If you ever want to know just how well you can mess up a travel day, you’ve come to the right place. Jackson, Phil and I have all had pretty good experience when it comes to traveling, however don’t let this fool you into thinking that we have it dialed. Sweden and Estonia are right next to one another, but even still we found a way to mess it up!
So there is usually a part of any trip that is considered smooth sailing. This just didn’t exist! First up was the air ticket blunder. A few days ago I suggested that it would be a good idea to have the one person book the tickets so that we could all be on the same flight. So when it came to booking the flights, both Phil and Jacko were looking for the best deals and found a good one. I wasn’t there so Jacko booked a ticket for me. Next day, Phil says in a sigh of relief something along the lines of ‘well I’m glad I’m finally getting my life sorted, it’s good that you got those tickets booked yesterday Jacko’. Jacko, then responds with, ‘ah didn’t you book your own ticket in the end though?’ After a quick rush back to the website, and undoubtedly a bit of cursing as they discovered the flight was full, and Phil found himself having to fly via Moscow. He had to leave 3 hrs earlier and should have arrived 20mins later than us – pretty indirect to say the least.
When we left yesterday morning on the train to Stockholm, Phil sends a message saying that he only just made his flight because the tracks were knackered after Uppsalla. This cost him $80 for a 20min taxi ride but gladly just got him there. We therefore were on the same line but had fortunately left just a little more time than he had done. So we risked it, waited for the next train on a different line and only just made it in time as well.
Then it came to the flying part. Now I’ve done a lot of flying during my ski career and have only ever been scared on a plane a couple of times in my life. This was something else though! As we were landing, the plane was now only dropping suddenly and wing tipping, but also getting blown sideways. This is all fine when we were higher off the ground but when it only got worse and we were just 10min above the runway, that burger I had eaten just before we took off was about ready to be tasted a second time over. With an almighty thud, bounce, thud, we managed to land, mostly sideways, but thankfully we made. How the wheels didn’t get torn off is beyond me!
After going to the connecting gate in Riga and back onto the next flight, I recognized the flight attendant as we were boarding. As I was the asking Jacko if he thought it was the same plane, the flight attendant unenthusiastically says in a thick, Russian accent ‘It’s the same plane’. She was obviously about as pleased with going out there again in the same plane as we were! Turns out after the Pilot has started to fire up the engines, there was a ‘technical problem’ and we would have to be put on a different plane. Essentially, something had broken in that crazy landing!
1hr later, we were on the next flight and arrived safely in Tallinn only to discover Phil (who had kindly waited for us) only had a plastic bag! We had all packed lightly to avoid having a checked in bag and his skis had already been taken to Estonia. After discovering he had a free check in bag anyway, he came up with the awesome idea of checking in his carry on – I completely understand it, it’s dead miles to be carrying around that extra weight through the airport. So the plan fell apart when this bag got lost…. He had nothing except the clothes he was wearing! Not ideal when you are going to a ski race. The latest update is that his bag has gone to Beijing, China!
After all this, we had missed the final bus to Tartu and would have to spend the night in Tallinn. So in a positive light to finish, at least we got to see the old city of Tallinn. Quite a nice sight really