Finnish Christmas: To Oulu

We had quite a good trip to Finland, although, as usual, it made for a very long day. We woke up late and spent the day getting ready for the trip quite at our own pace. We ate up the last perishables, set a timer on the lights, made sure the windows were all secure, and all of that.

Our first flight was from Boston to Reykjavik. The Boston airport was surprisingly quiet. There was no line at the check-in desk and hardly a line at security. I was carrying a bag full of fudge which I was sure would set off alarms going through the x-ray machine, but there was no trouble over that at all. We got through in what must be just about record time, then had a bite to eat and settled in to wait for our flight.

The flight to Reykjavik was completely full up, as far as we could tell. We were seated in the very back row of the plane, which meant that our seats didn’t recline, but also that there was no kicking from behind. We arrived in Reykjavik in the wee hours of the morning and had to go through a new round of screening. Once again, the fudge went through without a problem.

The only food we got for free on the plane was a drink and a cookie. They were selling meals, but we didn’t feel like paying $14 dollars a head for a dish of pasta, so we were again hungry when we got to Reykjavik. We found a little food in the terminal, then went to wait for our flight to Helsinki. There was a snowstorm blowing around the airport and probably bad weather elsewhere in Europe because we kept hearing announcements of flight delays: Stockholm, delayed; Copenhagen, delayed, Oslo, delayed; Amsterdam, delayed. We were wondering what would become of our flight to Helsinki, but it boarded and left right on time. I’ve never yet seen a flight to or from Finland delayed by winter weather.

Unlike the flight from Boston to Reyjavik, the flight out of Reykjavik to Helsinki was almost empty. We each got a whole row to ourselves. Again the only free food was a drink and a cookie, so we arrived in Helsinki hungry once more. Fortunately we know where to get good food cheap in the Helsinki airport, so we filled our bellies and got ready for our next flight to Oulu. For the third time we went through security screening and for the third time the fudge went through unremarked.

I normally can’t sleep on planes, but after a long enough day even I can drop off. I dozed a little on the flight to Oulu. I had a dream about sitting on the floor with our niece and writing (something we’ve never done), so I know I was actually asleep and not just sitting with my eyes closed.

The Oulu airport has had a big expansion since we last flew through it. We arrived in a completely new and unfamiliar part of the terminal, but everything worked efficiently. We got our luggage and were met by Timo. Back at the Ervasti apartment Paula welcomed us with good food. As soon as we had eaten, we went straight to bed.

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