Where do I start dear reader? Well firstly, I should explain why I haven’t been doing daily posts despite best intentions. I attended World Water Week in Stockholm with my UN colleagues and every single day was filled with conference sessions and meeting people. Every night was dinner with new colleagues or networking. Any spare day I had, which was basically only two days, I rushed into Stockholm for some sightseeing and to check out the shopping. So not much time to blog. Besides, the so-called wifi in the bizarre hotel we stayed in was next to useless.

I’ve been back home 24 hours and feel a bit jetlagged. The flight back was loooooong, mainly because of the connection times. I had to wait at Frankfurt airport for around 6 hours to connect with the Singapore flight. And then wait at Changi airport in Singapore for about 3 hours for the flight to Christchurch. I must say that I will be avoiding Lufthansa in future. I wanted to fly Emirates but was obliged to take the most direct and cheapest route – that meant a Singapore Airlines/Lufthansa combo.

Singapore Airlines was very good. The food was amazing although Business Class isn’t as spacious as Emirates nor is it quite as luxurious. I was disappointed with Lufthansa I must say. I flew their A380 from Singapore to Frankfurt and the same plane on the return journey. I flew Emirates’ A380 from Sydney to Dubai in April this year on my way to Rome and it was like a flying hotel. Soooooooo much space, wonderful service and a great entertainment system.

In comparison, Lufthansa’s A380 wasn’t as spacious. And I don’t know who designed things but get this – if you have an aisle seat, you basically have nowhere to store your stuff other than the overhead locker. There is no pocket on the back of the seat in front of you; no pockets in the sides of the seat. Nada. Tough luck if, like me, you have a small toiletry bag with the essentials of travel in it and you want to stow it in a handy position. If you have a window seat, you get your own compartment against the window. And then there’s Lufthansa’s entertainment system. There was only one sci-fi film. I like to catch up on sci-fi films when flying but there was only one choice. And the new releases weren’t that great. Not to mention in the Games – no Solitaire.

As for the food, on one leg of the flight the entree was fish and the main meal was fish. No other selection. I don’t eat fish so it was a bread roll for me and I declined the odd-looking curd dessert. And I wouldn’t say the flight stewards (is that the PC term these days?) were overly friendly. In contrast, the Singapore Airlines stewards were falling over themselves to make sure I had enough water or asked if I needed anything. They were super friendly and polite. Plenty of movies to watch too.

The biggest grumble I have against both airlines has to do with the toiletry kits. With Lufthansa you get this crap boring blue bag with a pair of socks, an eye shade and a tiny lip balm. With Singapore Airlines you get some socks and an eye shade whilst the aircraft toilet stocks toothbrushes and toothpaste. Neither airline offers a Business Class toiletry kit like Emirates.

But the point of this post is to tell you about two things I became fairly well addicted to during my two weeks in Stockholm. I can’t tell you the name of the first – it has some long Swedish name – but basically it’s a coconut-covered chocolate roll filled with marshmallow. You see it everywhere in Stockholm and I couldn’t get enough of them. I’d have it with coffee but sadly the Swedes aren’t great at whipping up decent cappuccinos or even filtered coffee. Odd because apparently the Swedes rank #6 in the world when it comes to coffee consumption.

The second Swedish delicacy is a triangular-shaped crispbread that was served up at the hotel breakfast buffet. I saw packets of them in supermarkets too and they also have a long Swedish name. They remind me a bit of Kavli whole grain thin crispbreads. I used to have these growing up in Australia with Vegemite (what else?!) and cottage cheese. Yummo. I think Kavli is a Norwegian brand.

Swedish choc roll.

Long Swedish name but these crispbreads are fantastic.