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arlanda at night.

24 Oct 2011

Because of some annoying ticketing quirks, I was unable to fly directly from London back to New York on my wee European holiday a few weeks ago, and had to head back to Sweden for one last night before flying out of Arlanda airport early on a Sunday morning.  Between still being sick and jetlagged, I decided not to head into Stockholm, but instead booked a fancy room at the Radisson wedged right inbetween terminals 4 and 5 at Arlanda, in an area known as SkyCity.  I figured I’d just veg out in my hotel room, maybe wander around the shops in SkyCity, maybe find a place to sit with a book and a glass of wine; all I wanted to do was to decompress from two weeks of illness and farawayness, in the peculiar nonspaceness that is an airport.

I also realized, once I got to the hotel and discovered that it was inside the airport itself, that I’d probably be able to wander around the terminals at night, with no one around.   And indeed, at least in the international / long-distance-flights terminals 4 and 5, it was a ghost town by 8:30 in the evening.   So I took the Leica + wide angle Voigtlander lens and loaded it with a roll of Ilford 3200 speed film that I’d been hoping to use at some point during the trip.  No one stopped me as I explored the place, camera in tow.   SkyCity looks out onto the runways, but with no planes coming in or out, there was hardly anything stirring.   Sans people, the banality of such a large space was striking.

With a couple of shots left on the roll, I decided to treat myself to one last Swedish meal, this one at the hotel bar — the only place in the terminals where there was any sort of stirring.  A plate of assorted pickled herring and cripsbread, alongside one last glass of white wine, in a quiet hotel bar: it was a nice way to end an oftentimes frustrating and frustrated vacation.  I’d probably do it all again in a heartbeat.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 25 Oct 2011 1:08 am

    Being in an empty airport seems very eerie, doesn’t it?

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