Tuesday, August 28, 2007

From Inauspicious Beginnings Come... (Great Things???)

Hey (Finnish), or Gutday (Danish), Hi from foreign climes etc!

Well, I write today from Copenhagen, where we have had three of the four seasons in the one day - it hailed this morning the size of peas when we were at the office of Architect Jan Gehl, and his staff were amazed - we (meaning I) told them that it is like that all the time at home (Bad Kerry!).

So... Inauspicious Beginnings... yes QANTAS - just as well that wasn't my choice - the automated refueling system failed, there were 20 aircraft waiting to go and all had to be filled by a single tanker in order of who had connections where and when! So, we left Sydney 2 hours late and got into Melbourne 5 minutes after our flight was due to leave, nobody on the plane looked happy Jan... we then waited for almost an hour before we took off, where the excuse was contaminated fuel, which was apparently why they were had waited so long on the tarmac - there had been no mention of our delay to those waiting at all!

So off we go to Hong Kong - and get in there at least two hours late, which cut our 4 hour layover down to 2, but we needn't be concerned, as we were met off the plane by a lovely Chinese attendant who told us that our FINNAIR flight to Helsinki was not leaving until 2.35 as it was late leaving Helsinki (thus we were advised at 8am!) So FINNAIR put us up in the Airport Regal Hotel, at least it gave us the opportunity for a kip and shower etc. Fine, breakfast and lunch were also included in the deal, but the 1.5 hour wait in the tin can with wings on the tarmac in 35 degree heat was NOT! We almost melted, the air conditioning wasn't working and we had missed our slot in the departure queue due to the incoming flights serious delay... We didn't get any cooler air until we hit 5000 metres, then the air conditioning seemed to kick in.

While the FINNAIR flight was 10 hours (QANTAS was only 8), it was a much better flight, roomier and more comfortable too.

So, we finally arrived in Helsinki, 5 or 6 hours behind schedule, and guess what happened next... oh, you cheaters, you know don't you... Yes, those of us who flew from Sydney with Qantas (bar one strangely enough) had no luggage to collect! BLOODY QANTAS - it was left in Melbourne. No choice but to wash out all clothes being worn at the time (i have no one to blame but myself, as Kathryn Sarris had warned me to put a set of clothes in my carry on luggage, but i didn't have room)... Drying jeans with a hair dryer and iron really doesn't work.

Anyhoo, our luggage arrived not long before we left Helsinki, via Singapore and Frankfurt - more travelled that I that luggage... we had a nice day or so there to get into the rythm of things, and get to know each other, and it is a really lovely city, it is friendly, low crime and a comfortable place to be for a few days. Everyone seemed happy enough to converse in English, and I was lead to believe that it is because we aren't American (some Canadians we met today weren't quite so lucky!) We left Helsinki yesterday and travelled to Copenhagen with no attendant dramas!

Today we met Architect Jan Gehl who has won numerous awards for work done on people and City Spaces, and he is largely responsible (in a good way) for Melbourne's pedestrian nature. After that it was a walking tour of the city with one of his students, then this afternoon another tour of a completely different kind with an other architect to the developing areas. I tried to upload photos but the hotel's computer won't left me access them to upload, so hopefully next time.

Last night though, we went to check out the Tivoli Gardens, highly recommended, if you love roller coaster rides or hate them as I do. It is fantastic, and built in the late 1800's by a King who felt the people needed something to make them happy! And it was full moon which certainly didn't diminish the atmosphere in anyway - and i didn't have my camera on me at all!!! RATS, i will have to get some photos off the others... you can look it up on the net -
www.tivoligardens.com probably or with a .dk instead of the com!

Tomorrow it is train rides on the Metro, and i will tell you the story of our train ticket fiasco to get to the Tivoli another day, but let us just ask one question - how many planner's does it take to by a Copenhagen subway ticket???

For the answer to that and many other questions, check again on September 1st when we are in Stockholm!!! Be good possums, and play nice with the other children!

Hey Hey (that is Bye in Finnish funnily enough!)

Signed - Planner Kez

PS Carlsberg Special here is really good for your health!

1 comment:

Ally from WA said...

Hi DL,

All looks great so far, I hope you had locks on your boogie board cover with Qantas losing your luggage?

Did you say hi to Princess Mary for me?

Ally from WA