|The first thing I noticed at Sydney airport was the lack of clamour. We should get afternoon flights each time we travel. The Qantas Lounge was a nice surprise as the food had a more vegetarian accent, almost a Master Chef experience and a relaxing time before we took the 8 hour flight to Singapore. The extended shower was welcome to wash off the sweat from the morning experience but still in time for the flight on the Airbus A320-200. The cabin attendants were a good laugh especially the blonde woman in her fifties who has an 87 year old Italian mother and as a single woman has adopted a Chinese girl who is now four years old. The food was really good and it was great having an Australian crew who you felt comfortable as leave for parts largely unknown. I imagine that running up against the other cultures will make us appreciate Australia even more.
On arrival in Singapore we had a rush to make the Finnair connection to Helsinki from Terminal C to D which is in the same vast building but the distances are enormous. 14 minutes walking at fast pace on a travelator. MW wasn’t even able to view the beautiful gardens throughout the amazing Changi airport. Boarded the Airbus A340- 300 (their second largest in the fleet) and immediately had doubts about its ageing look. The concern was raised when travelling fast down the runway for take off, the aircraft bounced like it was on a rocky surface and sounded like all of its tyres were flat. But once in the air the tyres didn’t matter anymore (at least until the landing in Helsinki) and we found out that the expected 10 hour flight would be 12 hours after all. The seats looked very old and I had my doubts initially about the chance of getting some well needed sleep. By the time that we land in Dubrovnik we will have been travelling 26 hours to our destination. At the end of the flight in Helsinki on review it was a very smooth flight and the beds were comfortable even though ageing and the cabin staff who are normally a full Singaporean crew treated us very well.
After a shower in the Helsinki Lounge we jumped on an Airbus A321 for the AY87 flight to Dubrovnik and looking very forward to starting the vacation. Helsinki is surrounded by large patches of wooded coniferous forests making a lovely contrast of green amongst the scattered clumped high rise unit developments that result in a mosaic pattern of development which is quite appealing. It is the southern most city in Finland in the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. There's another country to investigate.