We woke up today, our last day on the ship, to a cold, dreary, rainy day.
We were scheduled to disembark around 8:00 am so up to the Windjammer for a quick breakfast then down to do a final check of the cabin and make our way to the theater to wait for our tour to be called. We spotted Vilma and the others and shared hugs and goodbyes.
While we were waiting I happen to notice that Vilma, Jim, Mickey and Betty were sitting down on the main floor of the theater. I ran over to the railing waving and saying one last goodbye. They would be staying on in Stockholm for a few more days to take in the sights before returning home.
Sue, Doug, Randy and I made arrangements to take a city tour and transfer to the airport where our hotel is located. We are spending the night at the airport and then flying out out tomorrow for home.
Yes, we have taken the city tour a few times but it was actually the easiest way to get to the airport/hotel without having to arrange our own transportation and drag our luggage around.
The bus only made one stop at the Stockholm City Hall. As the bus circled the street, our tour guide pointed out several features of the building. The one that she stressed most was the spire with the three golden crowns. The three crowns is the national coat of arms of Sweden. Unfortunately, it was hard to see through the rain covered bus windows.
The bus stopped along the waterfront and let us off to see the building and to give everyone an opportunity to use the restrooms before proceeding to the airport.
We were only given a short time but there was just enough time to stop to see the impressive outside of the city hall. What I enjoyed more was looking out over Lake Mälaren. On a clear day the view would have been beautiful. And, frankly because we had toured the city before looking out over the lake I knew what beauty lay beyond the mist.
It was a bit of a trip to get to the airport and a bit of a walk to our hotel. Walking through the airport was actually very pleasant. The airport was open, clean and had many places to eat, to shop and just sit and look out at the planes coming in and taking off.
The Clarion Arlanda Hotel was located in the Sky City part of the airport. The lobby was open and spacious. I loved the animated pillar out front that showed people walking in and out of the hotel. There was a little fire place in the center of the lobby, a larger seating area behind the reception area and a small bar.
Our rooms were not ready but they were very kind offering a storage room for us to secure our luggage. We spent a little time relaxing and checking email and then it was time for lunch. We decided we would walk around and find a place to eat.
But, first things first, we needed to go to the KLM check-in counter to get our boarding passes. We ran into several problems with our reservations. For some reason they could not check us all the way through to Orlando and told us we would have to get boarding passes once we were at the Atlanta airport. Oh, dear.
On our way in earlier I spotted a café with a display case full of beautiful looking food called Sky Café and everything in the display case looked so fresh and appetizing it was hard to make a decision. But Randy and I finally settled on a ham and cheese sandwich on roll and a slice of a delicious looking blueberry crumble pie with whipped cream.
We shared the sandwich and pie and that was just perfect to tide us over until we go to dinner later in the day. Doug and Sue ordered lasagna, salad and blueberry pie. Everything thing was delicious.
We walked back to the hotel, retrieved our luggage and went up to our very spacious rooms. We looked out our window and saw someone swimming in the rooftop pool. It was so cold outside that there was steam rising from the heated pool.
After a lovely rest we picked up Doug and Sue and made out way up to the Kitchen & Table restaurant located on the 12th floor of the hotel.
The restaurant was small, with large picture windows overlooking the foggy terminal and tarmac. According to what I read the restaurant is a, “Concept that offers interesting flavors from Manhattan prepared with Swedish ingredients”. Everything on the menu sounded interesting and delicious.
We started with an appetizer called “Upper East Side Charcuterie & Cheese” with meats, cheeses, pickles, cloudberry relish and grilled sourdough bread. What choice. I mentioned in an earlier post that I loved all the breads and cheeses that we had eaten as we traveled around Norway and the Baltic; today was no different.
But what caught my eye more was the cloudberry relish. From the time we learned about these wild berries from Norway I wanted to try them. The cloudberry is orange in color and has a very distinct and tart taste. The relish was delicious.
Everyone chose something different for their main course. I ordered a Caesar salad with grilled chicken, mango salsa, tomatoes, cilantro, lime, chili and an egg sunny side up.
Randy was not very hungry so ordered a pork slider on brioche called “Miss Piggy Sliders”.
Sue, who likes to try different and interesting dishes, ordered the “Don’t be Cheeky” dish with beef cheeks, onions, bacon, red wine sauce and creamy mash. We were all waiting to hear her opinion about the beef cheeks. Sue said the meat tasted just like pot roast and was delicious.
Doug ordered the “Swiss Fish”. The dish was a lovely pan fried fillet of salmon, fennel salad, tomato fondue and aioli. He loved it.
We sat for the longest time just enjoying our food and chatting. We needed to get a good night’s sleep because it is going to be a very long day tomorrow. This was definitely a good foodie day!!
Tomorrow we start our long journey home first flying to Amsterdam, then on to Atlanta and finally arriving at Orlando International airport.
I love to travel but the one thought that kept running through my mind as I lay my head down on the pillow was that I would soon be sleeping in my own bed back home.