Stockholm, one of my favorite cities of Europe, is in the world spotlight this week, as Nobel Laureates arrive in Sweden to present their lectures and to await the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony on Wednesday, December 10.
Wish I could be there, at Stockholm Concert Hall, for the prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and economics. You can watch a live webcast of the awards at 4:30 p.m. (CET, which is 10:30 a.m. in New York's EDT). The Nobel Banquet follows at Stockholm City Hall, right, a frequent stop on city tours.
BTW: The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded the same day in Oslo, Norway. You can watch Martti Ahtisaari receive the Peace Prize on live webcast starting at about 12:50 p.m. (CET, which is 6:50 a.m. in New York's EDT).
The Prizes bring light and warmth during the coldest, darkest days of the year in Scandinavia. In Stockholm, for instance, the sun skips breakfast in December, appearing about 8:45 a.m., disappearing again before afternoon tea at 3 p.m.
But in summer, with lots of sunshine, Stockholm is a wonder. A walking and bicycling city of parks and lakes, it is a popular port for cruise ships on Northern Europe itineraries.
Sleeping in the dark
In summer, the most sought after beds at Hotel Stureplan in downtown Stockholm are in the cabin rooms. Dressed like inside cabins on a cruise ship, the rooms have no windows.
If you have traveled to the far north in summer, you may have guessed the answer: Visitors choose a windowless room to get a good night’s sleep.
My last night in Stockholm in July (2008), I awoke with a start as the sun streamed into my room. I feared I had missed my 5 a.m. wakeup call for a ride to the airport and a flight to London.
But no, it was only 3:30 a.m. I made my plane, after a 20-minute train from the city center to the airport on the Arlanda Express.
Maybe next visit I will ask for an inside cabin (8 singles, 4 doubles) at the cushy Stureplan, but I doubt it. I never get enough sunshine. Either way, the Stureplan is a good choice, especially if you are on business expense account, as prices in Stockholm for accommodations are high, like most other big cities in Europe. The small, modern, comfortable hotel, built into an old factory, offers a full breakfast and a ride to your room on a central lift surrounded by a cage like out of an old Hitchcock movie.
Click for travel information on Stockholm.
Next blog from Stockholm: Extra Tabasco, and please wash that Icebar hood
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Molyneaux is editor of TravelMavens.net. CLICK for articles on cruising, golf, Florida, Europe, adventure and travel gear and gadgets.