29/06/2015

If you care to find me, look to the western sky!

You know what's the worst thing about moving? Well let me tell you. It's this:
It's the sudden realisation when you wake up to notice you own 64 coat hangers.

Apart from that: I'm in Canada!

Getting from Helsinki to Toronto was a little bit of a project. This project consisted of 7000 flought kilometres, 19 hours of travelling, 2 planes, 1 car, 1 bus and 1 train. The route was the following:


My flight from Helsinki to Frankfurt was spent in a coma, having to wake up at 6AM in the said morning. However, I was already mentally preparing myself for a 6,5h layover at Frankfurt airport. My previous experiences with long layovers have been gained at London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schipol, both overall very comfortable airports (if you exclude Heathrow's 45-minute limitation for the use of wi-fi), so expectations towards Fraport were set high - which was a mistake.

Because this airport, my dear reader, is complete nonsense.

Heathrow has 5 terminals. So far I've always had to change a terminal between my flights between the furthest possible options, but I've survived that with a couple of shuttle buses (takes 30 minutes). Schipol doesn't have terminals, it's just one big sunflower-looking thing with 8 piers. But these airports, considerably two of the busiest in Europe, are a child's play compared to Frankfurt.

In Frankfurt they throw you out of the plane and say "piss off".

After 2,5 hours of wandering around the airport trying to figure out why the information board says my flight leaves from terminal 1 (arrived to 2), hall C, but my gate is stated to be "B", I found my way to an information desk, where the clerk seemed to be rather amused by my question. "See, your check-in counters are at terminal 1C, but your flight leaves from terminal 1B." Of course.

Little did I know about the fact that surviving the Fraport experience was probably the easiest part of my 19-hour odyssey. My flight from Frankfurt to Toronto was operated by Condor, a company that the immigration officer in Toronto described with words "never-heard, does this thing even exist?". The flight was a 9-hour transport inside a flying washing machine. I was holding on to my seat, immensely glad about the existense of my safety belt, as the turbulence was tossing the aircraft to all possible directions for the majority of the flight. The most exciting feature of the whole flight was a glimpse of the mountains in Greenland. My attempt to take a picture of them can be seen here:

I got to spend this rollercoaster of a flight sitting next to a 90-year old German woman, whose name I sadly never learned. She was the sweetest!

She had stories. The woman had moved to Canada 60 years ago, her daughter was born in Canada, married to a man from Montréal. She has 3 grandchildren, the youngest one being my age. Every year the woman visits Frankfurt for a week to get bretzels and dark bread for her family. The stories went on as I felt little drops of German saliva landing on my face (a half of her teeth were missing), but honestly I didn't mind. I told her about my travels, my plans in Canada, about Alexandre. I showed a picture. Turns out there is an Oktoberfest held in her city, Kitchener, every year. I promised to come for a visit with my beer-loving boyfriend. We accompanied each other out of the plane all the way to the customs. The last time I saw her was when she took the lane for the residents as I was stuck in my visitor-queue.

Finding my way away from the airport (after waiting for the luggage for two hours - thanks Condor) turned out to be a bit difficult. I ended up taking the bus number 52 to Lawrence West Station and switching to the subway line 1 there to Osgoode Station. Took 1,5 hours. Makes you miss the bus 615 from the Central Railway Station to Helsinki-Vantaa, really. I was close to tears from exhaustion as I finally crawled in from my hostel's door in downtown at 9.30PM local time.

The next day I discovered the utter awesomeness that is Toronto.

The CN Tower

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