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Jalan 2 di Sweden dan Denmark..
Stockholm, Sweden

Dec 31, 2004

Day 1 (4th Dec.)

We said goodbye to KLIA at exactly 0850 hours. The Boeing 777 took approximately half a day to transport us from the capital of our beloved homeland to the Kingdom of Sweden. Upon our arrival to Arlanda airport, we glanced out of the tiny airplane windows and saw patches of white dotting the countryside around the airstrip. It certainly was a sight to behold, as the probability of snow falling in Malaysia is a big, round zero!. As we disembarked the plane, the cold outside seeped through the terminal intersections making us aware of the winter weather, so much for a arrival surprise !!. We were then greeted by a representative from the Malaysian Embassy, who had prepared two luxurious taxis to ferry us to Accome Apartments, which would be our temporary home for the coming week. The sky was already turning dark as we arrived, even though it was only about three o’clock in the afternoon. We then had the afternoon off to settle in, unpack, overcome the inevitable consequences of jetlag, and learn to bear with the cold weather. The icy temperatures of 3°Celsius was only remedied by donning at least three to four layers of clothing, not to mention gloves and mufflers. Before we hit the sack for the night, we had a chance to tour the Galeria, a shopping complex that was adjacent to the Accome Apartments.

Day 2 (5th Dec.)

Today’s plan was scheduled as sightseeing in Stockholm, so by nine in the morning, we were all ready and rearing to go. We boarded the T-train at the Kista station, which was only a 50 meter walk from our apartments, and were commuted directly to T-Centralen, a station located under the heart of town. The T-train was a monorail train similar to what we have back in Malaysia. From there, we took a walk to Gamla Stan, more aptly known as the Old Town of Stockholm. We certainly enjoyed the short walk, as the air was cool, the sun was not shining too brightly, and the traffic was minimal. More than that, we were very impressed by the maintenance of the historical post-war buildings throughout the town. Shops, eateries, inns, and even offices had these uncommonly unique buildings as their premises. Besides, we could gladly testify to the fact that there was not a single modern-looking structure in the entire Old Town area! We were also more than happy to visit the Royal Palace and its beautiful grounds, where we took countless pictures. Lunch was at a Pakistani restaurant named Lilla Karachi, a place frequented by most Malaysian tourists visiting Gamla Stan. After lunch, we went window-shopping Scandinavian style and were able to grab some souvenirs for friends and loved ones. The menu for dinner that night was a choice of instant noodles, eggs or soup, as we had it on our own in our respective rooms.

Day 3 (6th Dec.)

At 0930 hours this morning, we all packed into two taxis and traveled to the Malaysian Embassy with the purpose of making a courtesy call on Ambassador Jasmi Md. Yusoff. After a brief introduction and a light meal, we took off to the Nobel Museum at Stortorget, accompanied by the Ambassador himself. We were greatly privileged to be hosted by Professor Svante Lindqvist, as the museum was closed to the public, prior to the visit by the Nobel Laureates later in the day. At this museum, we were able to gain insights and sneak peaks into the lives of the past laureates and Sir Alfred Nobel himself. Our next destination was the Museum of Technology, where we got to know more about the evolution of the telephone, the bicycle, the automobile and the airplane, without forgetting the contribution of Swedish scientists and engineers in these fields. We were especially delighted when the curator of the museum brought us into a mini television studio located in the museum itself. We could not hide our amazement as he explained that primary school students who visited the museum would be given the chance to corporately utilize the studio and broadcasting equipments in order to produce their very own news reports, which would then be shown on live telecast throughout Sweden! What a way to nurture teamwork and a sense of responsibility among the younger generation! After a fruitful visit, we returned to Accome Kista at about half-past four in the afternoon. We retired early that night after an equally early dinner.

Day 4 (7th Dec.)

