[personal profile] cycleboy1957
Fri, 28 Aug

When we returned to the car park at Koitjarv, Aya went in Shingo's car to their hotel and left us to go to ours. We followed Shinigo towards Tallinn. However, there was some doubt as to whether we should follow him all the way or diverge somewhere. In the end, we lost him and found ourselves in an area unknown to us and unable to discover where we were. However, having questioned some locals (one pair of young men did not have much English, which surprised me) we eventually found out hotel right at the terminal of the Helsinki ferry. When Junko went into the budget hotel to check we were in the correct place, she was told we'd been upgraded to the 'posh' hotel just around the corner. Nice. Sadly, it was rather late by this time, so we were not able to avail ourselves of the free use of their swimming pool or spa.

In the morning, after an excellent feed, we drove out to the open air museum (http://evm.ee/eng/home), which contains a collection of old buildings transported there from all over the country. In the first complex, there was lots and lots of information and,true to form, I wanted to read it all. Consequently, it was almost 1pm when I emerged from that first exhibit and Aya & Kohe had arrived to join us. Having said that I spent an inordinately long time reading the exhibits, none of the other buildings had quite that level of information. Even so, there were still things we missed by the time we had to leave. I drove Aya and Kohe back to the middle of the city, to their hotel, said our farewells and drove out to the airport. We arrived just on the specified time of 7.30pm and the car rental bloke was there to meet us. A cursory check of the vehicle and we went on our way. Mind you, the thing was very dirty and will have to be thoroughly washed. I hope they don't find the scuff under the rear bumper or, if they do, just treat it was acceptable wear and tear.

We had quite a few hours to kill before our flight left at 11pm, but we could sit overlooking the nearby lake and browse the internet and nibble the snacks we'd bought earlier.

And, so back to Manchester, arriving only a few minutes late and took one of the black caps to our hotel. £11. This morning, we were told that, had we gone with this second company (unfortunately a phone call away, so we'd have to have known) it would have been a fixed fare of £6.

We got into bed around 2am and were up again at 6.30 to get a taxi back to Terminal 1 and our flight to Frankfurt and Osaka. All went smoothly. Even the excessive amount of luggage (usually 23kg, double that, this time) was received without a murmur.

Contrast our experience of security control at Manchester with Frankfurt airport; the latter had 15, yes 15! lanes open and staffed. When we were going through it was obviously between flights, as there were many standing idle. Poor planning or actually the reverse; getting ready for an influx? I suspect the latter.

The flight from Frankfurt was delayed by 3 hours, which was a bit of a drag, but nothing serious, and we left around 4.30pm local time instead of 1.30. The flight was fine. Actually, had I moved quicker, I might have got a row of 4 empty seats to myself, but others got there first. I dozed a little, but basically watched 3 films back to back.

We landed at Kansai at around 10am into glorious sunshine and, to be perfectly honest, rather warm and sticky air. Mercifully, it was not quite as hot as it has been of late.

So, bus from the airport then taxi and were met by Junko's Mum, as cheerful as always. I began emptying one suitcase, but wound up sleeping on the floor while Junko's Mum kindly cooked us a meal. She has an aircon running in the main room, but not in our bedroom. If it feels too hot in our room, which it might, as it is quite small, we may well end up sleeping on the floor next to Junko's Mum's bed.

postscript: though hot, we were able to sleep OK. In fact, I slept for about 14 hours, more or less uninterrupted, which is unheard of. We'll have to see if it's got me over any jet-lag.

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cycleboy1957

July 2017

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