The start of our summer holidays and whilst most Britsh families head south to the Mediterranean we always head north to Finland. You may find this somewhat strange but actually southern Finland generally enjoys warm sunny weather during the summer months, warm enough for trips to the beach and for swimming in the crystal clear lakes and sea.
My love affair with Finland began in 2006 when I had the privilege to go there for a few weeks as a visiting teacher. Although I’d travelled widely over the years and had visited neighbouring Norway and Sweden, I hadn’t been to Finland before but that first visit was to leave a lasting impression on me, so much so that I have visited for summer holidays every year since then and even taken two winter ski trips with my family to Saariselkä in Lapland situated in the very north of the country way above the arctic circle.
Back to today, I left home mid morning to make my way to London’s Heathrow airport by train. In previous years I have either flown from Manchester or taken a connecting flight with BA down to Heathrow but this year it was much cheaper for me to travel down to London by train and take a direct flight from there. My large suitcase, approaching its weight limit of 23kg was difficult to manoeuvre but somehow I managed to get it on and off trains, often with the kind help of fellow passengers. After arriving at London’s Kings Cross station there is step free access down to the Underground and trains run direct along the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow enabling me and my luggage to get there unscathed.
Despite the majority of BA flights departing from Terminal 5, some flights including the one to Helsinki still depart from the not so attractive Terminal 3. After checking in, I wandered round the terminal glancing in some of the shops and cafes before stopping for a sit down and a snack in one of them.
Just as I arrived in the Baggage Hall my suitcase appeared, how I wish other airports were as efficient as this one. I walked out into the Arrivals Hall, looked round and about a minute later my son appeared, his flight touching down two minutes after mine, perfect timing!
After greeting each other, we walked along to the airport railway station which opened almost exactly one year ago and caught the train into the city centre from where we strolled across to the Kamppi bus station to take a night bus the short distance to our rented apartment where we’ve stayed several times before. After unpacking and a little supper it was time for bed, feeling immensely happy to be back in Finland!
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