Breakfast was at Levinsky, a café located in the Galeria, where we were served a taste of Western cereal, orange juice, and of course, coffee. By half-past nine in the morning, we were already seated in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, attending a press conference given by this year’s Nobel Laureates in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics. Questions revolving on the issue of the current American domination of the Nobel Prize, and the response of the public towards the Israeli duo in the Nobel Arena were posed and answered with much enthusiasm and excitement. After grabbing the golden opportunity to meet face to face with the laureates, we were then whisked off to the Karolinska Institute to attend another press conference, this time by the Laureates in Physiology and Medicine . As the subject of discussion was concerning the olfactory system, a theme not too difficult to comprehend, the two laureates were literally bombarded with queries. When we stepped into the institute’s cafeteria an hour later, we thought we had entered a restaurant, as the place was spick and span, unlike what we were used to back in Malaysia, unfortunately. After a hearty meal, we called for three taxis to ferry us to the National Museum, but to our utter surprise, we found ourselves at the Naturiskariksmuseet (Natural Museum)! We later inferred that this mistake was due to the fact that that there was an unavoidable language barrier between taxi driver and passenger – the words ‘national’ and ‘natural’ spoken by the Swedish tongue were coincidently similar in pronunciation. Besides, it was not an easy task to distinct between the 68 different museums throughout Sweden! For dinner that night, we were treated to Malaysian food by the Ambassador in his home located by a scenic river. It was good to taste local food once again, after having to consume bread and vegetables for the past few days.

Day 5 (8th Dec.)

Today was the lecture day. We took the taxis to Stockholm University in Aula Magna for the lectures session by the Nobel Prize Winners in Physics, Chemistry and Economics. Compare to the Physics lectures, the Chemistry lectures was more understandable. The Physics’ lectures about the ‘colourful’ discovery of the world of quarks was quite abstract for seventeen-year-old high school students to comprehend. But, we managed to get the basic information about the theme and we were shocked to know that one of the Nobel Laureates, Professor Frank Wilczek had attained his Doctor’s degree in Physics at the age of 23 !!What a young age to recieve the ‘Dr.’ title !! Due to lack of time, we left the hall with confused heads and tired brains and rushed to Karolinska Institute, this time for the Physiology and Medicine lectures. As we arrived, the hall had already packed with throng of people and unfortunately, we were forced to watch the lectures in the live telecast hall, besides the real lecture hall. Professor Linda Buck was truly a brainy as she explained the olfactory system to the audience who was mesmerized by her words. After the interesting lectures, a reception was held at the other end of the hall. At the reception, scientists, people and relatives of the Nobel Laureates from all over the world were there to congratulate them, not to forget discussing and changing ideas about the winning theme. We managed to take some memorable pictures with Professor Linda Buck herself and congratulate her. Dinner was at our respective rooms as we arrived at Kista Apartments, it was already nine at night .

Day 6 (9th Dec.)

Breakfast at Levinski had became a daily routine for us. We had no chance of eating delicious and tantalizing breakfast food as we had in Malaysia because only breads and cheese were in the menu. We were very much adapted to the cold weather as all of us started to walk briskly along the quite streets to the Ericsson Headquarters which was located several blocks from Galeria. There, we were greeted by Mr. Per-Olof Bjork who then explained us the history of Ericsson and its achievement in the new millennium. Then, we were shown the latest cellular phone technology which was the Third Generations Cellular Phone or more commonly known as the 3G. With this advancement, phone calls will be more exciting as we are able to see the recipient at the other end of the line by using the broadband connection installed in the phone!! Truly mesmerizing!! After a light Swedish snack and realizing that we were already late for the next excursion, we rushed to the Swedish Institute of Computer at the Kista Science Tower. Swede was famous for their punctuality thus upon our arrival, which was thirty minutes late, the host who was supposed to greet and demonstrate us about the Swedish computers was already departed and left us empty-handed!! Soberly, we took the taxi ride to Tom Tits Experiment at Sodetaljie which was situated in the outskirt of Kista. We were very much interested in the experiments and spent quite some time there. Amongst the scientific experiments there, the most exciting was the robotic mocking parrot which continuously copying every single of words that we had talked!! We had a really great time there and about 0300 hours, we departed for Scania and its Upper Secondary School for Technical Studies where we were hosted by the principal himself, Mr. Binger Gunnarsson. The Scania’s students were taught making and assembling compartments of the vehicles. It was a shock for us hearing that all of the students were given a large amount of salaries for five years and the education was free!! We headed back to Accome apartments and packed our belongings as approximately at 2035 hours, we were off to Copenhagen, living behind the most beautiful city in Europe-the astonishing Stockholm!! We arrived at Copenhagen with the Scandinavian Airlines about an hour later and settled down in the Grand Palace Hotel, 20 kilometers from the airport.

