Well… I am finally in Avesta, Sweden!! It has been a big trip for me, involving 2 taxis, 2 flights and a train… And a lot of nerves because I hoped it would all go to plan with no delays and no getting lost. There wasn’t and I didn’t, so I made it.
I got a taxi from my apartment in Tornio at 1300hrs, he got me to the airport at about 1320hrs, plenty of time to check my bag and get thru security. It is a tiny airport compared to anything I had been in before, I have only been in it twice, and both were inbound journeys; so it was nice to the departure lounge. The flight was running slightly late, but only a few minutes, we got onto the plane, without boarding cards or seat assignments, it’s like a bus…!
Plane from Tornio to Helsinki
Inside Tornio Airport
The flight was uneventful and landed on time in a VERY busy Helsinki airport. I found my gate, but I had about 40 minutes to kill, so I walked to the Seasons restaurant at gate 14. I waited for ages for the girl to stop messing around with knives and forks and seat me, but we finally got there and she took my order. 30 minutes later I realised that I wasn’t going to eat, so I got them to cancel the order and they didn’t charge me for my drink, which was nice, but I would have preferred to have the burger I had ordered. I got to the gate 5 minutes before it opened which was well timed, but it was delayed and didn’t set off until 1710hrs.
The flight was an hour, so landed at 1710hrs, my train was at 1807hrs, so I found my way to the Arlanda train station, which I had not done before, I was a bit nervous that I’d get on the wrong train, but it came bang on time and I got on. It reminded me of something you’d see in a movie of an Indian railway, with people hanging off the roof and on each other. It wasn’t that bad, but it was full. I sat next to some old lady, who sat in my window seat, she rabbited off at me in Swedish and I told her I didn’t speak Swedish, she carried on anyway, so I stuck my iPod on. The train came in on time to the Avesta train station, and the old lady also wanted to get off, so I went to the other door.
The taxi was waiting for me at the station, and we set off to the hotel. We had a good talk, and she was joking with me that I am only going to the hotel so that I didn’t have to cook and clean for the week… She sort of had a point!
I got into the Star, it was exactly as I remember it, I was happy to see someone on reception even though I was told there wouldn’t be, however there was about 6 keys in envelopes, so it was probably a busy night. She told me that there wasn’t a restaurant in the hotel, but there was the burning duck next door. I walked in the opposite direction because I wanted to get to the co-op before it closed to get some snacks in case I got the munchies in the night. I then made my way back to the burning duck and had a pepper steak… Yummy, it was covered in béarnaise sauce and I had some fried potato with it too… I scoffed the lot.
I walked past the hotel to go and have a look at the bison. For those of you in Sheffield, you might remember it as the bull, or the big shiny thing with a big stainless steel willy. Well Avesta has one too, but they didn’t get rid of it to Magna, they have got it right outside the hotel with lights and a plaque. I got some crappy photos, but will get some better ones later in the week.
Looking forward to my week in Avesta, I can picture it already rushing by :-(