Onwards! Next stop – Helsinki.
I wasn’t invited to last night’s Studio 54 party as it would have been too many hoomans and too noisy.
I had a restful night, but Mummy, well, she had to struggle to get up early. We had to get up by 7.30 – to take me out, make sure I’ve done all my business, left by 08.30 to to get to the Hauptbahnhof (main station) to catch a 09.13 train from Düsseldorf to Schiphol Airport Amsterdam, changing trains in Utrecht.
We were waiting at the station when a lovely lady watched Mummy taking photos of me.She was having a giggle and told us how much we look-alike – apparently our fringe! Really?!?!? But I’m blond and long-legged and Mummy isn’t!She took several photos of us trying to find that angle! LOL!
After about two hours, we arrived at Utrecht, and crossed the platform to get the train to Schiphol Airport – it was only a 25 minute ride. We found our coach and sat down – in no time we will be there. But Mummy must have been tired as she fell fast asleep. Thank goodness Schiphol was the last stop – she woke up just in time to realise we were at the station – everyone else had disembarked. We ran down the stairs just in time for the conductor to stop the train from moving out of the platform. That was a close one! All the boogeying last night, Mummy dearest – too old for that sort of parties!
I didn’t think we needed to show them all – there were more in elephants at Schiphol Airport than there were in all of London! But these are some of our favourites. And an elephant plane!
Our flight to Helsinki was at 14.00 – as it is a European flight, we had enough time – no need to rush. I didn’t have to go past the security check. While Mummy did, I walked across the side of it on my own – and when the security check lady told me to sit, my bum went straight to the ground – which delighted them!
The flight to Helsinki was about two hours plus.
I sat on Mummy’s lap the whole time. This is the first time we’ve used a car harness to secure me when taking off and landing. I sat and watched those fluffy clouds outside the windows.We arrived in Helsinki at 17.45 – the time is ahead by an hour. After collecting our checked-in baggage, we went to find a taxi. The first one told us he was allergic to dogs. (We think that was an excuse.) But the second tai took us. Apparently, like in the UK, they cannot refuse guide dogs.
May’s comment: Since we’ve done Sweden, Denmark and Norway – we took this opportunity when passing through the Netherlands to jump on a plane to visit Finland. Getting there by train would be way too difficult.
We have special permission to fly with a letter from a doctor. Flying within Europe is possible if you have the right documentation. Some airlines are stricter than others and not in other ways. Over the years, we’ve flown SAS, Air France, Swiss Air, Air Malta – and they vary in terms of weight limitations. Air Malta was 10kg so Darcy went on as paid traveller. KLM by far is the most organised and sticks to the rules, as in the type of letter required and they checked it at every point. Bt SAS and Air France never checked any documents but you must have it when making reservations and just in case they ask. At every turn, every time, there’s always the possibility that we couldn’t get on board. It’s a nerve wrecking from that perspective. And the crew usually do not know the latest rule change, etc, etc. Some are incredibly excited to see a dog, others don;t even see them. Every crew on every airline is different – in terms of their attitudes. But if you have done all your homework and play by the rules, in the end it is the staff that are ill-informed who will cause some nerve wrecking moments but will soon be told we were ok to fly. And even when you can bring them in-cabin, be prepared to be able to carry them in bags – when embarking and disembarking. I have a travel tote bag for Darcy and in all circumstances I had to carry her when we were boarding. In some airports, eg. Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle, they have to be in bags when going through the airport.
From the moment we entered the airport, Darcy behaved impeccably. She sat on my lap the entire flight, not one beep from her. We watched the clouds together.
One thing to note – the My Taxi App which we use in London all the time also works in Europe. This was the first time I had used it in Düsseldorf – and amazing. I had tried using it in Paris but it had not worked there. It was really easy to order a cab and it uses the payment I have set up in the UK.
Hotel F6 – is a family owned boutique hotel in downtown Helsinki. More about this later.