IT WAS good to see that girl/mermaid perched on the rock. I saw the Danish icon as a sign that not all stories can have a happy ending, be it on a book or real life. However, my trip to her city ended on a happy note. Bad memories of the visit's opening sequence -a not-so-welcoming-welcome from one of the "happiest people on earth" at the airport, diminished to a grain of salt. Thrown into the Oresund won't make it any saltier.

Travel mate Des A. will be the designated tour guide again and take me around the second nation of our Scandinavian tour -- Sweden. It will be another "as far as your feet can take you" sight-seeing. Of course, she knew what I preferred even before I asked for it.

I like Copenhagen. Will I be back soon? Honestly, no urge.

Maybe, Denmark was sad to see us leave because it was raining the day we left, but it made sure there was one more thing to show to remember her by-the farewell note was a good-looking local seated beside us. LOL.

Stockholm in Sweden, the next destination, didn't want to be outdone. It welcomed us with a much better sight-an airport hand that gave proof to a lingering question: Are the Swedish the perfect specimen on the planet?

On film, they always bag the roles that catch the viewers' attention. They are either cast as the mean and chic in suits antagonists or the best vampire roles with the waxy, pore-less skin, tall and lean, blond hair that pairs well with blue or green eyes.

Based on the city's opening act, it was a positive answer.

Actress Brick Ekland, among many other local Swedish celebrities, greeted everyone along the in the Arlanda airport arrival area, at least via the artworks of the museum-like hallway. The series was a nice conversation piece that elicits comments like, "I didn't know he was Swedish," or shrieks like, "Oh my God, Abba!" Then you hear Dancing Queen tune sang from somewhere.

Stockholm airport is a nice space-white and sleek with pops of colors, very modern, with a very busy, well-equipped library or bookstore vibe with all the tourism materials neatly and strategically displayed across the hall.

The information desks resemble that of a hotel concierge's and manned by locals who are as efficient, knowledgeable and helpful in the service they extend. Maybe that Danish man at the airport should work here and learn.

In terms of tourism materials, I can liken the efforts to Bangkok's. Information about the city is easily within reach. Sweden, though, offers a more modern feature with its interactive computers.

With train tickets on hand (bought via the vending machine), we hopped on the next train to the city center, got off our stop at the Normalm district and took the Radmansgatan exit. A couple of blocks on foot later, we found our home for this adventure-the Hotel Birger Jarl.

Hotel Birger Jarl is at Tulegatan 8, City Center - Norrmalm, Stockholm, Sweden. Visit their website at

For good deals on this hotel, visit the Agoda website at

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