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Estonian Islands: HEL-RIX-TLL-KDL/TLL-ARN-RIX-HEL  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7585 times:

Introduction

A free weekend and no plans? How is that possible? Well, let’s go and fix it! The possibilities are of course endless, but somehow I fancied going to Estonia again. I recently noticed that Avies, a regional Estonian airline nowadays has flights on their PSO service between Tallinn and Kärdla also on Saturdays - I have wanted to fly this nice short hop for a long time, but the schedules never worked for me (plus the fact that they didn’t have online booking, the only time I flew with them getting the paper ticket in situ at TLL was a major hassle - now they do!). But with Saturday flights now available it sounded like a good opportunity, and after I saw that the ticket only cost 19 EUR, courtesy of the Estonian taxpayer I really didn’t need to think twice before booking it. Too bad Avies got rid of their Turbolets, this would be another flight with their Jetstreams which I’ve flown before.

To get to TLL in time before that morning flight there were two realistic options: go there the previous night or catch another flight on the notorious “Early bird Fokker” down to RIX and connect back up to TLL. Since BT was willing to sell me a ticket for 59 EUR for that option that is what I of course booked.

KDL isn’t exactly the center of the aviation universe, as a matter of fact the only scheduled flights are the U3 services to TLL, and I didn’t fancy coming back on the same flight or spending the night there. So the logical thing to do would be to take the bus back to Tallinn (there’s a ferry connection to mainland as Kärdla is the capital of the island of Hiiumaa) and fly out from there the next day, overnighting somewhere on the way.

After looking at the bus schedules I decided that Haapsalu, a grand old spa town very much favored by the Russian aristocracy once upon a time on the mainland was a good place to spend the night in. I’ve always wanted to go there but never had gotten around doing it, and it is at its best during the summer so here we go.

To get home I could of course do something as banal as TLL-HEL with KF/DC or TLL-RIX-HEL with BT, but that didn’t exactly tickle my fancy. The new OV CRJ-900s were still missing from my log, so the next logical choice was to look for opportunities to fly one. I found a flight to ARN with one for 59 EUR - it departed a bit too early (so I had to leave Haapsalu much earlier than I’d wanted to), but no other passable options popped up so I decided on it.

From ARN to home I was ready to book one of the SK/KF nonstops or even DY, but I still decided to give BT a look and in the end I was glad I did! I found a perfectly timed ARN-RIX-HEL for 63 EUR, okay if nothing special compared to DY, but the real killer was the fact that RIX-HEL was scheduld to be a 757! Well, BT is the king of equipment changes, but that still sounded like a reasonable chance of scoring another ride with the Boeing and the price was acceptable, so that connected the dots quite nicely, thank you.

Here’s the itinerary:
http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/map-1.gif

Saturday 2.7.2011

Ahh, another lovely 5.05 departure. I had arrived to HEL to previous night around 20.00 (no trip report, just a boring, quick and delayed KF domestic Avro flight) made my way home, slept and here I am again, around 4.30... A surprising number of people at the Norwegian counters - why do people show up so ridiculously early?!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Departure_1.jpg

Anyway just a handful of people at security, which is good as there’s only a single lane open, a quick pit stop to “wash my hands” and it is already time to board. My attempt at a moody sunrise shot:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Departure_2.jpg

Bus gate 15A as seems to be the norm with this flight, downstairs to the bus and surprisingly we depart almost immediately with no long waits for any last minute pax.

A short drive to the parked Fokker reveals that today the honors will be carried out by YL-BAS, actually the very same plane that served me my previous “Early bird special” a month ago. 9th flight altogether with her.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Departure_3.jpg

HEL - RIX
BT330
F50 YL-BAS
Seat 2A
4.58 - 6.05

Another BT Fokker, another musky and bad smell. I even get a Russian guy as a seat mate, but luckily he moves to 3A (Спасибо!) after boarding is completed and that block of two seats stays empty. Quite a good load on this flight, 80% or so. Even the first row which is usually left empty is occupied, albeit those are economy passengers. A flight time of 1h10mins is announced, with departure being seven minutes ahead of schedule.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Departure_4.jpg

Passing the other overnighting BT plane - this 737 will operate the much more civilized (timewise, that is!) 8.30 departure:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Departure_5.jpg

Take off from 22R is very sluggish, for a while I think I’m in a A340 instead. Must have something to do with noise abatement since we skip the usual right turn after departure and head straight towards the coast over the industrial outskirts of Vantaa and the not-so-industrial inner areas of Espoo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Departure_6.jpg

Early morning tranquility - I pass through this busy shopping and commuter hub of Leppävaara twice per day on my daily commute:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Departure_7.jpg

I’m unable to sleep but feeling rather hungry so I decide to give BT some much needed revenue and get a coffee and a roast beef and cheese wrap:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_1_1.jpg

Quite okay actually, and not bad value for money for around 5.25 EUR.

I doze and chill out with some music and in no time at all we start our descent over the Gulf of Riga. Heading for the Port of Riga:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_1_2.jpg

Once I see we are overflying Jurmala it becomes clear that we will be landing on runway 36 today, hence the slightly longer than normal flight time.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_1_3.jpg

We land after a bit over an hour in the air. Luckily we get a parking position in front of arrivals (I think they do it because most of the pax on this flight have connections) so no waiting for a bus.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_1_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_1_5.jpg

Riga Airport, take 1

With our early arrival I have a bit of time so off to the lounge I head for some coffee and reading material. I also noticed that they now had added “Airports of the World” to their magazine collection - I’m quite tempted to nick it but decide to wait until next week to pick up a copy when I pass through the UK again...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_1_1.jpg

Just enough time to finish the coffee and the lounge attendant comes to tell me that my flight is now boarding. Bus boarding from the A gates - I count 11 pax in the bus including one deadheading BT FA plus one wheelchair passenger who is driven to the plane in a separate van. This registration always makes me hungry:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_1_2.jpg

After a short drive we stop in front of YL-BAR (I really like that registration!), 11th flight with this particular bird.

RIX - TLL
BT311
F50 YL-BAR
Seat 14A
6.43 - 7.33

I had picked 15A, the last row window from OLCI. Well, when I get there the back galley FA’s duty trolleybag is there. She asks if that indeed is my seat - so I answer that I’ll gladly take 14A as the load is so light. She seems to be happy with this - until the next passenger who comes actually has 14A assigned. The FA asks whether 13A is OK for her - and she moves there (must not be a superstitious person - come to think of it BT is not a superstitious airline like SK who don’t even have row 13 on their planes!). I comment to the FA “Gee, I wonder what the odds of that happening are!” - She looks a bit confused so I add “Well, that’s courtesy of Mr. Murphy and his law!” - finally she gets the point, chuckles and says “Oh yeah!”.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_1_3.jpg

Flight time today should be 50 minutes, and we push back (under our own engine power, love it!) seven minutes early. Take off is from 36 a few minutes later.

