A Travellerspoint blog

Finland

Air Baltic (and Friends)

semi-overcast 0 °C
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Finnair's 08:00

Finnair's 08:00

Well, that’s it for 2018. On 26th December the next stage of my last trip of 2018 came and went. No more travels in 2018.

It was as smooth as silk, to steal an old Thai International advertising slogan. Or was it Singapore Airlines? Perhaps even Cathay Pacific.

I got the 08:00 Finnair bus to Helsinki Airport. Door to door - hotel to airport. The Air Baltic check in desk was quiet - waiting time 90 seconds. Terminal 1 security was quiet too - waiting time zero.

I had plenty time to enjoy a big coffee and cinnamon bun to compensate a bit for the rushed breakfast in the hotel.

2nd Breakfast

2nd Breakfast

Air Baltic’s flight to Rīga left early and arrived 25 minutes early. I had 50 minutes between flights and that is lots of time in a small, user-friendly airport like Rīga, but any delay would have made the connection tight. Instead I had time to relax, recharge my iPhone and indulge in people watching.

Rīga Transit

Rīga Transit

The flight to Vilnius - Air Baltic again - also left early and arrived early. I discovered they sell Lavazza brewed coffee which comes in a special cup. It contains a filter which keeps the coffee grounds in the cup. Wonderful.

Dash 8

Dash 8

Vilnius Airport was quick with the bags (as usual) and mine was on the carousel before I reached it.

What a pleasure it is when all the arrangements go so well. Hats off to the three airports, Air Baltic and Finnair’s bus department.

Posted by IainT 01:22 Archived in Finland Tagged planes helsinki finland transport flights riga vilnius lithuania airlines Comments (0)

Helsinki

snow -12 °C
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Ccccold

Ccccold


My last trip of 2018.

This time last year I was in the Sahara, in Morocco. 20⁰c in the middle of the day.

Yesterday it was -12⁰c when I got off the plane at Helsinki Airport in the early afternoon.

Helsinki Airport

Helsinki Airport

I have two nights here (24th and 25th) and then I’m off to Vilnius for a week.

Finnair brought me here - an excellent flight. It cost me £242 one way, but I was quite late in getting booked up. We left Edinburgh early - no drones, no ATC problems, no weather problems - and arrived a little early too. My bag was waiting for me on the carousel by the time I got there.

I waited less than 10 minutes for a train at the airport, and at €5 for a ticket, it is a good deal. 35 minutes later I was at the central station.

Central Station

Central Station

My hotel is the Vaakuna, just across the street from the station. It was completed in 1952 to house athletes participating the Helsinki Olympics and renovations since then have left plenty reminders of 1950s style.

50s Style

50s Style

The room is warm, comfortable and quiet, the staff are friendly and helpful, the buffet breakfast is excellent, and the price (€120 per night, from memory) is good - particularly when taking into account the relatively high prices here generally. I choose well.

Hotel View

Hotel View

The day I arrived it was dark before I got to the hotel (4pm) but I got out for a walk in the evening. I had forgotten how quickly you get cold when it is -12⁰ even if you keep moving.

Festive Sofiakatu

Festive Sofiakatu

On the 25th the temperature shot up to zero, bringing with it wet snow and then rain. I hiked around the city a bit for 90 minutes - to walk off breakfast - before heading back for shelter at the hotel.

Kauppatori

Kauppatori

My flight tomorrow is a 10:15 departure, so it will be an early start.

Posted by IainT 04:03 Archived in Finland Tagged planes trains helsinki finland transport flights airlines Comments (0)

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