Our final day in Stockholm and just enough time before heading back to the airport to fit in a visit to the Stockholm Public Library in Odenplan. I love visiting libraries wherever I travel and what a delightful one this was. The library, which was designed by Gunnar Asplund and completed in 1928, is one of the city’s most famous buildings with its geometrically designed neo-classical architecture and is listed as being one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.
Stepping through the Egyptian style doorway and climbing the central staircase, we were able to get our first glimpse into the central rotunda of the library. The rotunda is a circular book hall and is an absolutely stunning temple for book lovers like me. It contains a total of 40,000 books on three levels and retains its original mahogany furniture and leather chairs.
The rotunda is ringed with three terraced levels of open shelving and was the first Swedish library to allow visitors to access the shelves themselves without asking library staff for assistance.
I climbed to the upper terrace and peered down on the magnificent hall with its curved bookcases and the floor which had been styled on the Pantheon in Rome. Back at ground level, we explored the five subject rooms which are all accessed from the central rotunda. These smaller rooms had recessed shelving and leather topped desks each with a traditional brass lamp to provide illumination.
Before leaving, we went downstairs to explore the children’s section which was exquisitely designed with youngsters in mind. The ceiling of the first room displays a starry sky and alongside books there are lots of toys and games to keep children amused. I have never seen such a beautiful story telling room with its circular style wall painted murals and cosy seating that surely must captivate all small children.
It was then back to the Biz Hotel Apartment in nearby Solna to collect our belongings before making our way to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport. Our studio apartment had been a good choice for our two week stay in Stockholm as it provided us with the flexibility of both eating in as well as enjoying evening’s out sampling the local cuisine. The apartment block was a six minute walk to Solna Centrum station on the Blue Line with trains taking only ten minutes into the city centre.
Returning to the airport, we caught the 41X commuter train to Märsta station which took 25 minutes and from outside the station we transferred to the 583 bus to the airport, taking approximately 15 minutes. Wherever you might choose to stay in Stockholm, transferring to and from the airport by this method is very easy and costs only SEK 44 (£3.80 each way) with the journey also being included in the SL-Access travel card. If you prefer to transfer between the city centre and the airport by the Arlanda Express train which takes only 20 minutes, the single fare is a whopping SEK280 (£24.25 each).
There was no-one waiting to check in at the KLM desk so we quickly parted with our luggage, sped quickly through security and had plenty of time to enjoy large cappuccinos before our flight back to Amsterdam. As it was so clear we had some excellent views over the Swedish archipelago and again on our approach into Schiphol airport. On board the Boeing 737-700 series aircraft for our 90 minute flight we were given small boxes adorned with tulips and windmills which contained tasty cheese and ham sandwiches. As the drinks trolley passed, I enjoyed a glass of red wine and a coffee and it then seemed no time at all until we were landing in Amsterdam.
We were only in transit 75 minutes in Schiphol airport so we had a look in a few of the airside shops before finding our gate for our homeward bound flight to Manchester which was also on time. This flight was also on a Boeing 737-700 series aircraft. A City Hopper Embraer 90 is normally used on this route but larger aircraft are occasionally brought into service to meet increased passenger demand.
On this shorter flight we were served a chicken and pepper wrap, water, alcoholic drinks and coffee from the friendly and efficient flight attendants. I have always enjoyed flying KLM and their service creates a pleasing start and end to my trips.
This brings to an end my series of posts on our two week holiday in Stockholm. We found so many interesting things to do and places to visit that I hope my posts might inspire some of you visit the Swedish capital for yourselves. Finally, I would like to thank both Visit Stockholm and Destination Uppsala for helping to make this visit possible. As always, all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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