Monday 25 July 2016

Phew. Despite all the setbacks we manage to get the Helsinki – Tallinn Ferry. Time for a beer. Or two.

Phew. Despite all the setbacks we manage to get the Helsinki – Tallinn Ferry. Time for a beer. Or two.

THE alarm goes off just before 2am. Three hours’ sleep…uuuurgh.

After a quick shower we pack the car, drive to Glasgow airport and checkin with KLM – looks like we’re good to get the guitars in the cabin…if there’s a problem they’ll check them at the gate.

It’s just after 5am and I’m getting hungry so I go find a coffee and a pulled pork sausage roll. Odd breakfast!

Our bags are checked all the way to Helsinki, so when we transfer at Schipol we only have to lug the guitars, my effects case and Margaret’s bag. We just have an hour to get off the plane, find the gate for the Helsinki flight and hot foot it. It’s a long walk, but luckily there’s trolleys.

The Helsinki flight’s full, so the guitars are checked at the gate, so at least we know they’re on the right plane. Sure enough, when we go to baggage reclaim, the guitars show up – but our two big bags don’t.

After a queue at baggage services tor report the missing cases we make for the train station and take a half-hour train ride into Helsinki centre. We realise that our bags being lost could be a blessing in disguise – guite how we’d manage to carry everything I don;t know…although we do have a folding trolley. In one of the lost cases!

At Helsinki station we follow the sign for taxis. None to be seen. We hang around for a while, but time to get to the harbour for the ferry’s tight. Margaret goes back into the station – no info desk, but someone at a burger shop says we need to go too the other exit. We pick up a cab, Margaret clearly tells the driver we’re going to Tallinn and need the Tallinn Terminal. Twice.

We don’t recognise the terminal, but the driver assures us this is correct. But it’s not. We’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, not a taxi in sight and half an hour to get to the ‘other’ terminal which is, at best, a good 20-minute cab ride away. If we miss this ferry we’re in deep shit!

A girl at the Viking Line desk the terminal calls us a taxi which rocks up. We have twenty minutes – the time of the journey – to get there, buy tickets, and check in.

Somehow we make it and collapse in a seat on the boat with a beer. Phew!

When we arrive in Tallinn a taxi takes us to the bus station where we board a bus for the two-hour bus ride to Parnu. The driver’s a bit of a fud and directs us to take the guitars on board. But there’s no place to put cases/bags/anything and we don’t want to take up extra seats on a busy bus. Eventually he reluctantly opens the boot and lets us – and a load of other folks – put our bags etc in. He just couldn’t be arsed!

I sleep all the way to Parnu where we get a taxi to the Yacht Club, check in and enjoy dinner and drinks outside as the sun goes down…it’s just after 10pm.

Someone from Tallinn airport calls to day our bags are there, but as KLM does’t fly to Tallinn, we have to arrange for the bags to be taken to Parnu. No way! Margaret tells them in no uncertain terms, so they get onto KLM and call her back to say OK…the bags will be sent (by taxi!) to us in Parnu at KLM’s expense. They should be here by morning.

In some perverse way, our bags getting lost has been a benefit….we would have had a nightmare trying to hump them along the way. Now if only we could have sneaked into that taxi too 😉



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