Last week I was sent to Helsinki at the last minute, which is becoming something of a regular occurrence after a trip to Chester a couple of weeks ago.
Helsinki was fantastic- I would definitely like to visit Finland properly at some point. I’m not really a natural city dweller. I like being close enough to visit now and then, but far enough away to escape the mad crowds. Helsinki could be an exception though: it has all the good points of a city but it was a really relaxing place to be in. As a bonus, I could use my second favourite method of commuting to get to the IBM office…
That’s the number 4 tram about to pick me up outside the apartments I stayed at. Nice.
If only getting to and from Finland was as easy! Like my recent experience with Virgin trains, a late Air France flight from Southampton meant I missed my connection in Paris. Unlike the train companies, Air France didn’t charge me extra for the pleasure of spending three hours in Charles de Gaulle. Sadly my complaint and request to use their lounge and internet connection didn’t get very far. After three complaints all I got was a free sandwich. ‘Wow.’
Even though the flight back was late as well, I do like flying from Southampton. Much nicer than the chaos at Heathrow or Gatwick. Mind you, Fly Maybe were causing a few queues because some computer was broken and they were having to hand write boarding cards! Luckily the Air France computer was working and I’d checked in on line.
P.S. For anyone else on the trip, the rumoured contribution of the company to Finland’s GDP appears to have been wildly exaggerated, although 4% is still pretty impressive if you ask me.
Update: 4am start tomorrow to head back to Helsinki!! The price of a direct flight from Heathrow. (13 Oct 2008)