Wonder what happened to this Dash which is parked on the other side of the runway, a part of apron which is never used. Notice the push back tug:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_1_4.jpg

Suburban idyll, Latvian style:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_1_5.jpg

Another flight where I just chill out and enjoy the bright early morning sunshine, and soon enough we are descending towards Tallinn. Our Italian (now that’s new - I’ve never had an Italian captain with BT!) gives a small speech before our final approach.

Mining pits - due to Estonian’s rich deposits of oil shales and their use in power generation the country actually ranks among the top greenhouse gas producers worldwide (per capita, of course, after all it is a nation of 1.5 million people):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_1.jpg

Nice idea - wish I had a longer BT flight scheduled for July, but unfortunately I’m only doing these short hops with them - the BT business class food has always been very good:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_2.jpg

This menu sounds yummy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_3.jpg

At this point I realize that we are getting my absolutely favorite approach into TLL - the one where you fly directly over the city centre and the reason why I’m sitting on this side:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_6.jpg

The old town:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_7.jpg

The new CBD:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_8.jpg

The Lake Ülemiste, which supplies Tallinn most of its drinking water, although that brown color doesn’t look very fresh to me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_9.jpg

Lindakivi, a large boulder which is mentioned in the Estonian mythology - according to it Linda dropped the rock there and was so disappointed that she cried and her tears formed the lake (I’ve seen blue pee in diaper commercials, but never seen brown tears, though):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_10.jpg

The terminal looks rather nice nowadays:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_11.jpg

Landing on runway 08 after some 45 minutes of flight is definitely a greaser, maybe the captain is trying to impress the ladies in the cabin?

Some minutes later we stop next to this company Dash - the Estonian version of the “Midnight Dash”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_12.jpg

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Approach_13.jpg

Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport, take 1

I say to the waiting ramp agent “What a beautiful morning in Estonia!” - somehow this makes her beam in a very proud fashion. I know Estonians are proud folk, but it’s the weather, for crying out loud!  

Up the stairs and to try my luck at the transfer desk - needless to say that an airline like Avies doesn’t exactly offer OLCI (although in E-stonia that wouldn’t be TOO surprising!). Nobody at the desk, but soon a girl arrives and I ask whether it is possible to check in for Avies here. She makes a phone call and tells me to hold tight for a while while an agent comes to help me. A few minutes later a very nice girl arrives, checks my ID, asks me to show her my hand luggage calls somebody, probably her colleague at the real check in desk, mentions my name and “4-5 kilos” as a reference to my hand luggage weight (I think it is a bit more weighty, though) and finally hands me a laminated, reusable boarding pass. I comment on that, and she says “Flights to Kärdla are special” - “I know, I know. Aitäh!”.

“Business Lounge Club” - sounds interesting:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_1.jpg

The Linda Lounge nowadays allows access with Diners as well, so that’s my next stop. The girl there tries to turn me away at first after I point out that my combined Eurobonus Gold card just happens to be a DC credit card as well, after which she apologizes and welcomes me in.

A statue of Linda, some interestingly colored chairs and Estonian kids programs on the TV:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_2.jpg

Some nice cookies and my reusable boarding pass:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_3.jpg

After some quality online time in the lounge it is time to head to the gate. On the way I pass this nice gate - hey, that’s my flight tomorrow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_4.jpg

A surprisingly large bunch of people are waiting at the gate, and boarding commences right after I get there. Downstairs a minivan (instead of a proper bus) is waiting - well, the Jetstream isn’t exactly a large plane...

I count 15 passengers in the car. It is also uncomfortably hot in there, but luckily the drive is short. Today’s ride is Jetstream 31, ES-PJG, luckily a new registration for me as I’ve flown with her sistership previously.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_6.jpg

Outside the hottest FA ever (something which Mark would definitely call “Cross the street hot”) is waiting and assisting passengers onboard.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_7.jpg

TLL - KDL
U3705
Jetstream 31 ES-PJG
Seat 3A
9.08 - 9.31

Free seating, so I grab one of the single seaters. No room anywhere for my back bag, so after I grab a few vital items from there (logbook, notebook and camera) I hand it to the hotter than hot FA who stores it somewhere in the back.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_9.jpg

Not much legroom, but then again not much is expected:
http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_10.jpg

Nice idea - although why aren’t they using it today - they could have the phone number of the hot FA in there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_11.jpg

SunAir of Denmark has the same thing on their JetStreams as well...

The Estonian welcome speech an security briefing sounds so funny to me as the word for plane is “Lennuk”, which is basically the same word you use for a model plane, drone or such in Finnish. Before take off the FA hands out candies:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_12.jpg

Our flight time is announced as half an hour and departure is eight minutes late, no real reason apart from the rather late boarding.

Take off from 08 is very interesting, as we use a very short strip of the runway before rotating. Quite noisy as well, but that’s to be expected.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_14.jpg

Crossing over the Tarto - Tallinn highway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1_15.jpg

In the seat pocket there’s a leaflet advertising their special deal with a supermarket in Kärdla - spend enough money there and you get discounted or even completely free flights:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_1.jpg

Leaving Estonian mainland behind, at this same moment we also start our descent, after spending around seven minutes at our low cruise altitude:
http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_2.jpg

Another round of candies is handed out before landing - last time I flew Avies on URE-TLL the service was much better with large chocolate bars, cartons of juice and candies handed out during multiple service runs, but that’s the way it is nowadays. Of course this fight is around half the length of that one...

The island of Haapsalu in sight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_4.jpg

Our shadow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_5.jpg

The landing is interesting as we come in extremely fast on runway 32, touch down and the PF slams the brakes very hard to stop the plane. Total flight time was less than 20 minutes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_6.jpg

The cute little terminal building:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_8.jpg

Good place for spotting - only if there was something to spot!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_9.jpg

I am the last person to deboard, the captain comes out of the cockpit to do the walkaround and I chat a bit with him, although his English is quite limited, just like my Russian...

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_10.jpg

In to the tiny terminal. I think that plural form is a bit megalomaniac:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_11.jpg

Terminal from outside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_Approach_12.jpg

Outside I’m really surprised to find a minibus waiting - my research didn’t mention anything about this and I was mentally prepared for a taxi ride to town. Well, that’s certainly good news, so I go to the bus and almost get a shock when the driver mentions the price - 65 cents! Yeah, you gotta love the Estonian taxpayer!

A girl from the flight joins us an then we set off for the short drive to Kärdla. I chat some with the nice girl, she is really surprised that I’d come to Hiuumaa for just a couple of hours and suggests that I really should come back here and spend some proper time touring the island and the nice beaches around it (she is a native of the Island - and the Estonian pride is again there!). Anyway in less than five minutes we are in the sleepy town centre, so I hop off and wish her a nice day.

