So, Helsinki, Finland.
My flight took me through Helsinki on Finnair, and I ended up with a day-long layover in Helsinki.
When I arrived in Helsinki from Krakow, I knew I just had to hop on the hotel bus and it would drop me off at my airport hotel. I ran out to the bus and hopped on, my breath freezing on the cold air.
After ten minutes, I notice people starting to pull out tickets. I had thought it was a free bus, so I start to panic a bit. Then, the bus rocks up to a Park ‘n’ Fly lot, and everyone – everyone – gets off the bus.
And it is then that I realize I had gotten on the wrong airport bus. Special.
I wait outside a bit, figuring I could catch another bus back to the airport, then find the correct one to the airport hotels. It would be a brilliant plan, except that it’s nearly one AM, and the buses stop running by then. No other buses have shown up in the last fifteen minutes or so.
Finally, I let my pride go and head inside, figuring I could explain my error to the attendant. The very friendly Finn stopped me before I could say anything and said, “You took the wrong bus.”
“You wanted the airport hotel bus?”
“Well, most buses are done running now.”
“Great,” I muttered, rubbing my cold hands together. I am dressed as warmly as possible, but I still feel like the cold is tickling my bare skin.
“The last bus came through here. He can take you to the airport. You can get a taxi from there.”
“Thank you! I feel like an idiot.”
“That’s okay. Even locals do the same thing.”
I felt a little better that even local Helsinkians (?) make the same mistake.
I went out to the waiting bus, and asked him if he could run me back to the airport. His response was one better: He asked what hotel I needed, and he said he could drive me right there instead.
He very nicely dropped me off at the door to the hotel, and I couldn’t thank him enough for as tired as I was, not having to deal with going back to the airport and hiring a taxi. He gave me a little salute, and I drug my things inside the hotel, happy to be there at last.
It took all of five minutes for me to crawl into bed, still clothed, and fall asleep.