Day 7 (10th Dec.)

The big day finally arrived. Novozymes Headquarters was situated at Bagsvaerd, about 50 minutes of taxi ride There, Mr. Knud Juel Jensen told us about the company’s administration and strategies and Mr. Alan Kent Nielsen explained us about the use of enzymes in the daily life. Then we walked about a kilometer to the pilot plant where we saw the production of enzymes being conducted in tanks. We were astonished to see the number of chemical tanks in the pilot plant as the site’s manager explained to us on how to produce the enzymes with a help from a explanatory diagram. Then, we had lunch at the cafçteria which mainly consist of vegetables and fishes.But fortunately, this time we had the Salomon Fish to tuck in!!We departed back to our hotel at about 0400 hours. The afternoon was free and many of us spend time packing our belongings as we were going to depart back home by tomorrow. Dinner was at the Indian Taj Restaurant adjacent to our hotel,approximately about 10 minutes walk. This dinner was sponsored by the Novozymes Headquarters and the manager of Novozymes’ Business Academy, Mr. Knud himself, took us there. We ate to our heart content as the food was more than enough since we were served with four sets of delicious meal including starter, appetizer, meal, and of course, deserts. Suprising high, the sum of the bill was a mere 7000 kronor!! We never eat as high price as that in Malaysia, to be honest.Soon, all of us were back in our respective rooms, exhausted and ready for a sound sleep and to rejuvenate for tomorrow’s last day excursions.

Day 8 (11th Dec.)

Today was the sight-seeing day!!.We took the sight-seeing bus to tour the Copenhagen lands. Amongst the places that we passed-by were the National Museum, the Swedish Royal Palace and of course, the Little Mermaids where we were given just five minutes to take pictures of the mermaid statue.Then, we took the once-in-a-lifetime boat ride across the city of Copenhagen where we saw numerous modern buildings such as the Black Library and the Opera House. The wind was blowing swiftly, making us shivered with cold.After the 50-minute boat ride, we got the chance to buy some souvenirs at a shop nearby. Then, we went to the Ripley’s Believe or Not and the Hans Christian Anderson Museum which was just two blocks away from our hotel. After spending approximately three hours cruising around the wonderful world of Ripley and Hans Christian, we were off to the Guinness Book of Records Museum, about thirty minutes walk. After a short lunch, mainly consist of French fries, we went to the Tivoli Garden, the beautiful theme park in Copenhagen. We had a great time in the park, visiting ice cave where there were little and cute ice-made dwarfs of Santa Clause. We managed to get a free ride since the garden was actually closing. Then,we headed for the Indian Taj Restaurant again for dinner. This time, the cost was not as high as the one we had yesterday and the food was more than enough. We were back at our rooms an hour later. The last night in Denmark ended with the exciting television programes since we were too tired to go anywhere!

Day 9 (12th Dec.)

Exactly at 0540 hours, the KLM airlines left the Copenhagen ground and headed to Amsterdam where we switched to Malaysian Airlines back to Malaysia. We arrived at KLIA approximately about 0800 hours the next day. The study visit trip to Sweden and Denmark was a truly memorable one. We learned many kinds of new things and gained a lot of experience for the eight-day visit. We like to express our deepest gratitude to Novozymes Kuala Lumpur for the luxurious sponsorship for the trip.We also like to thank the Academy Science Malaysia for giving us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the Nobel Laureates and for providing the study visit to Sweden and Denmark. We hope the government vision of reaching a Nobel Laureates from Malaysia will be a accomplished in the near future.