Kärdla

The very tranquil main street:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_1.jpg

Looks like so many Estonian small towns - some delightful wooden buildings around:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_3.jpg

But just to remember it’s not all so pretty, there are some concrete (pun intended) reminders of the past:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_4.jpg

The cute bus station where my bus will depart in 5+ hours, closed of course right now:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_6.jpg

With the very nice weather (the weather forecast had rain, wonder what the meteorologists had been smoking?) I decide to head to the beach for some relaxation and sunshine. Beach art:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_8.jpg

The town beach - not exactly Riviera style but quite okay and not many people around yet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_9.jpg

Algae, the bane of the Baltic Sea:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_10.jpg

After a couple of hours of chilling, reading and working on my tan I am getting hungry (and thirsty!). Luckily the beach restaurant had just opened so I head there for some grub and beer:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_11.jpg

Oh, did I mention that free wifi is available all throughout the beach?

After a long lunch I go back towards the city. This house is called “The Long House”, quite appropriately! It houses the local museum:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_13.jpg

To balance things out after my recent expensive pints in Norway here’s a 1.60 EUR one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Kardla_14.jpg

An Interesting Ferry Journey

After a very sunny and relaxed day I catch the bus to Haapsalu. By the time I sit down in the bus the early wakeup, hours in the sun and the beers do their magic and I fall asleep - I always seem to do this in buses nowadays, they just are so good for sleeping! Well, then something interesting happens: once I wake up around an hour later I realize four things:

1) I’m alone in the bus and the doors are locked.
2) It is dark, and the bus is not running. I think we are inside the car deck of the ferry.
3) It is EXTREMELY hot and stuffy in the bus.
4) I need to pee. Like right now.

Instead of panicking I try to figure out how to get out - after a bit of fumbling around I notice there’s a button with a lock image on the driver’s console, so I decide to try that. It doesn’t seem to do anything, but then I realize that I can now actually force the doors open, so I do that and escape my hot prison.

I wonder what an earth was going through the bus driver’s mind when he decided not to wake me up in time for our stop. It really was so hot in the bus that somebody could die in there if they had to spend the whole one and half hour journey inside!

After the much needed toilet break I head up to the sundeck where everybody has gathered, and spend the journey getting slighly sunburned while trying to replenish my liquid balance...

Hiiumaa shrinking on the horizon:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Ferry_1.jpg

Passing sistership on the other direction:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Ferry_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Ferry_3.jpg

After around one and half hours we reach the Estonian mainland. Upon reboarding the bus the driver doesn’t look like he realized there was anything wrong with me, even though I give him quite a stare. Well, language barriers and all, so I decide to drop the matter.

Ten minutes later we stop at the bus station at Haapsalu and I get off.

Haapsalu

It’s a bit of a hike to the hotel which is on the other side of the town. The hotel, Spa Hotel Laine doesn’t look too inviting from the outside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_7.jpg

...and it doesn’t get much better from the inside either:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_15.jpg



Even the advertised free wifi is not working, so my 50 EUR room rate is far too much for this dump. Maybe if I’d used the spa and pool facilities, but I didn’t bring my swimming pants with me...

The tiny shop in the hotel lobby was packed full of booze - yes, they cater for Finns:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_17.jpg

Some pictures of Haapsalu follow. Nice name for a bar - “Lennujaam” is Estonian for “Airport”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_3.jpg

The ruins of the castle, nowadays a playground:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_6.jpg

Local attractions:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_10.jpg

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7612 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_13.jpg

I waited half an hour for a menu in one restaurant, got really pissed off and just left, luckily the pizza joint across the street had far better and more importantly faster service. Delicious:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_14.jpg

Sunday 3.7.2011

The day looks quite gray in the morning. I skip the hotel breakfast as somehow I don’t exactly have high hopes for that either. Just before nine I check out, have the reception call me a takso (I don’t exactly feel like walking all the way back to the bus station) and get there with plenty of time to spare. The bus station is interesting - basically there are two separate things: the buses out on the street and the station, which actually is the former train station and a very grand one at that. It was built in 1905 when the Tallinn - Haapsalu railroad reached its terminus here and really lead Haapsalu to its golden age as now the population of St. Petersburg could reach the trendy spa town easily with train. Sadly nowadays the railroad has been dismantled.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_19.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_20.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_21.jpg

The station houses the Estonian Railway Museum, unfortunately closed on this Sunday morning but at least there are a couple of interesting engines on the tracks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_24.jpg

Notice the red star of this Soviet engine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_25.jpg

I miss the times when stations had waiting rooms like this - no smell of bodily fluids like they nowadays do:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Haapsalu_26.jpg

After taking in the trains I buy some supplies from a nearby grocery store and set to wait for the 9.45 express bus to Tallinn which pulls in right in time. Around half of the passengers seem to be fellow Finns, no surprise there.

A nice enough drive through rural Estonia follows, half of which I manage to sleep away (did I mention I’m really getting good at sleeping in buses?) and a bit under two hours later we reach the bus station in Tallinn.

I hop on to a taxi for the last stretch to the airport - I thought about taking the bus which runs just past the bus station but convenience won this time. Besides taxis are cheap here anyway.

Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport, take 2

Upon reaching the airport there seems to be some sort of traffic chaos on the ramp leading up to departures. I ask the taxi driver to drop me off at the bottom and walk up there. A large lorry has blocked off the other lane, whereas other drivers are honking and trying to fight their way through the only open lane. Then I realize that the lorry and the whole pavement in front of the terminal is full of luggage:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_1.jpg

I try to ask the guy carrying the bags what an earth is going on but we can’t really reach common understanding - at this point I’m thinking they had some sort of baggage handler strike or other chaos and are just trying to sort out the backlog.

So I enter the terminal and see another huge pile of luggage inside - now this is ridiculous I think. A security guy asks where I’m flying to - after I say “Stockholm” he directs me to the main check in hall. I ask what an earth is going on and he explains it is a “Spanish crisis”. That sounds weird to me, but well, Spain nowadays is a crisis country so what do I know...

It is only after I spot this sign on the wall of the second check in hall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_2.jpg

…and see a huge number of buses pulling in with a throng of mainly elder Spaniards swarming into the terminal that I realize that he was actually saying “Spanish cruise” - these are the luggages of a cruiseshipful of Spaniards, now on their way back to their promised land of sun, sangria and toros!

I have only one thought in my mind: I must make my way through security before the Spanish inquisition reaches and clogs it! So I pick up my boarding pass from the empty OV Business Class counter (SAS Eurobonus just happens to be also OV’s frequent flyer program so my Gold status there is also good with OV, nice!) and head to the security which luckily is still empty.

Airside I get slightly annoyed by the fact that they have now done a BAA and introduced a large detour from security to the gate area which forces you to walk through a shopping alley kind of setup - with girls trying to get you to buy some perfumes and stuff. Exactly the kind of thing I hate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_3.jpg

I’m hungry, so I grab some Estonian pancakes (the salty ones with ham and cheese - yummy) from the VERY overpriced airport cafe. Some funny moments follow as a small dog comes running amok through the cafe, with security chasing it. The guy asks in a loud voice “Whose dog is this?!” and soon the dogs owner follows, panting and is told in a very stern voice to keep the dog at bay.

