Land of the thousand lakes – and my exploding head…

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April 5th, 2013

I’m travelling again! This time to the land of the thousand (current icy) lakes. 🙂

2013-04-05 14.02.09

Travelling is usually a good thing. But when I woke up this morning I thought: “Uh-oh”. The really really bad headache from Copenhagen had come back (cannot blame bad hotel pillows anymore) and it felt as if my head was exploding. Or rather – it felt like a nightmare hangover, but I had not been tasting alcohol the whole week. So I couldn’t blame the wine. I had to finish my packing, send some complicated reports to my office and while doing this, my head only got worse and worse. I took some painkillers and muscle relaxers, but after vomiting after both breakfast and lunch, I gave up solid food for the day and left for the airport.

And even if this was not one of the most busy days I had experienced at Oslo Airport, it felt like torture. So many people, so much light, so much noise. And all the noises were so much louder than usual. Everyone seemed to be screaming! At one point, I seriously wished that a big hole in the ground would open, so I could jump into it. But I was going to Finland. I just had to pull myself and my head together. After puking some fruit (that I in a moment of optimism tried to eat) 40 minutes before the plane was leaving, I was getting slightly worried. First of all, to get the plane ticket, I had to solemnly swear that I was under no circumstances going to need a toilet (since I am travelling alone as a wheelchair user). After reassuring Finnair several times (through the very friendly travel agency Ticket), Finnair finally confirmed my ticket. Toilet was therefore not an option. Do all airplanes still have puking bags? I hoped so, but went to get a plastic bag in addition. Just in case. And NO more food before flight, that was for sure…

2013-04-05 14.02.20
Neat: The passengers connecting flight was shown on the airplane screen.

Fortunately everything went smooth and in the end of the flight, I was actually feeling a bit better. Maybe it was the change in air pressure? Or maybe it was the coca cola. Or the pain killers. Or pure luck. Who knows? At least I didn’t feel as if my head was going to explode anymore, when we landed in Helsinki.

At Vantaa airport I got a really good impression. The rastafari (Finnish though) guys came quickly to help me, and left me when I didn’t need them around anymore. My bag was waiting for me, and I picked up a bunch of maps and brochures (after all I was going to be both tourist and working woman).

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What to do in Helsinki in April?

I asked the guys at the taxi counter for a car with a large trunk. First they looked confused at each other and then (before it GOT complicated), I realized that this was the counter for the non-accessible shuttle.

If you want a regular taxi, there’s a taxi stand outside. No fixed price – only meter, which is fine by me (the trip cost 45 euros). There’s supposed to be an accessible bus, but with luggage, this is not an option for me. Several cars with big trunks were there, so I did not have to wait. The taxi driver told me, that it is easy to get a taxi in Helsinki. They all have meters and they all take credit cards. And if all of them are as friendly and English speaking (I had low expectations) as that guy, I don’t see any problems at all. Oh wait, he even told me one more useful thing: In Finland they call a normal car with a large trunk (stationwagon) a “farmers car”. I laughed, and asked him why. But he couldn’t really give me a better answer, that farmers have a lot of stuff to move around. 🙂

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Night view from the hotel room: Shopping malls, Lasipalatsi and Kiasma (museum of modern art) in the back.

The hotel (so far) seem to be an excellent choice. It’s called Scandic Simonkenttä and is situated close to Lasipalatsi and 5-10 minutes from the main road, Kiasma and the parliament.

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Accessible bathroom

And not to forget: With supposedly underground connection to several of Helsinki’s biggest shopping malls. In case Helsinki had a lot of snow, I thought that would be a good plan B. After all, I have seen Helsinki as a tourist several times before.

The hotel and the room seems very well accessible (as Scandic usually is). You can use a power chair in the bathroom without a problem here.

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So after a really horrible day, where I was seriously fearing that I had become allergic to going on holiday trips, I ended the day in my room with an “exclusive” ceasar salad, water and juice. It tasted excellent. Or maybe it was just the fact that I had not been able to keep anything down for about 24 hours…

I am ready to blog about Finland now, hopefully without an exploding head. And tomorrow I’ll meet up with my friends…

Hyvää päivänjatkoa! 😉

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1 thought on “Land of the thousand lakes – and my exploding head…”

  1. I also seriously hope you haven’t become allergic to going on holidays! Lots of places still to see! :D. But first – enjoy Helsinki!

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