Thursday, June 05, 2014

01 First day in Stockholm

Today we jump back in time to Friday May 30 2014, our first full day in Stockholm Sweden.

Our missions for today were moderate:

a) locate our apartment
b) pickup the race number for the Marathon
c) try not to drink any alcohol and get to bed early

An Early Breakfast
We started the morning still at the Jumbo Stay hotel, a converted aircraft hotel just next to Arlanda airport itself.

After a large breakfast we prepared to head out

With fairly hard rain outside we did not stop too long to admire our plane hotel unique features.

But again instead of taking the free shuttle bus we retraced our steps of last night and walked back to the Arlanda airport terminal complex

Back in the airport we found that from Thursday to Sunday there is a /special/ deal for the fast Arlanda Express train into Stockholm.   This train takes less than 30 mins and reaches a peak speed of 200 Km/h to get you into Central station.

Finding our Apartment
Our next task was to find our Apartment.   We booked a stay in somebody's own apartment.  Actually the experience was to be so brilliant that we'll devote a whole separate post to it.

Essentially via Red Apple Apartments

- We had use of somebody's apartment whilst they were on holiday
- We had full use of their whole apartment
- It requires a lot of trust on both parties since the owner had not put any of her personal items away
- The Apartment was in the centre of Stockholm
- We had Internet and [clothes] Washing facilities

Picking Up our Race Numbers
Part of the fun of a Marathon or longer race is visiting the Expo a day before where all manner of running technologies are on display.

So we set off walking to the stadium

Turns out there are 2 stadiums and this one is empty!

Okay, that is better.  We find the Expo.  Asics main sponsor.

Lots of stands, but clearly we have everything so it was just fun window-shopping.

We took time to participate in the Pasta Party

We cheered the live music act since it was raining and she was doing a great job.

Agata made sure that Marcus actually studied the route for the day!

Marcus found some UNIX trousers  (click to enlarge)

Price Check!

Our first impressions of prices in Sweden were that it was close to Switzerland, so I mean very expensive.  I've done a quick price comparison for the Asics Gel Kayano 19 shoes shown above in the expo photograph.

Note that Kayano 19's now are obsolete.  I've had series 20 since December 2013.

Wiggle UK  41GBP (sale) 
Start Fitness UK  80GBP (sale)
Swiss SportXX    198CHF = 131 GBP
Swedish Expo 1300SEK  (sale) == 115GBP

As you can see both Sweden and Switzerland win join prizes for grossly over charging the customer for an identical and now obsolete product!

An Internet Connection

Our apartment came with some decently fast Internet but we wanted a guaranteed Internet connection whilst out walking since then we could surf for attractions and use Google Maps etc.

Here is how

- Buy a 4G Comviq starter pack from a Supermarket  (45 SEK)

- Charge up with 50 SEK , 3GB pack via the Internet and our Swiss Credit card was okay
- We had to wait about 1 hour before it started working properly

Speed via the trusty Nexus 5 phone is not too bad!

 Go to Bed Early

There is a lot of tree fluff in the streets

We eventually managed to drag ourselves away from the shops, bought some food in a supermarket and had dinner. Marcus prepared some Marmalade sandwiches, which in retrospect was not the ideal pre-marathon food.  Agata ate more sensibly.

Then an early night!  Tomorrow we have a Marathon to run.

Friday Stats
As you can see the testing of our continuous heart rate monitor needs some tweaking!

Marcus' step count.

00 Journey to Sweden
The Stockholm Guide
Download the Stockholm Guide