Beer lounge - looks stylish. Which card do I need to get in? Oh, a credit card to PAY for the beer - no way, Jose:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_4.jpg

Some shopping follows and by that time airside is starting to fill with noisy Spaniards so it is a good time to withdraw to the calmness of the lounge. Notice the Happy Cruises logo and (fake) airline code on the MAD and BCN charter services:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_5.jpg

I like these dip vegetable thingies they do in the afternoons:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_6.jpg

Finncomm departing for home - notice the original terminal building in the background, nowadays used for airport administration:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_7.jpg

Estonian Air Regional going to LED:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_8.jpg

Quite a few Swedes in the lounge - must be passengers from my flight. Soon enough it is time to board - a very welcome view at the gate, no last minute equipment change has taken place:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_9.jpg

The jetways apparently can’t reach that low, so it’s down through the bare concrete stairs to the tarmac and across to our waiting beauty:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_10.jpg

NG:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_11.jpg

Now I can see the registration - well it will be a new bird for me anyway, but I still need to know - so ES-ACC it is, delivered to OV back in January.

TLL - ARN
OV123
CRJ-900 ES-ACC
Seat 14A
13.56 - 13.41

A quite senior FA is greeting passengers at the door, with her somewhat younger colleague in the back galley. Quite a few Premium passengers on this flight as the cabin divider is somewhere over at row 10.

A guy is sitting in my assigned seat of 12A. I point out that it indeed is my seat, but the Canadian guy shows me his boarding pass which indeed has 12A as well. I sit down at 12C and tell him that I’ll take any window seat that remains empty. A couple of minutes later he sheepishly tells me that he actually looked at the boarding pass of his previous flight and he actually has 14A and can move there. I take one look at row 14 and figure out a couple of things:

- It is the exit row!
- Both 14AB are vacant, boarding is almost completed and he has a seatmate at 12B.

So the logical thing to do is to offer to move there myself, which he accepts and we both win. Well, at least I do  .

Nice seats:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_12.jpg

Cabin ambience - still has the new plane smell to it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_13.jpg

Plenty of legroom in the exit row - sorry for the hairy legs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_14.jpg

14B indeed stays empty, so I’m a happy camper. The captain makes a welcome speech, announcing “A very quick flight time of 40 minutes” with quite bad weather in Stockholm - only 16 degrees an cloudy. We are still waiting for a couple of connecting passengers and one bag to be loaded before we can go.

The BOB menu:



Soon a young couple arrives, and a few minutes later we close the doors and push back, six minutes late. A decent load factor, 70% or so.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_16.jpg

AY operates one weekly flight on Sunday afternoons with mainline equipment - all the other flights are Finncomm. Usually it has been an E-jet, but today this A319 is in town instead:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_17.jpg

The Spanish duo - interestingly they have somehow managed to have IB operating the BCN flight and UX the MAD one - other way around would make more sense to me!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_18.jpg

Take off from 08 is some five minutes later - and is very impressive, noisy and feels like a rocket - impressive acceleration and a very steep ascent:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_19.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_20.jpg

Turning left over some of the Soviet style suburbs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_21.jpg

TLL with Lake Ülemiste on the background:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_22.jpg

The city:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_23.jpg

This must be the cruise ship of the Spanish pax - also notice the Tallink ferry departing for Helsinki:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_24.jpg

Bye, Estonia - I will be back. Not sure when, but eventually I will, I know:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2_25.jpg

On these short flights under an hour there’s no BOB service - instead free coffee or tea is served, plus a chocolate praline. Nice design on the coffee cup:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_1.jpg

Most of the pax seem to be sleeping - I comment on this to the FA who answers “Easier for me” with a smile.

It is actually quite noisy in the cabin - definitely more so than with an Airbus or a 737. Love this shot - the winglet just looks so cool:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_2.jpg

The closer we get to Sweden, the cloudier it gets. We start our descent only 20 minutes after take off. The weather indeed is quite bad with crap visibility:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_3.jpg

We break the clouds already well into our finals towards 01L:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_4.jpg

The final approach and landing is very wobbly and uneven, followed by heavy breaking. Total flight time was exactly 40 minutes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_5.jpg

What would Arlanda be without some SAS Mad Dogs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_6.jpg

Upon deboarding I notice that row 13 does not have any windows - best avoided by even folks who are not superstitious:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_7.jpg

Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Stepping off the plane I feel freezing in my shorts and T-shirt, so I snap a quick goodbye photo and head inside.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Approach_8.jpg

I chat some with the Canadian guy who is equally shocked at the coldness and the fact that he is headed for a cruise at the Stockholm Archipelago in just a few hours and is not sure if he has enough warm clothes for that...

Hmm, why does AY have two planes over at the F pier - that is not normal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_1.jpg

I stop at the SAS Transfer desk to ask for my boarding passes - again I did OLCI but need the actual passes. Well, apparently it is not possible any more (it used to be!) as “airBaltic now uses a different system - you must get them from the gate”. Ok, fine with me, I just hope they will let me into the lounge without a proper boarding pass.

So upstairs to the SAS Lounge complex I go - some negotiation with the agent, showing my flight confirmation printout, some chat about the crap weather and some flashing of two Gold cards (yeah, the ARN-RIX flights are bit special - you get lounge access at both ends with Eurobonus even when booked under the BT flight number - a remainder of the old days when SAS still owned a good chunk of BT) and I’m admitted in. My last question to the agent is “Which one should I go to?” as I’m not really sure if I’m entitled to the far nicer Scandinavian one or the vanilla Business one. Her answer “It’s up to you!” is music to my ears, so I head to the sacred ikeaness of the former.

The food selections today are quite lacking as the main course is some cold smoked salmon and lots of it - and raw fish is one thing I can’t stand. I almost feel physically sick watching all the people around me eating it like it is going out of fashion (well, if you ask me it should!). Still, the “home made” potato salad with chili is quite nice anyway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_4.jpg

This is a fab lounge, so my favorite Finnish paper, some surfing, some TV show episodes and some very nice booze (they have Laphroaig 10 y.o!) make the three hours fly and far too soon it is already time to head to the gate. The expected Dash, and YL-BAQ is even a new reg for me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_5.jpg

At the gate I ask the agent to print my boarding passes which he gladly does. Boarding is called right after.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_6.jpg

ARN - RIX
BT108
Dash 8 Q400 YL-BAQ
Seat 21D
16.53 - 18.55

I picked a window seat on the last row. I ask about the weather in Riga from the very nice blonde FA in the back galley - apparently it was around 25 degrees and sunshine when they left.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_7.jpg

Okay, I won’t:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_8.jpg

Not a very good load on this service, less than half full with one or two passengers in business class. The captain gives an unusually detailed (for BT) welcome speech explaining that we will be departing from 08 and turning right to make a beeline direct across the Baltic Sea to RIX for a flight time of one hour.

