A Travellerspoint blog

Plans

Dundee Waterfront

Dundee Waterfront

In some ways it is a quiet time at Bread and Tea World HQ.

Malmö seems like a long time ago - 5 weeks. I did have an overnight stay in Dundee at the end of February, but it was only for an ice hockey game and whilst it was a great game (3-3 draw) it is nothing to blog about.

Plenty has been going on behind the scenes, of course.

I will be spending 10 days in Tunisia at the end of March, and as it is a country I have never visited before, I have had research to do as well as make a number of bookings. I am starting with 4 nights in Sidi Bou Saïd, close to Tunis. I hope it is enough time to recover from the travel, unwind and explore the city.

Good Value

Good Value

After that I have booked a Tunisair Express flight to Djerba, an hour to the south. I will be based in Tataouine for 4 nights, with a rented car to drive about in the desert.

IDP

IDP

As soon as I get back after that trip, I will be applying for a visa to visit Russia in June. The consulate will have my passport for most of April. So far I have booked as far as Moscow, via Rīga. I will be renewing a very old acquaintance with Aeroflot - and Moscow!

Comprehensive

Comprehensive

All my research so far is pointing me towards spending a few days in Kazan after Moscow. My guide describes it as the “Istanbul of the Volga”.

Stay tuned…

Posted by IainT 00:46 Tagged moscow scotland transport tunisia russia ice_hockey riga airlines dundee kazan aeroflot tataouine Comments (0)

Malmö - The Place

sunny 4 °C
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The Problem

The Problem

I had no preconceptions about Malmö. I did very little research before my trip.

I did not need to. The main reason for going was to be outside Little Britain when it left the EU. I could have gone anywhere. Malmö was accessible for a 2 night stay, plus I could take in an ice hockey game from one of Europe’s top leagues

19th Century

19th Century

What did I find?

A pleasant and relaxed city, with plenty of charm, but without any of the pressures of mass tourism. It was pretty much ideal for my 48 hour escape.

City Centre

City Centre

I was right about perceiving it to be accessible. It is as easy to get there from Copenhagen Airport as Copenhagen is! All my travel arrangements were smooth.

I found a great deal with the hotel I chose - the Radisson Blu. I have blogged about it already.

Radisson 7th Floor View

Radisson 7th Floor View

Perhaps I was lucky, or perhaps my expertise shone through, but all my food experiences were excellent. The hotel buffet breakfast was a great start! I ate Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and Swedish - they were all delightful.

Soul Food

Soul Food

The city centre is pleasant to walk around, with a variety of architectural heritage. It has plenty of pedestrian only areas. I enjoyed visiting Malmöhus, and the exhibition on migration in particular. The ice hockey was fantastic - a top class arena, top class teams and a big crowd.

After the Game

After the Game

Would I go back? Yes.

Posted by IainT 23:43 Archived in Sweden Tagged trains food beer sport sweden transport ice_hockey denmark copenhagen malmö Comments (0)

Malmö - The Essentials

overcast 6 °C
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Sunday Lunch

Sunday Lunch

To get to Malmö I flew from Edinburgh to Copenhagen with easyJet. Flight time was 90 minutes (a little slower going west) and it cost £107 return. I only needed hand luggage for a 2 night trip.

From Copenhagen Airport I took the Oresundståg train to Malmö Central. The journey time is just over 20 minutes and train frequency is excellent. It cost SEK120 (£9.60 or €11.37) to buy a single ticket in Malmö and DKK91 (€12.17 or £10.31) in Copenhagen.

Sankt Petri Kyrka

Sankt Petri Kyrka

When you go to buy a train ticket at Copenhagen Airport, the first thing you see is a large row of automatic Danish Railways (DSB) machines, with a queue management system. It is well set up, with helpful staff to assist customers who are struggling.

Less obvious (and so less busy) are 2 Skånetrafiken machines close by which will also sell tickets for the Oresundståg. They are also red, and stand next to a couple of green SJ machines - the Swedish Railways ones. Skånetrafiken seems to be the regional transport - trains and buses - operator for Skåne, where Malmö is located.

Malmöhus

Malmöhus

I stayed at the Radisson Blu in Malmö. It cost SEK1,760 (£141 or €166) for the two nights, inclusive of their superb buffet breakfast. The room was massive and I am not sure if that is what I booked, or if I was upgraded.

The hotel was excellent in all kinds of ways - staff, comfort, location, for example. It is an 8 minute walk from the station, and in the centre, but the location is quiet.

Malmöhus

Malmöhus

One of my reasons for choosing Malmö for a weekend away at the end of January was to see the local ice hockey team play Luleå. The Swedish league is one of the best in Europe, and Luleå were top.

