I recently returned from another business trip to Europe. This time in addition to London I got to go to Sweden for a team offsite.
On my way to Sweden I made a quick stop in London and spent a day in the office. It was my first time making the trip on British Airways and I was pleasantly surprised by their World Travel Plus class (like Economy Plus). The seats all come with a pop-out foot stool and a lumbar support setting so it makes sleeping a lot easier. I spent most of the day at office so I didn’t get to see anything new in the city, but I did notice a plaque on my office wall saying that Charles Dickens had lived there for a while…no big deal.
I headed to Stockholm that evening and stayed overnight at the airport, but in the morning we headed to Ostergund to get to Åre (pronounced Aura). Åre could only be described as a winter wonderland. It was freezing cold, but still stunning with it’s crisp winter air and untouched landscapes. I had a great view of the lake from my room and the hotel had a great lodge feel to it.
We got a lot of work and team building done on the trip, but we also got some fun in. We had a morning for free time and I decided to go dog sledding with a few of my coworkers. It was way exciting! When we got there the dogs were so excited they were jumping up, barking and shaking. There were four of us on a sled with ten dogs pulling us around a 15km route. I definitely haven’t done anything like it before. After we went sledding we all headed back to hotel to enjoy SaunaWorld at the hotel. Apparently Scandinavian people are crazy about the sauna. The hotel had several types of sauna and ice bathes and pools. They even had an outdoor pool open in the dead of winter. I spent my last bit of free time exploring the little town looking for souvenirs.
There’s one things about Sweden that I think is awesome. That thing is fika (coffee break time). Most people take a morning and afternoon fika and it often involves a sweet treat! Daily sweet treats? Excellent!
After our offsite I headed back with some other coworkers to London. Another day in the office, but on Saturday I woke up early so I could go to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Definitely worth seeing. The inside was amazing and ornate and I thought the audio tour along with the music being played had a lot of inspiring thoughts. I’d read online that people who are afraid of heights or small enclosed areas should try to climb to the top of the dome. I figured I’d come all that way and paid the admission fee so I was going to climb to the top despite the fact that I’m deathly afraid of heights. Luckily I was the first person to do the climb and there wasn’t anyone behind me so I could take my time. Lucky because I was shaking like a leaf the whole way! There were even a few times where I couldn’t make myself move forward and I had to talk myself into moving forward. I must have looked like a crazy person. The view was almost worth the journey. The way down was just as hard as up for me. By the time I got to the bottom my legs were exhausted, but still kept shaking for a good 15 minutes. Even though I can’t say I was fearless I’m still pretty proud I conquered the dome!
I stayed at the Rosewood Hotel on High Holborn for the first time. Pretty fancy stuff. The room was excellent, but I think the thing that really screamed class was the bird cage in the lobby with real live birds. They also have real fire lamps outside in the evening.
The trip had already been excellent, but I got a surprise in the end! I got upgrade to Business Class on BA. It was awesome! I got to cut the security line, hung out in the fancy lounge and a seat I could actually relax in. Wouldn’t mind a repeat of that!