We jetted out of Athens this afternoon with our friends FinAir. The flight started out fine - a nice new plane and decent food - then the announcement came over the loud speaker "... the movie that will be shown today is The Bucket List" (great! we've only seen it 3 times already), "and it will be shown without audio, and with Finnish subtitles." Needless to say it didn't take too long for the iPod to make an appearance. Then the looud speaker crackled a second blow - "drinks will be served shortly. Beer will be 4 Euros, Spirits 7 Euros..." - thats right, no free grog! We might as well have been flying with RyanAir, at least you expect it.
All in all, it was a good flight, and we arrived in Hlsinki just after 4pm this afternoon. We exitied the airport and just made it to the bus that was leaving for Tampere (the next one was in an hour).
We chucked out bags underneath, and jumped on paying the driver the 44 Euro fair for the two of us. Moving down the isle we quikly realised the bus driver was a little over eager to take fares - there were no seats left.
We moved back to the front of the bus to inform the driver that we were without seats - this was like having a conversation with Beaker from the Muppets - his English was as good as our Finnish. Luckily a local who spoke English was in the same situation and was kind enough to translate for us - "... the driver said we will have to stand for the next 10-15km. There will be another stop where some people will be getting off to change busses."
So standing on a bus doing 100km an hour down the freeway was pretty exciting - espceially when the driver decided to juggle the microphone he was using to announce the next stop and the moble phone that began to ring - one in each hand - who was driving? It seems bus drivers the world over are the same - they are a force unto themselves.
Anyway, about 10 minutes down the road, we stopped, a number of people got off, clearing the way for us to make ourselves comfortable for the rest of the journey in seats. We must mention that the bus was actually pretty impressive - heaps of room (only 3 seats across 1 the isle then two that didn't actually touch each other).
Needless to say, we made it to Tampere. Jumping off the bus we encountered our next challenge - locating the hotel. The street names here are impossible to pronounce, and our map didn't include where the bus dropped us off. With our pack on our backs, we headed off and actually found the place reasonably easily - a good 15 minutes walk from the bus station.
Tonight we headed out and grabbed a pretty terrible bar meal before indulging in a sauna and swim back at the hotel. The sauna is exactly what we have both been needing (well a massage would be better, but the sauna was great). Anything to unwind the aches and pains that have been building up over the last 2 and a bit months is brilliant.
So now we are up in our room relaxing with a few local beers (which are not too bad) and watching a bit of Australian TV - Underbelly to be exact.
Its currently 11pm here and still very light outside (we just took photos to prove it) - there are people riding bikes, skateboarding, walking around, etc. It feels like about 6.30-7pm back in Australia during daylight savings - its amazing.
Anyway, the curtains are now closed, and we have an early flight to Germany tomorrow, so we need to try to get some sleep.