Helsinki Transit

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Dec 17, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10
Caught the bus to Terminal 3 and checked in. Also checked in for my flight to New York tomorrow – got a bulkhead seat! Had 6.7 pounds in sterling left but the lady at the change desk said I was better off spending it in the airport as they would change commission if I swapped it into dollars. Blew the lot on a 500ml bottle of Old Speckled Hen ale, then went to the BA lounge to wait for the flight to Helsinki board. This had a better than average selection of food including mixed sandwiches which were fresh and quite tasty. The lounge was split into three areas – the first near the entry had beer and soft drink available, the middle part had wine and the 3rd section had spirits.

Opted for the latter and poured myself a scotch and coke and watched some hokey 60's British TV show which appeared to be about three telepathic spies (I was too far away to hear the soundtrack, but the guy from "Yes Minister" was in it). Had a couple more scotches on the plane and a cheese sandwich and read Gladiator, which I was able to retrieve from the Kindle archive as we are now apparently back in Kindle wifi range.

Helsinki airport was a ghost town when we arrived at midnight local time with nothing open at all, except (luckily) the Scandic Gateway, my hotel for the evening. There is only one floor which apparently stretches beneath the runway and a small bar right next to reception which I retired to immediately after dropping my bags in the room. Bought a small bottle of red for 6.8E and read on my kindle. The bar gradually filled up with locals (I presume airport workers who had finished their shifts) who ordered pints of beer with shots of Jaegermeister – I love this country!! We all settled back and watched Myth Busters on the bar TV.

Bought another glass of red and went back to my room to update journal. The room is small and no frills, despite the rather excessive price ($255 a night) – single bed, cheapo TV (but with BBC which I'm half watching now) and single bed. Apparently below zero outside (see above), however as I will never leave the airport this is quite irrelevant to me.

Woke up about 10am. Breakfast was included in the room tariff and was provided by a little Cafe called the Coffee Spoon one floor up. Limited selection of sandwiches, a drink and coffee. Ate my ham and cheese roll and watched Coronation Street on the TV – they seem to have a few English shows airing. Feeling slightly paranoid about having no Kindle connectivity and the possibility that I might run out of things to read half way across the Atlantic so I bought a book from one of the kiosks (they have English books as well as ones in Finnish). It’s a crime thriller by Linda Fairstein.

Took advantage of the hotel sauna to try and sweat out last night’s alcohol then headed to the departure lounge. Helsinki is a very nice airport – clean and new and not at all crowded. They were opening a new section that evening and a lot of staff were rehearsing their dance number for the big event which was being filmed and displayed on two big screens next to the main stage. Quite funny. Again, the song they were dancing to was in English, not Finnish.

I booked a bulkhead seat when I arrived last night, but as the plane was half empty I would have been better off asking fvor a whole row to myself as the two places next to me were both taken. Drank a few reds, played Sudoku on the in-flight entertainment system and watched Sentinel, a movie about a plot to assassinate the US president. Starred Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Douglas and Eva Longornia. Don’t recall seeing this at the movies so it either went straight to DVD or is a brand new release.
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