ARN-FRA-VLC: new SAS lounge + new Lufthansa pastries
My journey back to Valencia started in the groggy early morning hours to walk to the train station, getting on the Arlanda Express, and checking in my bag in time for the 6:15am flight. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the SAS Lounge, having been to the Copenhagen one a couple years ago (very crowded), and the Gothenburg one (very slim pickings). I was surprised that the lounge in Stockholm featured a new design, with sections separated by carpeting and screens, creating various little living rooms. The use of diverse furniture designs is brilliant in breaking up that massive uniform look a lot of lounges have.
The food was pretty good - mainly cold options besides an oatmeal option (I seem to recall). I went in for one last big helping of the pate that I so loved from the hotel breakfasts.
When checking into my Lufthansa flight, there was a warning in the email saying that certain countries (i.e. Sweden) have instituted passport control, even for flights within the Schengen zone. This started with the refugee crisis, as a lot of European countries have started up border controls which is what the Schengen agreement was designed to eliminate. Indeed, at the end of the jetbridge before turning onto the aircraft, were about 3 police officers waiting along with a private security guard. A bit chilling.
Once in the air, everyone on board got this pastry - a "persipan" and raisin pastry. I had to check up persipan - it's like marzipan, but instead of almonds, it's made from apricot or peach kernels!
In Frankfurt, I made a quick stop at the Senator Lounge, and took my favorite position at the banquette with a table facing the planes. I'd had a lot of bread in Sweden, and went for yogurt, a yummy cherry quark (like a more cheese-like yogurt), and fruit... and a pastry and a slice of "spring bread." I also had to check up what this was: a bread with visible pieces of shredded carrots in it. Lufthansa is always introducing me to new foods!
On the second leg to Valencia, we were offered a choice of a turkey sandwich or pastry. On a previous flight, the sweet choice turned out to be a pound cake, and since I always choose the sandwich (in general preferring savory food, plus Lufthansa's sandwiches are always fresh tasting and hearty), so I chose the pastry. It turned out to be a pecan braided pastry. I saved it for later (good thing for the individual packaging!), and it was quite nice when I toasted it.
Lufthansa doesn't have the warm snack in Economy like SWISS does, but I still appreciate the quality of the snacks, and a big advantage is the sheer variety, where every flight offers something a bit different.
And finally back to warm Valencia, a big change from snowy Stockholm! Flying from Switzerland or Germany, I like sitting in a window seat on the right side of the plane for a good view of the Mediterranean coastline coming south, and then a good view of the city, from the City of Arts and Sciences (below) to the town center before touching down.