Experimenting with aisle photography:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_9.jpg

Funny, seeing this plane got this idea in my head about trying JAT’s ARN-BEG flight and I just booked one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_10.jpg

Push back is two minutes ahead of schedule. AY A321 over at the A pier, this is definitely not normal so something fishy must be going on at the F pier:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_11.jpg

We follow something German to take off:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_12.jpg

CA Triple Seven:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_13.jpg

Arlanda is nowadays quite a graveyard for Mad Dogs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_15.jpg

Always much nicer up here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_16.jpg

Somehow this sight makes me want to plunge in to experience the fluffy cotton clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_17.jpg

The sun glittering off the Baltic:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Arlanda_Departure_18.jpg

In no time at all we reach the Latvian coastline:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_2_1.jpg

Again we swing towards the south to land on 36. The weather does look much nicer here...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_2_2.jpg

...until suddenly it gets completely dark and wet during our finals:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_2_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_2_4.jpg

A very wet landing on 36 follows, total flight time around 55 minutes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_2_5.jpg

It is raining cats and dogs, so everybody dashes (pun maybe intended) to the waiting bus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Approach_2_6.jpg

Riga Airport, take 2

I spot both the 757s docked to jetways at the B pier from the bus. The flight status is showing as “boarding” so I skip any lounging and head straight to the gate, where indeed most of the passengers have already boarded.

Hello, a most welcome and beautiful sight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_1.jpg

It’s YL-BDB, so my third flight with her.

RIX - HEL
BT327
B757-200 YL-BDB
Seat 37F
19.41 - 20.33

Last row again - the back of the cabin is filled with bad smell from the lavatory, maybe the septic tank is full or something, but it is enough to make some people gasp and comment on it loudly, although only in Finnish of course, that’s the Finnish spirit...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_2.jpg

The FA in the back galley just happens to be the same one than on my RIX-TLL flight yesterday, the one whose bag was on my seat. Well, she doesn’t seem to remember me, but I wouldn’t remember me either...

Good load on this flight, although I do score an empty seat next to me. Over at the gate I noticed some boarding passes had sequence numbers well over 150... I don’t envy this guy loading the bags alone in the pouring rain:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_3.jpg

In all fairness a couple of other guys soon show up to help him and to speed things up. The captain announces a flight time of 45 minutes and that we will depart as soon as the bags have been loaded.

Push back is six minutes late, together with this 735 going to OUL via TKU:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_4.jpg

I don’t recall them using the drop down screens (heck, I didn’t even know that these 757s had them!) for safety demo before:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_6.jpg

A bit of a queue for take off, so we finally take off nine minutes later. Apparently the captain is on economic mood today, so the take off isn’t very powerful - such a short hop is nothing for the mighty 757. Very shaky it is - looks like there’s quite a bit of crosswind.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_9.jpg

The weather gets better the further north we fly.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Riga_Departure_2_10.jpg

Hello, homeland:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_1.jpg

Making landfall directly over the new Vuosaari Port:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_2.jpg

Some of the less pleasant areas of my city of Vantaa:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_3.jpg

Cutting a shortcut across the Lake Tuusulanjärvi:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_4.jpg

Some moody shots of the setting sun again while we turn for our final approach:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_10.jpg

Landing on runway 15 is again quite uneven and shaky. Total flight time was 43 minutes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_11.jpg

As usual for this overnighting plane we get an apron position, next to this cargo triholer:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_12.jpg

In true Finavia fashion they sent only one bus, and once that got full it just sped off so we have to sit on the tarmac to wait for the other one. Well, I don’t mind as it is not raining and it is good for some more photographs of our lovely beast of a plane:
http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_201                                </font>
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User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7602 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Estonia_07_2011/Helsinki_Approach_16.jpg

Once the bus arrives it is a short ride to the terminal, some confusion with the bus schedules as the ones in the terminal seem to be obsolete and finally a ride home.

Conclusions

A sun packed (mostly at least) weekend, an interesting and very tranquil, off the beaten path island to visit, an interesting ferry ride, a very nice new OV CRJ-900, one new airport, another Jetstream and some good flights with BT plus the bonus 757 thrown in - that’s what I call an action packed and very nice way to fill in the free weekend!

The best experience on this trip was certainly the OV CRJ-900, a very nice plane and definitely an improvement over some of their 737s which are very long in the tooth nowadays.


A week later is another weekend (d’oh!) and a good reason to pay Germany a visit - an a.net meet at FRA airport, of course at the observation deck. Not that I’d be doing anything as boring as direct flights, no no. I had to pick up at least one new airport along the way, so I ended up with the route HEL-DUS/HHN-STN-VST/ARN-RIX-HEL. Happy contrails!


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7522 times:

Nice trip report, enjoyed reading it.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5167 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7461 times:

Hey, P.,

what an enjoyable read and also very nice pictures.
Love that rural Estonian landscape, it seems I should do something more this way also.
That OV CRJ9 is for sure a good catch.
Remember that I´ve booked one well ago last year when they showed the CR9 but the planes are not yet delivered,
so a very classic 735 for me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A week later is another weekend (d’oh!) and a good reason to pay Germany a visit - an a.net meet at FRA airport, of course at the observation deck. Not that I’d be doing anything as boring as direct flights, no no. I had to pick up at least one new airport along the way, so I ended up with the route HEL-DUS/HHN-STN-VST/ARN-RIX-HEL. Happy contrails!

Looking forward to it, it seems we should talk about that Estonian FA´s sometimes!.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3268 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7395 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Quite okay actually, and not bad value for money for around 5.25 EUR.

Looks nice, and great value

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
hands me a laminated, reusable boarding pass

Ah, so nothing to keep for your collection?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
On the way I pass this nice gate - hey, that’s my flight tomorrow:

I love the artwork on this gate

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Airside I get slightly annoyed by the fact that they have now done a BAA and introduced a large detour from security to the gate area which forces you to walk through a shopping alley kind of setup - with girls trying to get you to buy some perfumes and stuff. Exactly the kind of thing I hate:

It's a good oppourtunity to try out some of the eau de colognes though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

CRJ-900 ES-ACC

Nice looking jet

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I don’t envy this guy loading the bags alone in the pouring rain:

Doesn't look like a fun job in the rain



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineSPLTA From Poland, joined Jun 2011, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7392 times:

Hello FF,

Great TR! I had a lot of fun following your Estonian adventures.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
once I wake up around an hour later I realize four things:

1) I’m alone in the bus and the doors are locked.
2) It is dark, and the bus is not running. I think we are inside the car deck of the ferry.
3) It is EXTREMELY hot and stuffy in the bus.
4) I need to pee.

Haha, love this one. You'd better fight your tendency to sleep on buses, if you want avoid some more unpleasant surpises in the future!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite noisy as well, but that’s to be expected.

Were you provided with earplugs? I believe that's the case when flying on Jet Air's J31s.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Turning left over some of the Soviet style suburbs:

Common sight from Vladivostok to Berlin.

Congratulations on scoring OV's CR9 NG.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
SPLTA


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7224 times:

Hello P, nice report!

