Service Elevator

July 29, 2002

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020729-090721.jpg (111626 bytes)020729-091651.jpg (150865 bytes)The night was quite restful, despite the wake-up call at 8 in the morning. We completely slept through the stop in Aland, about 3/4 the way to Stockholm. We beat the madness around the elevators by bringing our belongings to the car well ahead of everyone else, and we could enjoy watching the docking at the harbor. Or not: the Silja Line doesn't dock in the center of Stockholm, unlike the Viking Line, but rather into a remote industrial dock which is not worth the look.  

020729-175647.jpg (281400 bytes)020729-092215.jpg (109514 bytes)What followed was some 700 km in the car, more or less non-stop. The art museum in Stockholm was closed because it was Monday, very much to Essan's distress. Minor confusion about the menu at the rest stop was the biggest excitement of the day (of course it was once again about Essan and her fish), and so it happened that around 17:00 we were in Malmö, ready to cross the toll bridge to Copenhagen. They had very modern means of payment - they took credit cards at 4 booths, and cash at one. Strangely, everyone was in that one cash line, which further goes to show that Europeans have not discovered the convenience of the credit card, or are rather suspicious of them. At any rate, after about 5 seconds I got rid of some US$40 toll for the bridge. This is what bugs me: the outcry when the toll at the San Mateo bridge (longer than the bridge from Malmö to Copenhagen) was increased from $1 to $2, due only one way.  

020729-180722.jpg (121941 bytes)020729-180956.jpg (99694 bytes)Once in Copenhagen the search for a hotel started. Not too expensive, please, and with a possibility to park, too. It was difficult to find both, so we ended up at the Radisson SAS hotel, within walking distance to city center (by European walking standards, that is). I felt proud to be staying with style, like my friend Peter, who on our space shuttle trips tends to stay at the hideously pink yet very comfy Radisson in Cocoa Beach. Finally, I was almost as cool as him; this Radisson was not pink but rather a big concrete block.  

020730-154317.jpg (180565 bytes)020729-181157.jpg (116599 bytes)The receptionist was probably inspired by Essan's appearance and so we got a room on the 21st floor with view of the town, decorated in Chinese style. I didn't dare to approach the window, but Essan used it to scout for targets. You will be very thrilled about living on the 21st floor when the elevator dies, though. When we arrived, the ABB technician was already busy fixing it - but all 5 elevators were down. So back to the service elevator, everyone! The hotel manager was personally apologizing and handing out cups of water in the somewhat shady and suspicious corners labeled "Employees Only". 

And off we were to the old town, hunting for a place to eat. Unless you want to pay $50 per person you will have a hard time to find some non-burger food here, or at least we did. We ended up at a Mediterranean restaurant, which even though not locally authentic was very good. Especially the curiously strong garlic paste was great, not something I would have eaten in such high quantities had we still been in a tent.

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