Another day, another country. Today we got up early, and caught the high speed train between Copenhagen and Stockholm, which takes about five hours. Had a McToast for breakfast, which is like a ham and cheese toasted sandwich from McDonalds, only $2! Amazing!
The platform for the Swedish train was about 15 minutes walk away from all the other platforms at the station which was weird. Maybe they don’t like the Swedes?
We got a tablet seat, which is two+two seats facing each other with a table in the middle. Kathryn and I were in the two seats facing each other next to the window. About an hour in, two other guys sat in the other seats, and then decided to start drinking. I fell asleep, Kathryn said I nearly started sleeping on one of the guys. Awkward.
By the time we got into Stockholm, it was 1.30pm. However, sunset was at 2.54pm, so there wasn’t that much sunlight to explore. In hindsight, perhaps coming to Scandinavia in Winter isn’t as much value as in Summer since you only get 6 hours of daylight a day. Next time we’ll have to do a Summer road trip.
We’re staying at a tiny hotel in Stockholm. Basically, a proper hotel needed to do something with their basement, so they converted it into a hostel. Most people complain about the small size and the lack of windows, but clearly these people haven’t been to Japan. I guess if you’re coming from Germany where a four star hotel is around 70 euro a night, to Stockholm, where a hostel is about 100 euro a night, you’d be shocked. But we’ve stayed in worse conditions in Japan, so Kathryn was more positive after a while.
We walked around the main shopping street of Stockholm, which is where I saw C.U.M Clubwear. I’m not sure I’d want to be covered in that clothing. We then went to Pizza Hut for dinner. I had Ribs, Wings, and Fries, Kathryn had Garlic Bread, the smallest Pizza I’ve seen in ages (think $2 Leaning Tower mini-Pizza they sell at Pubs), and Desert, a couple of beers, and that was $80 NZD. Expensive!
Yet, we then went to a department store to get some Clarins face moisturiser, and it was about the same price as New Zealand, and included free shaving gel, and shampoo! Some things are cheap, some things are expensive.
And some things are sold only by a government monopoly. Like alcohol. Alcohol over 3.5% can only be sold at a government monopoly store called Systembolaget. This exists to minimise Alcohol harm in the community. There’s no two for one sales, no advertising, strict opening hours, no promotion, and lots of alcohol free options. I like the concept of it. If alcohol causes harm in the community and the government has to deal with the outcomes, then why not let the government more tightly control the supply?