Good Friday morning, April 6, found us awake, dressed and checked out of the NH Leeuwenhorst Hotel and Conference Center and on the road to Amsterdam Schiphol airport (AMS) by 7 AM. Chris had preprogrammed Vanessa the prior evening to stop at the closest petrol station to the airport, but forgot to reprogram afterwards so we had to make one U-turn, then followed the road signs to the AMS car rental return area. Arriving there we bade farewell and thanked Vanessa, our GPS unit, for getting us where we needed to be (worth her weight in gold!!) then began the 10 minute walk via moving walkways to the airport check in area. A new and novel experience for all of us was using the moving walkways that were pitched at a very steep incline, both lower and upper, during the walking trip to the AMS main terminal. Arriving so very early to the main terminal we were the first in line waiting for Scandinavia Airways (SAS) check-in to open. The SAS check in process was very prompt,friendly and relatively painless, as was going through airport Security and Customs. The flight from Amsterdam to Copenhagen on a SAS MD-80 was short, but relaxing with plenty of legroom and we were very efficiently served coffee or tea by an all male flight crew. Soon we began our descent over water to Copenhagen International Airport (CPH) which ended in a very smooth landing with a moderate taxi trip to our gate. Directions once inside the CPH airport were well marked, directing us to ticket kiosks for buying train tickets to Malmo, Sweden. We discovered at this point that many credit card transactions in Sweden required use of a credit card PIN number so we opted to buy the train tickets with Kaitlin’s debit card.
The train to Malmo was a short 20 minute ride with very smooth starts and stops by the train operator. Arriving at the Hyllie train stop in Malmo, our Swedish cousin Thomas was waiting to transport us to his home near the sea about 30 minutes southeast of Malmo. Along the way Thomas gave us the scenic tour with ocean views and all. We spent a fun afternoon meeting several of our Swedish cousins and showing them photos of our home in Colorado over coffee and homemade carrot cake with a few other delicacies.
Early evening found us along with our cousins at a small seaside restaurant that had just opened for the season that day. Little did we know that we were in for such an extraordinary Swedish seafood experience – an initial extra special touch provided by the waitstaff, and much appreciated by us, was the printing of an English translation of the Swedish menu. First, out came a complimentary appetizer consisting of a salmon salad on small toasts which was exquisite! Then, an ordered starter of homemade shrimp toast (which I could have gladly lived on forever), followed by a large entrée portion of hot smoked salmon (smoked onsite at the restaurant) made for an unbelievably, exceptional meal. Add to the mix a fantastic visit with the cousins and we didn’t want the evening to end. Sadly about 9:30 that evening the cumulative effect of travel to 3 countries in 1 day plus the satisfying afterglow of such a fantastic dinner gave way to subtle yawns by some. After many hugs and farewells, Thomas delivered us safely to our Malmo hotel, the Ibis Malmo hotel, through a gentle rain and waited until we were completely checked before bidding us goodbye. Thanks again, Thomas, for all you did to make our trip less stressful and a major highlight of our 12 day adventure!