My trip to San Francisco didn’t go as it was planned to go. I guess, at this point, you know that it was because of the volcano in Iceland. In my previous post I wrote how did I spend some time in SF, now I’m telling you how did I get back from there.
I originally supposed to leave from SF on Saturday 17th, but because the ash cloud, my flights were moved to Tuesday 21st. After spending couple of days and waiting for sky and everything to get more clear, I decided to spend Sunday for trying to find my own way back to Europe. At that point it really looked that Paris where my flight suppose to fly, would stay closed as it did. Another thing that didn’t help was the fact that there was a weekend in Finland, meaning that our people were not at work and traveling agency was not open. Spending couple of hours for trying to get what-ever-flight to Europe. Finally I managed to book a flight to Dallas and from there to Madrid. So my plan was to get to the Europe and from there I can try to get what-ever-transportation back to Finland.
When Tuesday came, I woke up at 5 am and went to the breakfast. My taxi left to the San Francisco airport at 7 and my trip has started. At this point Heli from our office, had already booked me a hotel room from Madrid, which really made me feel more comfortable – at least I had a place to stay in Madrid.
If I remember right, at the moment when I arrived to Dallas and I switched on my N900, I received SMS from Heli. That SMS was my next flight from Madrid to Brussels (Belgium) and a connection flight to Helsinki. Now things really get started to roll. Only thing that I needed to do in Dallas, was to find the correct terminal where my Madrid flight would leave. At that point, I had 1 hour 30 minutes to find the right terminal and get my boarding pass. I was lucky because Dallas airport is really easy in that sense. There is a skylink train which took me to the correct terminal in 5 minutes. 25 minutes later I had my boarding pass and I still had 30 minutes left before they started boarding.
The flight from Dallas to Madrid took about 9 hours and at least 7 hours from that flight was really bumpy. I couldn’t even use my laptop at some point because the airplane was really shaking.
Finally, when I arrived to Madrid, Spain, EUROPE! I really felt like, now I am at home. In the worst case, I could even walk back to home from Spain) Well at this point I had about 2 hours to get out of that plain, pick my luggage, check-in and find the correct gate, which I managed to do. Heli send me a new SMS and this time she had booked me a hotel room from Brussels, so once again I had a plan B, if something goes wrong in my next destination. Btw, at this point I had only flight to Brussels, because my connection flight was canceled.
In the Brussels airport I switched on my N900 again and received a new SMS from Heli. She had a booked me another flight to Finland which supposed to leave at 20 pm. Now I really had time to pickup my luggage again and do the check-in. If I remember right, my flight was in Brussels about at 2 pm. So once again, I picked up my luggage and I even needed to wait 30 minutes before I could do the check-in because I was so early there. No hurry this time…
When I did the check-in, I noticed that the flight destination had changed from Helsinki to Tampere. For me this was quite minor change because it takes about 2 hours from both cities to get back to my home. While waiting for boarding, the destination was changed again, but this time the airplane was going to Kuopio. I thought that I had no idea where that city is, but it’s in Finland and that’s enough for me.
Finally I managed to get myself to the flying transportation vehicle which would take me back to my home country. The flight took about 2 hours and 40 minutes and after that I was in my home country. If you don’t know anything about Kuopio, it’s about 5 hours from Helsinki by bus. So the Blue1, which was the airline was kindly enough to organize free bus transportation to Helsinki-Vantaa airport. Finally I could sleep. In Helsinki-Vantaa airport, I needed to wait for a bus that would take me to Turku about 30 minutes. That 30 minutes didn’t feel like waiting at all after all the hours that I spent in the airplanes or in the airports during the past 48 hours.
After the bus trip to Turku, it only took about 20 minutes to get back to home. At this point the time was about 10.15 am on Thursday morning.
I hope that I never, ever, never, ever… need to travel that much during 50 hours. And VERY BIG THANKS TO HELI for all the help to get me back to home.