Saturday, February 9, 2013

Helsinki, Finland, Day 1 - Chinese New Year Eve 除夕, Jumbo, Flamingo

Greetings!  I'm in Helsinki right now en route to Africa via Amsterdam, back to Helsinki on the 21st and then to Oslo on the 24th.  Should be an interesting next 15 days!  This time last year I celebrated Chinese New Years eve' with my family, this year I'm opting for something different.  So no reunion dinner for me this year, but maybe next year.

6:30am Woke up to catch the 8:14am bus to the train station.  I arrived at the airport at 9:04am and spent close to 45 minutes queuing up to pick up a luggage tag for my bag.  There were only two women working the lines, so it went at the pace of a snail.  Good thing I checked in online, because if you don't now you'll have to pay for a "checkin fee" of 10 euros, go airBaltic!

10:40am Boarded the plane and arrived into Riga for the connecting flight to Helsinki. We were supposed to land at 1:30pm, instead we landed at 1:45pm and my connecting flight was at 1:55pm!  So they had to wait.  We didn't depart till 2:10pm or so and arrived into Helsinki at 3:15pm, so a bit late but not that much.  However, then we had to wait 45 minutes for the luggage belt to start working for some reason.

4:30pm Caught the shuttle (free!) to my hotel, holiday inn vantaa.  I took a short rest and left at 5pm for   "Jumbo" which is this large shopping centre close to where the hotel is, about 10 minutes walk.   I was quite hungry.  I had two eggs, and three biscuits for the entire day!  But I decided to go shopping first, and it was a good thing I did because everything shut at 6pm.  I bought some batteries for my luggage scale, and some food for tomorrow mornings' flight.  They have a huge supermarket called k-city market located on the lowest floor that sells everything, food, clothes, skis, etc.  Oh I saw a man who I may have accidentally mislead, he wanted to catch the lift from the carpark to another floor and I was in the lift but I thought the lift went only to parking so I told him that, well I'm not sure if he listened anyway but he smiled and waved and I smiled back.  It's easy to remember when you're the only non European in the entire shopping centre.

6pm I left "Jumbo" and took a short walk to "Flamingo" which is just next door.  It's an entertainment centre, the biggest one in the Nordic countries and contains several shops and restaurants as well as a spa and a nightclub.  Also, it's named after "Flamingos Las Vegas".  Eventually I settled for a restaurant called "Food Court".  Haha.  Funny.

New Years Eve Dinner!  Giant crab pot with green and black olives, tomato sauce and rice.  It's Mediterranean really.  Cost was about 18 euros.

7pm or so, took a walk to the upper floors of the shopping centre and took some photos.  I checked the movie times but there was nothing that I really wanted to watch.

2nd floor, on the left at the rear is where you buy cinema tickets, and the upper floor houses the cinemas.

View from the other end, indoor mini-golf or something

Spotted this flamingo in the corner.

I left shortly after and walked back to the hotel.  Now I'm just relaxing and preparing for tomorrow, have to get up really early again because my flight is at 7am.  I've been trying to load maps onto my ipad but high res maps don't work on the ipad, they cause it to crash which is terrible design.

Anyway in 2 hours and just over a bit, it will be Chinese New Year, so 新年快乐 to everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.