Abisko, Sweden is one of my favourite places to visit. The northern lights and magnificent Arctic landscapes make it a truly beautiful place to spend your vacation. It’s been several years since my last visit due to heavy workloads but I’m really excited about finally having the opportunity to return.
One thing I have never done in my lifetime is travel first class to anywhere. I’ve been saving hard and taking few holidays so I figured this was the chance to tick something off the bucket list. I’ve also found on previous trips, getting good food and rest in “cattle class”is not always easy and if your spending over a day travelling you can end up feeling exhausted before you even begin. With this in mind I settled on booking my outbound flights first class with Emirates.
The 2 legs I flew first class were on the Airbus A380 from Brisbane to Dubai and then on a 777-300ER from Dubai to Stockholm. The food was excellent on both legs as was the service. The cabin layout was pretty much identical in both flights although the windows on the 777-300ER afforded far better views than the A380. I also found that some of the electronics in the A380 weren’t fully functional e.g. the seat adjustments, entertainment controller and touchscreen TV (the metadata couldn’t be turned off blocking the subtitles on the tv show I watched). In contrast, everything worked perfectly in the 777-300ER first class cabin.
The highlights of the flights for me were getting about 8 hours of good sleep on the flight into Dubai followed by a shower about 2 hrs before landing in Dubai. I really enjoyed the shorter flight from Dubai to Stockholm though.
I had the best meal I’ve ever had on a plane which was a Prawn Machbous (hopefully spelled correctly) with a few glasses of a wonderful french Sauv Blanc. The scenery outside was amazing, particularly some of the mountain scenery as we flew over what I think was Armenia.
It was so amazing that I put the iPhone away and grabbed the Nikon D800 out of my cabin baggage and started taking snaps.
The one other thing that I thought was a pretty cool coincidence is that I got to watch a TV show on the Stockholm flight called Midnight Sun which was filmed around the town of Kiruna in Sweden very close to where I’m travelling to. I grabbed a screenshot of one of the characters walking out of the terminal at Kiruna Airport.
Last time I was there I’d missed a flight to go home arriving at the airport at 8pm on a Sunday night in December in freezing temps to find the airport closed (someone had failed to notify me of a change in flight times). Fortunately a friendly Kiruna cab driver found me a place to stay and my travel agent managed to quickly rebook flights the next day.
I arrived in Stockholm on midday Saturday 2nd December and will be flying onto Kiruna on Monday 4th December then onto Abisko Sweden to spend nearly 2 weeks with Lights Over Lapland. I’m carrying with me both a Nikon D800 and a D5 and plan to do some work on photographic composition and time lapse photography with a new post each day showing the previous nights action so stay tuned.
David R Williams