The Night Train

Trip Start Sep 02, 2006
Trip End Sep 27, 2006

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Flag of Finland  ,
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The journey became fairly tedious under nightfall, the train was fairly empty and the few that were in our carriage were nodding off to sleep. I'm not too sure that our carriage companions really appreciated when we decided to play a few rounds of cards, but we tried to keep the noise down as best as possible. As time passed on we all grabbed separate seats, to try and get a few hours sleep. I couldn't really get comfy as the seats were pretty standard and also I wasn't too tired either, however Bo and Graham seemed to drift off fairly sharpish and Paul hit the iPod fairly sharpish. Eventually, I managed to get a few hours kip, but woke up with a fairly stiff neck with about an hour of the journey left.

After a 13 hour train journey we arrived in Helsinki - again - however for me this was the last stop. Having been teased every time that the train stopped for more than a minute that we would be late arriving and I would miss my plane back to the UK, we arrived 5 minutes early which puts trains at home to shame and silenced the teasing. I said my goodbyes and headed off towards the airport bus.

From here, Bo, Graham and Paul are heading onto St Petersburg in Russia - I will create some entries for them once they return on Sunday (1st Oct), possibly in a separate trip.

I hopped on the Airport bus and 30 mins later arrived at Helsinki Vantaa again, however this time the airport was totally different. Lots of hustle and bustle and full of life, compared to our previous visit when there was no one around apart from the handful of budget travellers staying in the airport overnight for the early morning flights. After a bit of queuing, I checked in no problem, it seems that even with the added weight of a picture with Santa my bag had lost a couple of kilos weight, but hey, it wasn't all that heavy to start with. I went through passport control and grabbed a coffee from the cafe before heading onto the gate. No stringent security checks like in the UK this time, just shops people and gates. As I headed onto the plane there was a rack with all the British newspapers under the sun, I grabbed a Guardian (paper of choice) and hopped onboard.

Finnair is a totally different kettle of fish to the normal airlines that most of us fly these days. Lots of leg room, proper (free) meal, comfy seats, in flight entertainment all that jazz! When we were landing in Edinburgh the screens showed live images from a camera from the front of the plane which showed a nice birds eye view of Edinburgh. All on time with brilliant service, I don't think we have had any problems or delays with transport for the whole journey, making a change from the usual will it take 1 hour or 5 to get from Edinburgh to Newcastle?

Back on familiar territory, I grabbed the bus back into the town and up to the flat, sorted out the pile of post that had built up on my desk, then unpacked.

The journey had come to an end after just 25 short days, it only seems like yesterday when we were with the crazy taxi driver on the way to Prestwick. I wish I didn't have to come back, but needs must.

Who knows where or when the next trip will be?
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