Two Scandinavian Countries in One Day

 After a month, I’m finally blogging about my Sweden trip! 

The Schengen visa application was not as complicated as I thought. Since I was applying for a business visa, I just had to secure the following:

  • duly-filled application form
  • original passport with 6 months validity and stamped residence visa
  • 1x recent photo with white background
  • Preliminary flight & hotel booking
  • company NOC and trade license
  • Invitation letter from our business partner in Sweden
  • Travel insurance

Unlike a tourist visa application, I didn’t have to provide any bank statement. I applied thru VFS global and paid AED385 upon submission of my documents. I got my visa after only 3 days. So fast and convenient!

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Schengen visa to Sweden

For more info, visit VFS Global’s website.

As soon as I secured my visa, I confirmed all travel bookings and prepared my training materials, itinerary, maps, winter clothes, Swedish currency, etc. I also did a research about local transportation and weather. I really made sure I was all set since it was my first ever trip to Europe. Add that to the fact that I was travelling alone!

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separate folders for bookings & other docs

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Bought this pair of boots which I never got to use. tsk

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I only exchanged AED75 to SEK150 since I was told that most establishments in Sweden & Denmark accept debit/credit cards

Day 1 (10th November 2015)

My company arranged a driver to pick me up from home. I left around 5:30 am and reached Dubai Airport Terminal 2 in less than 20 mins.

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My flight from Dubai to Copenhagen (Kastrup Airport) was scheduled to depart at 8:20 in the morning. Travel time via Emirates Airlines was approx. 7 hours.

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As soon as we boarded, I immediately browsed inflight entertainment and was happy to find one of my favorite series.

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breakfast of veggie salad, bread and some fruits.

lunch

Lunch: Chicken dish and other whatnots

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I was surprised to find some Filipino movies in the selection. (Side note: I loved Daniel Padilla’s portrayal in this movie. Nakakakilig!)

By the time I finished watching Crazy Beautiful You, the pilot announced that we were about to land. We safely reached Copenhagen at half past noon (their time). Overall, the flight was smooth and comfortable except for some minor turbulence in between.

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Time difference against Dubai: -3 hours

Since it was my first time in Copenhagen Airport, I just followed the crowd. When I reached passport control, the official asked me whether I was there for leisure or business. I was also asked which city I was going to visit and which company invited me.

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Denmark was named World’s happiest country in 2013 & 2014.

After passing thru immigration, I headed to baggage claim and realized I had a big problem…

I CANNOT REMEMBER WHICH ONE WAS MY LUGGAGE!

Sorry naman, medyo makakalimutin lang! hahaha.

In fairness to me, the luggage was not really mine. I just borrowed it from a friend because I needed something which was sturdy and light enough to carry around.

I ended up waiting for the other passengers to first collect theirs until only few luggages were left. Then I checked the leftover bags one by one and crossed my fingers that I’d still find mine.

Luckily, I found it after a few tries.

Whew! Muntik na!

hahaha

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So much for being prepared. I should have tied a ribbon or took a picture of it beforehand. tsk tsk

After my baggage mishap, I headed towards the exit and on to Kastrup station’s ticket booth. I would only have to take a 15 mins. train ride from Copenhagen/Kastrup Airport to my hotel in Malmo Sweden.

The train will cross the 16km long Oresund Bridge which serves as a direct link between the two countries Denmark & Sweden.

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You can barely see the bridge in this photo I took from my airplane window

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A clearer photo of Oresund Bridge (source)

As per my research, the hotel where I would be staying is located just opposite Hyllie Station (first stop from Kastrup station). Using my debit card, I bought a one-way ticket worth DKK89 (approx. AED48) and waited for my train which will take me to Malmo.

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This is Kastrup station. located just below the airport.

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Ticket booth at Kastrup station

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Platforms for trains, metro & buses are clearly indicated in Danish & English. Easy to find & follow.

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Copenhagen Airport aka Kastrup

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waiting for my train…

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other side of the platform.

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Here’s how the trains look like.

The train I boarded was a bit congested but still comfortable. I was actually looking forward to seeing a nice view of Sweden’s coast while crossing Oresund Bridge but all I saw was an endless track of steel, thus, no pictures.

After approx. 15 minutes, the train approached Hyllie Station and I hopped off as fast as I could. 

Just like that, I was already in another country! 

Amazing 🙂

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Hyllie Station, Malmo Sweden

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Yes, there’s a Mc Donald’s nearby!

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Ticket machines in Hyllie Station

It was drizzling when I got out of the station. The wet and cold weather reminded me of my college days in Baguio. Parang deja vu. Suddenly, I was taken back to those petrifying moments when I had to live independently for the first time. It was also bitter-sweet to realize where I was 10 years ago and how far I’ve reached since then (literally & figuratively speaking).

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Malmo Arena Hotel. This was where I’d be staying for 3 nights.

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bikes everywhere

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More bikes and Emporia Mall — the biggest mall in Scandinavia

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Hyllie Station in Malmo Sweden

I walked towards the hotel and took more photos along the way. By this time, my feet were already hurting so bad. All I wanted to do was reach my hotel room, take my boots off and finally free my tired and aching feet.

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few more steps

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almost there

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Malmo Massan is an exhibition and convention center located opposite Malmo Arena Hotel

Malmo Arena Hotel, Best Western

I reached the hotel just in time for check-in. I was assigned a standard room on the 13th floor which gave me a pretty good view of the city.

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IKEA Malmo store from my window

Seeing my hotel room, I realized just how spoilt we are in the UAE. Before this trip, I heard my colleagues complain a lot about European hotels. I thought they were just exaggerating until I saw it myself. Well for one, this room doesn’t even have a wardrobe. Likewise, there were no complimentary toiletries, slipper, coffee pot, not even a bottle of water!

Not being too picky, there were still some good points of course– hot and cold shower, hair dryer, strong wifi connection, clean bathroom, friendly service, decent buffet breakfast, central location, etc.

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Malmo Arena Hotel, Best Western

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view from my window

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Thumbs up for clean bathroom. I wish they provide basic toiletries though

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No wardrobe.

By 3 pm, I headed down to the nearby mall to grab some food and other supplies. I finished shopping after an hour and was surprised to see that it was already dark outside! hehe.

I spent the rest of the evening Skyping with my husband and watching a few episodes of Suits.

So that summarizes first day in Sweden. Next up: Sweden – Dream Office

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3 thoughts on “Two Scandinavian Countries in One Day

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