Sitting by a small round café table at Luleå Airport. 5:20 AM.
Took a cab from Överkalix bus station at 4:05 AM. Busses don't go this early.
Good buddy Andreas gave me a lift there. We got up 3:25. Went straight for the car, after a quick detour to the outhouse on my part. He scraped the car windows free from ice. Chilly night.
Morning light shone golden across the still arctic-looking lagoon. A multitude of birds chirped joyously. No people out but us, but nature's far more resilient.
My flight here leaves 6:50. The cab arrived early, and I would've had time to spare regardless, so I'm writing this as to make some decent use of my time.
I plan to snooze on the plane. Before that: quick walk, bathroom break and security.
The airport's peaceful at this time of day.
At least parts of it. On the lower floor the arrivals hall is still dark, but the sun's shining, and I'm seated in a little foyer with glass roof and windows. All for me.
It's a small airport yet nobody else is on this side. Seems everybody's making their way straight to the upper departure area. The silence makes me a little nervous. What if my flight leaves early? Has everybody boarded already? What's going on?
Maybe I'd best go about my business and rest by the gate instead, even if boarding time is almost an hour away...
Half an hour later: I've been to the loo. I took a stroll - spoke to some White wagtail's perusing the snow and gravel, passed security in a one woman queue, and am now sitting by Norwegian's Gate 5 lounge along with just... four other passengers.
The plane's already waiting. Boarding time's about fifteen minutes away. The crew hasn't arrived yet.
Seems to be a calm flight after all. The calmest I've ever been on... maybe.
*** rewards the early... or was it early bird catches the worm? Something like that. Can't remember the relevant saying precisely.
Onto Stockholm then. and there to the bus; to Märsta; to Odenplan; to Bro; to work.
More people did gather for the flight though.
Passengers were still sparse, but maybe closer to twenty, and the landing gear seemed a bit uneven as we bumped onto the runway. I wondered if we'd make it safely into the air.
We did. I slumbered during the flight. Nodded on and off and fell forward in my seat as I did, then jolted back again. I found my jaw opening repeatedly and attempted to keep it closed. Started feeling a little ill. Gulped some water. Felt better. Dehydrated maybe? Maybe just not used to a big breakfast at 5 AM in the morning? It's usually 10.
In Stockholm the airport was packed. The queue line through security stretched halfway through Sky City, the airport shopping area. Apparently they're short on personnel. So different from peaceful Luleå.
The plane arrived early, I made good time through the halls, passed a vacant bathroom, caught an early bus, and an early train, and felt better.
Came home, showered coldly, unpacked partially, and prepped a strong cup of coffee, and now it's time to work...
Maybe it wasn't the calmest, but a good flight after all.