England => Denmark => Sweden => Finland
Now I'm sitting in a bar at Gatwick airport waiting for the departure of my plane back to Denmark but I almost didn't make it. I took the regular train from the station instead of Gatwick Express because I had plenty of time and didn't mind the slower train, I knew it takes ca. 35 min with the express train so I figured the regular train was considerably slower since the ticket was £2 cheaper. At one time I looked at my watch and thought we must soon be there. The train seemed to be staying at one station for a little longer, I looked out from the window and I saw an empty train in position at another platform saying: "Gatwick Epress" on its side. For a moment I wondered why is it here at this station but then I saw a sign saying: "Gatwick Airport"! I was so amazed at this that I even asked one of the passengers: "Is this Gatwick airport?" Then I was in a hurry, I grabbed my packages and run to the door. I tried to open it but there was no handle! Do I have to jump out of the window? I was beginning to get desperate when a friendly young man showed me that you must stretch your arm out of the open window and turn the handle outside. So in spite of some difficulties I made it to the airport. It seems I have problems with trains because two years ago while travelling in Germany with Rodrigo Werneck we couldn't get out on one station because the door was too stif. That time we really had to travel to the next station and take the next train back, so this time I was more lucky.
We get on board the plane after some delay. The pleasant surprise is that because of the delay we are offered drinks for free. I take a small bottle of white wine and irish cream liqeur. When I ask for beer, he takes two different cans and extends them both me. Probably the idea is to let me choose which one I want but I take them both out of his hands. The flight goes smoothly while eating and drinking and before I know it, we're in Copenhagen. There's a train waiting at the platform, originally I had planned on spending some time in Denmark but since the train goes directly to Helsingör where the boats to Sweden leave so I decide to go straight home.
The ferries that operate between Helsingör in Denmark and Helsinborg in Sweden have a funny thing with tax free shopping. Tobacco products are sold only on the Danish side and alcohol only on the Swedish side. The funny thing is that the trip takes only ca. 20 minutes so you have to hurry if you want to buy both alcohol and tobacco. In the Swedish side I have to wait for the train for a couple of hours. It's a night train going directly to Stockholm and unfortunately it's there a little bit too late to catch the boats to Helsinki leaving in the morning. This means I'll have to spend the whole day in Stockholm and to a Finn this is a punishment. Before the boat leaves, I try to call home to let them know I'm coming but there's no answer. I don't have a cabin reserved this time so I just sit in one of the easy chairs until the bar is closed. Then I go and lie myself on one of the sofas in the bar for the rest of the night.
In the morning I'm back in Helsinki and call my wife from the harbour. I decide to joke a little and tell her that I'm still in Copenhagen and won't be home until a couple of days. I had hoped to hear at least a hint of disappointment in her voice but instead she just says: OK, have fun". A nice homecomind indeed!
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