Arrival and Day 1
Today is the day! My first exposure to Swedish culture began on the flight over, as I flew SAS airlines. Little touches of Swedish personality were infused into the usual flying routine, such as stylistic plastic silverware with meals, and Swedish chocolates were passed out mid-flight. Unfortunately I was only able to sleep about an hour on the flight, but felt fine once on the ground. The airport looks like IKEA designed it!
Customs was a breeze, and my luggage arrived without any problems. There are two options for transportation from the airport to the city (a ~28 mile trip). I opted for the cheaper bus ride, which was actually quite pleasant. The Swedish countryside is strikingly similar to Minnesota -- it makes complete sense why so many Swedes settled in Minnesota after emigrating.
I met my 'global friend', at Stockholms centralstation, and she helped me get a rail pass and find the hotel. I opted for a hotel somewhat near the dorm I'm moving to tomorrow, as well as in a central area -- it is perfect.
Hotell Anno 1647 -- erected in, you guessed it, 1647. To the right is the subway station (referred to as tunnelbana, or T-bana).
There's a city square just a few feet away from my hotel (right side of photo), and a large cruise ship port nearby.
I opted to walk around town a bit, and was surprised, twice, by a heavy snowstorm. Luckily, both times it quickly subsided. It was a bit chillier here than Minnesota, with temps near 32 F all day. However, the cold forced me to stop in a few shops along my walk, which was really interesting. I can honestly say there are more McDonald's here than in Minneapolis!
After a quick dinner, I went on another walking tour to my dorm. It is a little further from the action, but I think living with many other students will be really great. Tomorrow I move in...better get some rest!
The first of many funny Swedish signs:
Something about not being allowed to park here, or else your car will be 'discharged'