The land of a thousand lakes
Trip Start Jul 02, 2010
17Trip End Aug 02, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Upon arrival at London Heathrow, we made the long trek to Terminal 3. Whilst going through security, I thought to myself "That guy in front of me looks really familiar - is it Tony Blair"? Well no, it was actually Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas. I was going to go up and introduce myself (apparently he likes to meet employees) and maybe try and get a photo with him (for my Facebook profile photo of course) but he looked pre-occupied and in a rush, so I didn't want to risk the hassle of it.
Finnair also gave us the good news we needed - we had secure seats on the flight to Helsinki too, so we were finally able to relax until our arrival. For a small airport, Helsinki's Vantaa Airport is total chaos! Once we landed, we went straight to the wrong baggage collection area (security had to escort us to the correct one), then waited about 45 minutes for our bags, and finally met my friend Heddi and her husband Pennti who had come to collect us.
Heddi is a pen friend from back in my school days, so we have been writing for about 23 years now (I think we started when I was 5 or something). In that time, I have visited her in Finland three times prior to today. Right now, Finland is unseasonably HOT! And to make matters more interesting, Finns don't have air conditioning as they rarely need to use it. But it's a great change from the cold of Ireland (and Australia for that matter).
After driving back to their apartment, we went to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Despite best intentions, I didn't end up ordering reindeer which was on the menu, before we all came back to watch the World Cup final.
The next day we headed into Helsinki to look through the city
Later that evening we went to a friend Janica's house. Her husband Mischa has a house on a small Finnish island which was the perfect setting for dinner. Mischa came and collected us by motorboat, so there were 11 of us including their infant son Benjamin, Heddi's cousins Solveig and Assi, and friends Johanna and Jon. And I thought Richard Branson was the only one who had his own island.
Tomorrow, we head to St. Petersburg to begin our Trans Siberian adventure. Quite nervous about it (particularly since so many people wrote "Stay safe" on my Facebook profile) but I'm hopeful it will be an adventure we enjoy too.