Our experience with Finnair at the Copenhagen Airport was below par.The Finnair staff came in late and open the counter well past the expected time and even then it was only the Business Class counter which opened.The baggage handling conveyor belt als didnt come on delaying matters still further.At the boarding gate the staff couldnt get the boarding procedures going due to a technical hitch .We eventually took off inthe ominous row 13 but thankfully together .On the flight to DSelhi from Helsinki Finnair had given us seats 6 rows apart !!!
Copenhagen was much more crowded with lots more tourists than what we had seen in Helsinki or Stockholm.Maybe it was the week end and more holiday makers were on the move.Like in Stockholm there was a lot of emphasis on tradition and the monarchy and the contribution of various past Kings.Much of the beautiful architecture in old Copenhagen is attributed to Christian 4.In both these cities preservationof the old parts of the city and it’s history was clearly evident.
The inland water ways in Copenhagen are much cleaner than the ones in Venice .Venice was quite dirty and the much touted Gondola rides were a big disappointment.I guess if we go back to Venice and spend a bit more time we may see and experience a better side of the city and understand why people rave so much about it .
We reached Helsinki on time though we left Copenhagen about 10 mins late .We were still registered as vegetarians so our sandwitch snack in flight had the meat filling "thoughtfully" removed !!! At the boarding gate we found at least six sets of people seperated in seating arrangements allotted by the dreaded Finnair reservation system.However the personat the counter was extremly helpful and patient and managed to get us seats in the same row across the aisle.
The Finns seemed different from the rest of the Northern European countries.For one they didnt have a monarchy and for generations were ruled either by the Swedes or the Russians.The Russians though encouraged the Finnish identity and even recognised Finnish as an official language.No wonder the Finns think so highly of Tsar Alexander.The Finns love their language but are also multilingual.Almost all speak Finnish ,Swedish and English.It was good to find almost all peole we met in these countries speak English fluently.
The Finns love for their language and distinct identity comes out in the high place of honour they have for literary figures such as Runeberg ,the Poet and Sibilius , the musician.We heard snatches of the patriotic song composed by Sibilius , Finlandia , and liked what we heard very much.
In the flight back to Delhi the Airhostesses helped us utilise the unspent Danish Kroners to buy Finnish chocolets and Finnish Vodka from the duty free sales on board.I initially asked for Abosolut but was told it was not available for sale on the flight .I realised the error I had made , after all Absolut is Swedish manufactured and widely exported drink … the pride of Sweden .Much like Abba and Bjorn Borg.The Fins read a lot and have the highest library connect ratio in the world , 50%.Deepa liked the Finns as she said she liked the way they look after their children !!
While Finland, enmark and Sweden are all part of the European Union only Finland has adopted the Euro as its currency .The other two countries still retain the Kroner.Stranfge also that Scandinavia consists of Denmark ,Sweden and Norway … so what about Finland?