A very nice and interesting read, I managed to get through it despite its massiveness and late hour. (Yes, I mad my Mac read it for me, hehe)

A somewhat strange itinerary you had for this trip, also how come you didn't want to fly back on the Jetstream? I'd have much rather done that instead of almost dying inside that bus.

OV's CR9 look pretty nice, a bit surprised to hear it being much noisier than the usual 737/A320, now why is that? Normally you'd expect it to be more quiet as it's a brand new aircraft and the engines are placed at the back.

Nice that the SAS ground staff at ARN allowed you to access the Scandinavia Lounge. If only they would've been that nice to me  

Thanks for sharing!

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6807 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7059 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

interesting report with great destination pictures. Too bad Estonian doesn't have any 757s, they would look great.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite okay actually, and not bad value for money for around 5.25 EUR.

Sounds okay, the wrap looks good.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Nice design on the coffee cup:

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Not that I’d be doing anything as boring as direct flights, no no. I had to pick up at least one new airport along the way, so I ended up with the route HEL-DUS/HHN-STN-VST/ARN-RIX-HEL.

Yes, I had similar thoughts about the meeting. Two new airlines on the itinerary now.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7040 times:

Hi FF!

Great tripreport as usual!

Nice getting on that OV CRJ900, i'm flying on an SK one in august. First time for me on the type.

Always nice to fly a 757, especially for such a short hop.

Martin


User currently offlineba724 From Australia, joined Nov 2010, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7017 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):

With our early arrival I have a bit of time so off to the lounge I head for some coffee and reading material. I also noticed that they now had added “Airports of the World” to their magazine collection - I’m quite tempted to nick it but decide to wait until next week to pick up a copy when I pass through the UK again...

Such an honourable gentleman! Mind you it is a mag worth nicking.

I had a wonderful time closely following your adventure in Estonia and your flight experience along the way.

Nice to see also the Jetstream 31..one of my faves..correction, one of my noisy faves!

Thankyou..Best ffrom Dave


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6946 times:

FF

What a smart looking CRJ900 that is. I am glad you got to sample it. Your choice of schedule for this latest trip report was very impressive. Nice to see some of the lesser reported parts of Europe as well. Thanks for all the destination pics as well - they really make a trip report (from my perspective). You were very lucky with the weather as well (mostly). Great stuff!

Seriously, I think BT should be giving you some kind of commission for all the publicity that you give them!

Cheers P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1710 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6922 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello there Petteri,

I was looking out for this report, featuring your maiden voyage on the OV CRJ-900. I envy you for that one, you know  . However I did not expect the CRJ to be on the noisy side, like you said. Row 14 does not happen to be next to the engine now does it?

I also like you pics of the rural Estonian countryside, very peaceful and with some sun it even looks better.

You again introduced me to a new airport: KDL, that terminal indeed looks cute.

  

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineswedenflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6898 times:

Nice report! I've always wanted to go to the Baltic countries, and those were some good pictures of Estonia.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Funny, seeing this plane got this idea in my head about trying JAT’s ARN-BEG flight and I just booked one:

I've always wanted to know the deal about carriers like JAT and IN.



FlyingFinn76, abrelosojos
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6892 times:

Terve P.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
But with Saturday flights now available it sounded like a good opportunity, and after I saw that the ticket only cost 19 EUR

Believe me or not, that company and that particular route for that particular price has been on my mind for a long time.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A surprising number of people at the Norwegian counters - why do people show up so ridiculously early?!

Well, Norwegian does have a number of early departures from Helsinki on Saturdays...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hand it to the hotter than hot FA who stores it somewhere in the back.

That's enough, I already got the point...  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
ome nice cookies and my reusable boarding pass:

That boarding pass reminds me of the one on Air Åland I received a number of weeks ago.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
AY operates one weekly flight on Sunday afternoons with mainline equipment - all the other flights are Finncomm. Usually it has been an E-jet, but today this A319 is in town instead:

I have always wondered about the purpose of sending that sole jetliner to TLL. Perhaps the demand is high on Sunday afternoons or is it just important for the Finnair brand to be able to keep Tallinn on the route map?
I remember Blue1 operating the Avro to TLL twice a week (Fri and Sun) during the winter - that time only because of all the ATR's having other flying duties.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In true Finavia fashion they sent only one bus, and once that got full it just sped off so we have to sit on the tarmac to wait for the other one.

To put it nicely, I would have a lot of questions to ask if I ever will get the chance to meet a director of Finavia face by face...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A week later is another weekend

Really?

Thanks for this interesting story.

Bye,
717Flyer


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3005 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6750 times:

Another fascinating read, thanks!
Don't shout too loudly about those small, lovely looking Estonian towns and beaches, or everyone will crowd there from the FR flights!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6581 times:

Hi guys,

Good to see so many comments, thanks very much for them!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Love that rural Estonian landscape, it seems I should do something more this way also.

Yeah, all the Baltics are good for these kind of views and places. I suggest you try EPU, OV has ARN-EPU flights with the Saab during the summer time.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Remember that I´ve booked one well ago last year when they showed the CR9 but the planes are not yet delivered,
so a very classic 735 for me.

I most certainly do remember that story, with the thunderstorms and all. I was in Estonia at the same time, albeit in TAY.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Looking forward to it, it seems we should talk about that Estonian FA´s sometimes!.

Saturday perhaps?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
hands me a laminated, reusable boarding pass
Ah, so nothing to keep for your collection?

Nope. Then again I have a huge box full of boarding passes so maybe that's okay.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
It's a good oppourtunity to try out some of the eau de colognes though.

I prefer the manly "eau de sweat". Helps to keep the seats next to me empty on free seating airlines  
Quoting SPLTA (Reply 6):
Haha, love this one. You'd better fight your tendency to sleep on buses, if you want avoid some more unpleasant surpises in the future!

Well, you don't want to know the number of times I've had a catnap on my morning bus to work and almost missed my stop. It has never happened, though!

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 6):
Were you provided with earplugs? I believe that's the case when flying on Jet Air's J31s.

Nope, no earplugs that I could see. Yeah, some carriers hand those out prior to flight, like the two Jetstream operators in Sweden I flew last year, Flyglinjen and Direktflyg.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
also how come you didn't want to fly back on the Jetstream? I'd have much rather done that instead of almost dying inside that bus.

Well, two reasons really:

1) There is only one flight on Saturdays, so getting back would have meant flying back on the same plane, right away. I wanted to see some of the island, and besides I've been to Tallinn dozens of times so it's nothing special for me.
2) I really wanted to visit Haapsalu as well.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
OV's CR9 look pretty nice, a bit surprised to hear it being much noisier than the usual 737/A320, now why is that? Normally you'd expect it to be more quiet as it's a brand new aircraft and the engines are placed at the back.

I have no idea, but it really felt so.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Yes, I had similar thoughts about the meeting. Two new airlines on the itinerary now.

Hey, sounds good! Looking forward to Saturday.

Quoting ba724 (Reply 10):
Such an honourable gentleman! Mind you it is a mag worth nicking.

