A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about estonia

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)

A la Recherche du Temps Perdu

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Isn’t it strange how sometimes the past can jump out behind you and bite you on the bum?

Last weekend my son (finally) left home aged 23 to go to university as a mature student. This event brought back a lot of memories of the good times we had together, going back to the period before he hit the teenage doldrums. I’m happy to admit I made a conscious decision to indulge myself with those memories - for a week or two. Why not?

Then a couple of days later I went hunting through the cupboards for a household item I hadn’t used for ages, and opened a few doors which remain closed for years at a time. I found a box of “collectables” (as Ebay would classify them) which I’d thought had been binned the last time we moved house - 1999.

It’s airline “junk” picked up on my travels in the 80s and 90s. Wow! More memories.

large_P1080582.jpg

The Estonian Air ticket is from a flight from Vilnius to Tallinn in 1997. I’d been asked to go there on short notice at the end of a week working in Vilnius, to spend the Friday “lobbying” in support of a project we were going to bid for.

Vilnius

Vilnius

This meant 7 meetings in one day at various ministries, and probably the British Embassy and the EU Delegation too. I had to walk from place to place as they were all in the Old Town and it’s car free. It was November. The streets were covered in slushy snow. It was cold, wet, dark and horrible.

A challenging day, if I can put it like that.

Tallinn

Tallinn

We didn’t get the project. I suspect we didn’t even bid. After my visit we were approached by someone in a position of influence who offered to make sure we’d win if we made it worth his while. End of story. We didn’t do that.

Estonian Air shut down in 2015. My hoarded memorabilia contains items from many long lost names - Dan Air, Lauda Air and Air Inter, to name just a few.

The Cathay Pacific menu is from a trip to Singapore from Bangkok. I think it was with the Former Wife, probably in 1990 or ’91. We’d have been on holiday in Thailand and then went to visit a mutual friend who emigrated from Scotland to Singapore in 1986 (and has been there ever since).

Luxury in Economy

Luxury in Economy

Cathay’s on board service was wonderful even in economy class. Mixed salad, then stir fried beef with noodles or sautéed scallops with leeks and fried rice. Nice wines too. A white Cotes de Duras 1988... a vintage Sekt.

Real Food!

Real Food!

OK, enough nostalgia. But a wee bit is fun...

Posted by IainT 04:36 Archived in Lithuania Tagged children singapore bangkok estonia tallinn vilnius lithuania Comments (0)

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