We’re being held hostage. Allegedly every hotel in Stockholm and the surrounding cities is booked. Even all of the rooms in the university town of Uppsala 50 miles away are full.
After a lot of digging, I found that the European Association for the Study of Diabetes is holding their annual meeting with 18,000 expected attendees. Heap on another 1,300 Internal Medicine specialists for a second conference and that means the potential of 19,300 beds are filled. In Stockholm, the stats show that there are approximately 41,000 beds available and that doesn’t include beds in cities further out. So why the hell can’t we find one bed in one room? It doesn’t add up.
We have no choice. We are definitely going there because we have non-refundable tickets and the rest of the trip hinges on us getting there to continue on to Helsinki and beyond.
Normally we blow into town and find a hotel when we get there. The exception is that I like to have a hotel lined up for the first day. I don’t want to think too hard after spending a long sleepless night contorted into a coach seat on an overseas flight. This plan usually works flawlessly. In this case, I had read that the Airport Visitor Information Center was a great resource for booking rooms so I wasn’t worried…until I started doing a bit of research as to what’s available. Nada, zilch, nothing.
We’ve only had a problem twice. Once in Munich, when we arrived on a late train after the tourist information desk was closed. Déjà vu. There was a big convention in town and all of the hotel rooms were full. I don’t remember how we did it but we found a hotel near the airport – exactly what we needed for our flight home the next day.
In Ushuaia, Argentina there were a few rooms available but we had a hard time finding one we liked for a price we would pay. After about an hour in a cab going from hotel to hotel inspecting rooms, we finally found one that was acceptable.
Back to our captors. The Stockholm Syndrome has started to set in. I am beginning sympathize with them. When we land after being tortured in the cheap seats we will be willing to pay any ransom for a place to stretch out. If needed, we have a very loose escape plan. We’ll hop on a train or rent a car and head towards the first available room.
As for a hotel in Helsinki? It’s booked and paid for. Copenhagen and Oslo? We’re willing to wing it…plus I checked. The small conferences in those cities will leave us plenty of rooms to choose from. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not totally reckless.