Well, I have all the previous issues. I usually pick then up from the UK as they are much cheaper there - in Finland you pay 10 EUR per issue! I was a subscriber for many years but this year I didn't renew, not sure why, though.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 11):
Your choice of schedule for this latest trip report was very impressive.

Was it? I think I'm a bit famous for that, am I not?   Trust me, I've got some weirder itineraries coming up.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 11):
You were very lucky with the weather as well (mostly). Great stuff!

Thanks. Yeah, loved the weather. I was a bit scared since the weather forecast had rain and thunder, but in the end everything was fine. Apart from Sweden, but it didn't matter as I was in the lounge anyway...

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 11):
Seriously, I think BT should be giving you some kind of commission for all the publicity that you give them!

For me it is enough that they keep flying and offering the nice fares they do!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
Row 14 does not happen to be next to the engine now does it?

Nope, as I mentioned it is the exit row. There are at least 10 or more rows behind it.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
You again introduced me to a new airport: KDL, that terminal indeed looks cute.

Well yes, it does. More new airports to come.

Quoting swedenflyer (Reply 13):
I've always wanted to know the deal about carriers like JAT and IN.

There are quite a few reports of JAT around here if you search.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
Believe me or not, that company and that particular route for that particular price has been on my mind for a long time.

Like the famous Nike slogan goes: Just do it! It was fun and cheap.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
Well, Norwegian does have a number of early departures from Helsinki on Saturdays...

Yes, starting from 6 AM. But this was at 4.30, for crying out loud! I always go to the airport the previous evening if I have an early DY flight out (like next week) and use the machines to check myself in and to grab 2F. Saves a lot of hassle in the morning.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
That boarding pass reminds me of the one on Air Åland I received a number of weeks ago.

Yes, so did I. Although it was a number of years ago  . I think it was the same with Wingo.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
I have always wondered about the purpose of sending that sole jetliner to TLL. Perhaps the demand is high on Sunday afternoons or is it just important for the Finnair brand to be able to keep Tallinn on the route map?

I flew TLL-HEL with an AY A319 back in 2006. Yes, it was quite full. But I think the real reason is that they have some sort of lucrative cargo deal so they need a plane with a larger hold for that.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
To put it nicely, I would have a lot of questions to ask if I ever will get the chance to meet a director of Finavia face by face...

I did present a good number of points and comments to a Finavia representative at HEL some weeks ago when I was being interviewed for the radio there... She promised to put those forward, but you never know. Somehow I still think that the recently announced move of DY from T1 to T2 was because of my comments about the long walk for the non-Schengen flights, but probably not.

Quoting signol (Reply 15):
Don't shout too loudly about those small, lovely looking Estonian towns and beaches, or everyone will crowd there from the FR flights!

Well, they sure need the tourism money! STN-KDL with FR?


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1871 posts, RR: 41
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6546 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi P, thanks for another enjoyable report. OV has been sending the CR9 to AMS a lot lately, in addition to their 735. It's not really a "Regional" route IMO but oh well. I'd love to try the BT 735 or 752 some day, and the Jetstream as well, maybe I should go RIX sometime!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I must make my way through security before the Spanish inquisition reaches and clogs it!

That comment had me laughing out loud 

Regards,

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6524 times:

Hi P.,

excellent report to a rather unknown island, a very interesting read.
I am really intrigued by this report since I have just booked a trip to the Baltics as well and I will also fly the RIX-TLL leg on Air Baltic (let's see if I get a better smelling Fokker   ). And I will also leave TLL on Estonian Air, although to CPH which is scheduled on one of their 737s.

Great to read about the Avies flight, actually I have never heard of them before, and, well, I have never heard of Kärdla either. And a good price as well for this flight. The place looks really interesting, probably very quiet but cozy and nice to spend some time and relax.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the one where you fly directly over the city centre and the reason why I’m sitting on this side:

Indeed some nice views, I need to remember to choose a seat on the left side as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
To balance things out after my recent expensive pints in Norway here’s a 1.60 EUR one:

Oh, I am looking forward to my visit there  
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
Hello, a most welcome and beautiful sight:

Yes, the 757 certainly is a beauty. And these green winglets are looking very good on her.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
A week later is another weekend (d’oh!) and a good reason to pay Germany a visit - an a.net meet at FRA airport, of course at the observation deck

Good, see you there then   Really looking forward to it.

CaptainRed


User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6522 times:

Very nice report to read as usual. Would love to get on the BT B757 sometime. Its become one of my favs recently.

What was in those pastry parcels with the white dipp? Was it meat ? Looks nice .


Where to next ??

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2471 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6301 times:

Hi P.,

You amaze me every time with your route drawing. Could you probably sketch it beforehand and fit somewhere on the map?  


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
why do people show up so ridiculously early?!

Someone has set an example.   


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
get a coffee and a roast beef and cheese wrap:

Interesting that BT offers UK coffee brand.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This registration always makes me hungry:

I wonder if BT offers a special menu on board of the aircraft.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lindakivi, a large boulder which is mentioned in the Estonian mythology - according to it Linda dropped the rock there and was so disappointed that she cried and her tears formed the lake

Hey, I read the story once when I was still in Indonesia.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
finally hands me a laminated, reusable boarding pass. I

Cool. It reminds me of boarding passes of defunct Indonesian airline Bouraq.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Outside the hottest FA ever

At least you managed to take her picture. I failed to capture hunky purser Sanjay on the photo last time.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
With the very nice weather (the weather forecast had rain, wonder what the meteorologists had been smoking?)

Probably bad cigarettes.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I head there for some grub and beer:

What did your meal consist of? Was it a local beer you ordered?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lennujaam” is Estonian for “Airport”:

Was there used to be an airport?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
half of which I manage to sleep away (did I mention I’m really getting good at sleeping in buses?)

Yes and you did not get left behind the second time.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I like these dip vegetable thingies they do in the afternoons
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Still, the “home made” potato salad with chili is quite nice anyway:

You are really into healthy snacks, aren’t you?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Finncomm departing for home - notice the original terminal building in the background, nowadays used for airport administration:

Nice authentic design!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
So the logical thing to do is to offer to move there myself, which he accepts and we both win

What a mischievous guy you were! I would have done the same though.  


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
sorry for the hairy legs:

That's the consequence of being seated at an emergency exit row.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
“Easier for me” with a smile

Justifiably so.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Well, she doesn’t seem to remember me, but I wouldn’t remember me either...

Wait, where did I hear the expression again? Oh yes, then you went home, got yourselves some workouts with a pair of dumbbells. Did you?

Thanks for sharing and looking forward to our meeting this weekend.

Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2011-07-07 06:57:27]


Friends forever
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6241 times:

Very nice report! A few years ago I've flown from TLL to KDL too, but at that time it was operated by a Let 410. Actually I bought two tickets, one from URE to TLL, one from TLL to KDL. To reach URE I would have taken BT, but they heavily delayed their flight and therefore I decided to skip the URE to TLL leg and fly direct to TLL on order to at least get my flight from TLL to KDL.
I had purchased the tickets in advance directly with the Kuressaare airport agent and had to wire the amount of the money. They would have kept my ticket there and hand it to me as soon as I would arrive from RIX with BT... Which I obviously didn't. The lady was so helpful, refunded my ticket from URE to TLL, put the other ticket and the refund cash in an enveloppe, and gave it to the Avies flight crew which left it at the TLL airport information counter for me to collect... Great little airline, and as you pointed out the inflight catering was terrific. I have written a trip report only in German for a similar website as a.net unfortunately.

I really enjoyed Kärdla, it's such a peaceful place... A also had lunch at that restaurant near the beach  


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6176 times:

Hi guys, thanks for the additional comments!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 17):
I'd love to try the BT 735 or 752 some day, and the Jetstream as well, maybe I should go RIX sometime!

Well, why not TLL at the same time. BT offers some really nice fares ex-AMS as well, and with the flights being twice daily there's a lot of capacity. Actually if you hurry you could also score a 717 by doing something like AMS-RIX-HEL-AMS or vv.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
I am really intrigued by this report since I have just booked a trip to the Baltics as well and I will also fly the RIX-TLL leg on Air Baltic (let's see if I get a better smelling Fokker ). And I will also leave TLL on Estonian Air, although to CPH which is scheduled on one of their 737s.

Hey, that's a nice coincidence! No time to do a side trip to KDL? URE is fun as well, that route is operated with OV Regional Saab 340 nowadays. Just drop me a private message (or ask in person on Saturday) if you need any hints, as I mentioned I know Estonia pretty well.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
probably very quiet but cozy and nice to spend some time and relax.

Yeah, it is. The thing is, you really must go there during the summer time. In the winter it'll be quite horrible, the Baltic is such an unhospitable sea for eight monts of the year or so...

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
Indeed some nice views, I need to remember to choose a seat on the left side as well.

However, should you be landing on 26 the right hand side is a bit better as you see the Gulf of Finland and some of those concrete suburb blocks.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 19):
What was in those pastry parcels with the white dipp? Was it meat ? Looks nice .
Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
What did your meal consist of?

Those are fried dumplings. Kinda like dim sum, Polish pierogi or Russian pelmeni but fried so the dough is hard. Filled with minced meat and onions. The sauce is sour cream. Delicious and can be had pretty much anywhere in Eastern Europe in some form!

Quoting oa260 (Reply 19):
Where to next ??

FRA, but of course not directly  .

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Interesting that BT offers UK coffee brand.

I guess they offer the best commercial terms.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
This registration always makes me hungry:
I wonder if BT offers a special menu on board of the aircraft.

I flew with her just a bit over a month ago and no, no special menu.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Hey, I read the story once when I was still in Indonesia.

Wow, it really is a small world!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Was it a local beer you ordered?

But of course, some good old Saku! I try to make a point of drinking the local stuff, why an earth would I go abroad to drink imported stuff? There are of course exceptions, but generally speaking.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Lennujaam” is Estonian for “Airport”:
Was there used to be an airport?

Not that one. Just a few miles out of town there is Haapsalu Airfield, nowadays unused, but during the Soviet times it was an interceptor base and an important part of the main frontline air defence of the Leningrad Oblast and the core CCCP. This of course meant, that Haapsalu was strictly off limit for the few foreigners that managed to find their way into the Estonian Soviet Republic and also for the majority of the Estonian people.

Certain airways between Central Europe and Finland route you almost directly over it. The usual one between HEL and RIX also goes somewhat east of it.

Quoting reifel (Reply 21):
Very nice report! A few years ago I've flown from TLL to KDL too, but at that time it was operated by a Let 410. Actually I bought two tickets, one from URE to TLL, one from TLL to KDL. To reach URE I would have taken BT, but they heavily delayed their flight and therefore I decided to skip the URE to TLL leg and fly direct to TLL on order to at least get my flight from TLL to KDL.

Hey, I was quite sure I was the only one on this board who has been to KDL but you prove me wrong. Good for you!

I had already forgotten about those short-lived BT RIX-URE flights.

Quoting reifel (Reply 21):
put the other ticket and the refund cash in an enveloppe, and gave it to the Avies flight crew which left it at the TLL airport information counter for me to collect... Great little airline, and as you pointed out the inflight catering was terrific.

Hey, that's impressive service! You really can't beat these small airports and airlines on it - can you imagine Ryanair doing something like that?

Quoting reifel (Reply 21):
A also had lunch at that restaurant near the beach

It REALLY is a small world! Not that there are that many restaurants in town, though  .


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6568 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6115 times:

Hi FlyingFinn!

Very nice report with nice pictures! Nice variety of aircraft and cities visiited. Haapsalu looks very nice !

Estonian seems a bit similiar to Finnish but not enough for you to understand each other ?

Nice you got to ride on a BT 757 again!

Did you figure out what the AY aircraft were doing at the F pier at ARN ?

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1690 posts, RR: 30
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5976 times:

Terve P.,

Absolutely stunning TR: as if I'm flying along with you !!! Really enjoyable read and great pictures...

I always have had a soft spot for EE, and it shows very well in your pictures: the rural quietness is amazing and so relaxing...

Thanks a lot for reminding me, the Kardla service is operating (again) with the J31 !!!

What do you mean, there is nothing to spot there ? Look behind that gate...LOL

Now that OV is increasing their flights on AMS-TLL v.v., I really should make a 'go' to visit EE and TLL for that matter...

Off-topic: sorry to miss you this weekend, as will be in Paris myself; anyhow, enjoy it overhere !!!

Kiitos,

P.



don't throw away tomorrow !
25 Parton87 : Hello Petteri! Thanks for the great story! I love the picture from Estonia! It looks very beautiful! And how fun with the 757 in the end! OMG! If I wi
26 RobMEL : Nice report their FlyingFinn... You should have overnighted in Kardla, though getting back to Tallinn for your next flights may have been iffy. Kardla
27 Post contains images Tomskii : This probably is one of the Longer TR's I have read on here, but you have my compliments I read it in one time without being bored a single time!
28 LXM83 : Hi FlyingFinn76 Finally got around to comment on this great trip..... very nice routing and the J31 is always special. Hope you had a good trip home a
29 abrelosojos : Awesome as usual. I am quite appreciating this weekend Euro-breaks as it gives me ideas on where to go each time I am in Europe. Which reminds me - if
30 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi all, good to see more comments trickling in, thank you very much for those! Nope, not really. You can usually understand written things in the othe
31 Parton87 : Hello again Petteri! Yes, I remember that. But when I had a look on Estonian´s website it says that the CRJ op all flights to ARN
32 Widebodyroga : Great TR as always FF! It's so great that you can escape on weekend expeditions so frequently. I can't believe that the bus driver forgot you in the v
33 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi, Hmm, not all are on the CRJ - on most days the evening flight is operated with the 733 or sometimes the 735. But maybe they have stopped using the
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