Venture Into the Cold

Trip Start Jan 19, 2014
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Trip End Jan 30, 2014


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Where I stayed

Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Helsinki, Finland

Our trip had a smooth beginning. Paul had to go to the hospital to do some last minute work on Saturday and didn't make it home until after 2pm.  We had a quick lunch and began our last minute packing.  For a change, it wasn't the frantic last minute packing most of us are accustomed to.  We’ve done our share of that, but this time around we started the process early in the week.  We had much to think about that we don’t usually worry about: hand/feet warmers?  Check.  Merino wool long underwear?  Check.  Canada Goose down jacket?  Check.  Hand/feet liners?  Check.  Pipe insulators for my tripod?  Check.  Batteries?  (The cold will drain batteries quickly.)  Check.  I thought I’d make do with my one small bag, but ended up with a second one that has all my winter things in it.  At the hotel Paul and I looked at each other and he voiced what I we all fear, "wouldn’t it be awful if that bag didn’t make it to Helsinki?"  [I’m writing this on our flight from Munich to Helsinki]  So I’m sad happy to report . . . my luggage arrived with me!    

We were upgraded and the flight from Albuquerque to Washington was uneventful—except for the fact that the last 10 minutes of the flight I got a bit nauseous and while it’s gotten better it hasn’t completely left me.  I get these occasionally and I’m usually over it within 24 hrs.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The flight from DC to Munich felt rather quick as well—it helps to be able to lie down horizontally.  Caught dinner and a movie and a few hours of sleep.  Arrived in Munich and had about an hour and a half before our flight to Helsinki.  That timing was just about perfect.  We grabbed a cup of coffee and something light to eat and headed for the gate.  Though the airport was somewhat socked-in with fog, we took off pretty close to on-time.  Love our Lufthansa pilot who’s flying this baby like he’s in the Lufttwaffe: steep climb, sharp turns, zipping through the low-lying clouds—FUN.  Guess my stomach is a bit better. 

Alas, flying on Lufthansa gives me no status so while on our trip over the ocean we were in Bsuinessirst on the second row (in a 767) we’re now in the second row FROM THE REAR (in an airbus) from Munich to Helsinki.  So much for One World Alliance.

The temp in Munich was very comfortable (probably in the 30s).  Helsinki is showing to be 13 degrees below zero. YES!  That’s why we’re coming here and not Puerto Vallarta.  We’re hoping for very low temps and lots of snow, if we’re lucky.  We’re a bit tired of the balmy 20s back home.  Give us some REAL winter!!!

I forget how far east Finland is from Germany.  We’re flying over Poland, Lithuania and Estonia.  



We arrived safe and somewhat sound.  Hit the runway at midday and it's amazing how low the sun is at "high noon".  Made our way to the hotel (pretty nice) and just had to go out and walk a bit--the cold was drawing us out!  Took a bit of a walk about getting our bearings.  Stopped for a nice tea and desert.  By that time it was time for a 3 hr nap, after which we walked around a bit more in the direction of a restaurant (Juuri) that I had read about.  What a treat!  Hope you enjoy the food porn.

Off to Ivalo in a couple of hours more later--what fun!
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Comments

Peggy Gott on

Remembering what the low sun at noon was like for me the year I spent in Norway, but actually the temps were not as low as you are going to encounter there. Know those Goose Down jackets are going to be your best friends and you are going to have a marvelous time exploring and enjoying! I look forward to your continued Blogs for sure. We are getting snow here today and the first of any consequence in four years. They are forecasting 4-6.

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