Holiday Inn Hotel, Helsinki, Finland. May 16, 2013. 7:20 pm local time (12:20 pm Eastern time)
We had quite an interesting trip over. Our plane was supposed to leave from Atlanta at about 7:30, but evidently our plane was having extreme problems since we got on a different plane at 9:27. The trip was about 8.5 hours, and it felt like every single one of them.
I sat near Steven Blondo (which could have been very, very bad). There was someone of Arab-ish descent sitting between us. Very nice man. We said about a paragraph to each other, then basically just ignored the other. That's my kind of seat mate!
During both the takeoff and landing of the long flight the overhead bin above my head opened, and I was sure that Robby V's duffel bag was going to bean me.
There was a baby (toddler?) sitting in the row directly behind me, and it always seemed to know when I was finally asleep... He would start crying. There was some turbulence during the flight, which scared him but didn't really bother me... What did irk me a little bit, though was the inability to go to sleep and stay there for any length of time.
After the long fight we arrived in Amsterdam and were still on time for our connection to Helsinki, even though our plane arrived to take us about two hours late... We went through security and had our passports stamped for the EU in Amsterdam. We didn't go through customs, though we did have to go back through security.
The short fight was pretty uneventful. We were on a much smaller vehicle (more of a puddle jumper), and I sat next to Jonathan Rodney who slept the majority of the time. I read for a while, and almost fell asleep at some point.
We landed in Helsinki at about 5:10 local time, and were out of the airport within about 30 minutes. Only one person had her luggage get lost, and she was in the earlier group that had been in France for a few days already. Again there was no customs to go through. It was very nice.
We met our tour guide (which I don't remember right off...) and we got on the bus and headed for the hotel. On the ride over I noticed how much I feel at home here. The city really reminds me a lot of Chattanooga. It is a city, but it doesn't feel cramped. As we were driving there were absolutely beautiful tree-lined streets, but you could still see buildings and businesses...
Josh bought the internet for right now, but it will only lat for about 15 minutes, so I want to get this posted ASAP.
I'm a Classical musician, a growing Christian, and a world traveler. I'm learning, exploring, and trying to understand this wonderful world I live in.