No Luck

No Luck

My ticket was super cheap at SEK100 (£8 or €9.47) for a seat on the behind the Luleå bench. I did not understand the details, but it seemed to be a special charity fundraiser match, so I guess prices were reduced. 12,600 took advantage, so the atmosphere was great. So was the game.

The arena is excellent, and easy to reach from the city centre by train or bus. I did not try their food and drink, but they had plenty on offer.

Posted by IainT 00:04 Archived in Sweden Tagged bridges trains scotland edinburgh sport sweden transport flights ice_hockey denmark copenhagen malmö airlines brexit Comments (0)

Radisson Blu

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Radisson Blu, Malmö

Radisson Blu, Malmö

I really do not remember how I came to choose the Radisson Blu for my 2 night stay in Malmö. Location? Price? Brand?

Certainly the first two possibilities turned out well. The cost for 2 nights was SEK 1,760 (£141 or €166) including breakfast, and I was upgraded to a junior suite! The city centre location, close to the railway station, was ideal.

Malmö Radisson Blu

Malmö Radisson Blu

The brand…

In the 1990s when I travelled a lot for work, it was always one of my favourites. In those days it was SAS, and part of the airline. Then it was Radisson SAS, and now it is Radisson Blu.

I remember stays in several of the SAS hotels in Copenhagen, plus the Royal Viking in Stockholm and one in Oslo.

Radisson Blu Royal, Copenhagen

Radisson Blu Royal, Copenhagen

Their London hotel was my first choice there, and an oasis of style in a city which is full of 3rd rate, overpriced hotels. The Brussels SAS was excellent too, but it had plenty competition. The Amsterdam SAS was a real favourite too.

However, it was in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia where they really came into their own for me. I was reminded of this by a set of articles in the in-house magazine in my room in Malmö.

They invested in privatised state hotels very soon after the Communist walls came down. The Astorija in Vilnius was one of their first. Having stayed there in 1993 when it was state run, I knew how much had to be changed - pretty much everything.

Aušros Vartụ, Vilnius

Aušros Vartụ, Vilnius

They now own the Lietuva in Vilnius too, which I have never stayed in. However my firm represented the government in its privatisation so it will always be special for me.

Vilnius

Vilnius

In Rīga, the Daugava was their first. I stayed there several times. The location just across the river from the city centre was ideal. The walk across the bridge was the perfect way to leave a day’s work behind.

Rīga

Rīga

I see they now own the Latvija too - the former Intourist high rise.

Their first hotel in Tallinn was one of my stopovers. I do not remember it’s name. It was a boozy trip. Thanks, Aivar.

Tallinn

Tallinn

I see they now own the Olümpia too - another former Intourist tower block, built for the Moscow Olympics. The yachting events were held in Tallinn. My stay in the Olümpia was much more sedate. I had 7 meetings in one day, so I had no time or energy left for getting into mischief.

Tallinn

Tallinn

Well guys, thanks for bringing back some memories as well as helping to create new ones.

(As a wee footnote, and declaration of interest, I worked in hotels quite a bit when I was a student and eventually reached the dizzy heights of being manager of a small beach motel in Westhampton Beach, Long Island. It has made me a very critical hotel guest! If I praise someplace, it is well earned.)

Posted by IainT 13:53 Archived in Sweden Tagged stockholm oslo england sweden belgium norway estonia brussels denmark copenhagen malmö sas riga tallinn vilnius lithuania Comments (0)

Malmö

overcast 7 °C
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Harbour

Harbour

My diversion therapy continued in Malmö on 1st February, and the plan worked.

Stylish

Stylish

I did some gentle sightseeing in the morning. I had no preconceptions about the city ahead of my first visit, and did very little investigation before my trip. The city centre is very relaxed and pleasant. I enjoyed my wanderings.

Monument to Telecoms

Monument to Telecoms

The main event was ice hockey in the afternoon, however. Malmö v Luleä. The Swedish league is one of the best in Europe - it produced 3 out 4 semifinalists in the Champions Hockey League this season. Luleå are top of the table.

Arena

Arena

It was fast and spectacular, in front of 12,600 fans. Luleå won 3-1, so most of the fans went home disappointed.

Warm Up

Warm Up

Other highlights were the hotel breakfast (continental option for me, obviously), a Greek gyros for lunch and Vietnamese noodle salad in the evening.

The Swedish have a reputation for being a bit dour. Well, they are not when they go to ice hockey. If you want a flavour, play the clip in the link and listen to the commentary!

The Game

Posted by IainT 00:02 Archived in Sweden Tagged sport sweden ice_hockey malmö Comments (0)

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