a nice lunch at a good Swedish restaurant. Great food there! Seafood gratin (that costs bloody S$60 each bowl which is almost the size of my palm) soup. All of us were so damn full! Then we went for a stroll along the streets (saw cherry blossom!! No need for Japan haha) and the new town for a change in environment! THe buildings in new town are really futuristic & fantastic, by the harbour with a nice quiet ambience! Very modern design which is so different from what u get in Stockholm city!

What we had for lunch:

Starter, shrimp salad

Mushroom soup! Definitely home made!

The seafood gratin! Very nice but cldnt finish!

Cherry blossom in Stockholm!

The new town!

THe following week, the conference started! N it was a whole day of training & talks in the meeting room from morning till evening. Tiring but some topics were rather interesting & useful. Let me sum up a typical day:


That's how a typical day went. Sounds boring rite.. Alittle haha! It's all eat listen eat listen eat sleep.. That's how the story of my weight gain arose! No time to exercise, n sitting ard whole day after food contributed to FATS!!! So now, i'm on HIgh Alert Damage Control!

We had 2 nights of group outing with the global team. Night 1, we went Sports Center for a night of games & fun! We were split into group s& competed on 5 games: Shooting, Golf, Soccer, Darts & Bowling. All of which I don't excel in, except Shooting which I shot 5 outa 8! But in the end, my team was the overall Champion! No prize though...But good fun!

Us with Inger (Secretary) @ bowling center

Aftermath of snow!!!

Snow on trees!

Night 2, came the more fun games! We set out onboard a cruise ship along the archipelago (with the Group CFO somemore) to a fort! After 1hr of cruising & snacking (another contributor to weight gain), we reached the fort & got ready for 1.5hrs of games & fun! We were split into 2 groups & competed in 6 rounds of physcial & mental games: Puzzle, Crosswords, Pinballs, Memory, Shooting etc. It was great fun but my team lost in the end. Well, it's all in the name of fun! After that, we had dinner (fine dining somemore).

Cruise boat along archipelago


Scene from cruise of archipelago

Along the river

MASA APAC @ fort Vaxholms Kastell

Starter - Lobster soup

Main course - Ravioli!

Dessert! Sorbet (right) is nicer!

It was a long long dinner stretching from 830 to almost 1130pm. By the time the main course came, we were already tired! By the time we reached hotel, it was past midnight! And the next day i was leaving Stockholm! Dragging my tired self back to the room, I had to rack up all energy i had to pack my bag & tidy up. By the time i was done, it was 2am in the morn & we had a morn session the next day!

Day of departure, dragging my tired self & bulging eyes, I went to office for my last session & said 'Bye' to the Global team by noon & off to airport! Another 15hrs of flight (+Transit time) & it was home sweet home & more sleep!

It was a fruitful trip & I enjoyed it! For the company (my team is the greatest! with jokes & more corny jokes) & the place & the fun!

What I have to do now: Catch up on my sleep (still sleep deprived from lack of slp on plane & not sleeping properly now), Lose weight (with help from my PT i think this will be acheived easily), & heal my eyes (doc say allergic reaction prob from the weather there..Weird though). Plan my next trip to Bangkok (for work) & diving trip in 2weeks' time! Yea leisure! So must lose even more weight b4 I don my bikini!!!

Now, that's not a long blog right! I told u so.... My live is too peaceful for me to rumble & grumble about things now.. hahahha So i may not update my blog as often! Oh wait, I have a diving trip coming up! That'll be my next blog entry! Oops..Another travel blog! Hahaha Well I didnt promise NOT to write abt travel.. It's a diving trip!

Till Next time.. This is Dian Shan, signing off......

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