Today’s discover prompt is Distance.
From my earlier post – Join Our Discover Daily Prompts in April! — The Daily Post which has more details on the discover prompts. A search showed today’s prompt is Distance.
Here’s the direct link: https://discover.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/discover-prompts-day-17-distance.
The most distant place I have visited from my hometown is either Helsinki, Finland or Tallinn, Estonia. In June 2005, my job offered a chance to go to a conference in Helsinki. Cost was $500 and the agency picked up the rest of the costs. I had some extra money and put a deposit on the trip. It was a case of too many wanted to go, the agency would pick who was going and refund the deposit money to those who weren’t chosen. The deposit was high enough many chose not to try for it. I think about 5 – 6 went. Most of them flew separately. I flew with the Executive Director of our mental health nonprofit. We flew out on a Friday. There was a 3-day overlap so we could see some sites.
The original flight was Wichita, Memphis Tennessee, Amsterdam, Helsinki. In Memphis, the plane was overbooked and they asked for volunteers to be bumped. To sweeten the deal, a $400 future voucher was thrown in. Barb asked if I minded being bumped, I said no problem. We were put up overnight in different rooms, given $32 each in food vouchers.
Another perk was First Class on the rest of the trip to Helsinki, but not on the way back. We were re-routed through Minneapolis with a 6-hour layover in Amsterdam. We were able to visit the First Class lounge in Minneapolis. In Amsterdam, we took a trip into the city and did a boat ride touring some of the sites.
On arrival in Helsinki, we took a cab to the hotel. It was late enough in June, we would experience the midnight sun. I woke up at 3 A. M. local time and peered out the window. It was like dusk before the Sun fully sets.
The conference was 7 days. We lost a day off the extra 3 days of doing other stuff by being bumped. It was worth it although my suitcase was damaged and I didn’t report it soon enough to be reimbursed. We were close enough to walk to the convention center of the conference and to walk to the port area.
The port area had an open market that is set up and taken down daily by a large number of people. It was cool to see. They offered tourist stuff at reasonable prices and good quality.
Original plan was to go visit Stockholm for a half day. Barb decided everyone goes to Stockholm so we would do Estonia.
My most memorable events in both cities were seeing the Helsinki port fortress and Tallinn’s Castle. I also toured the port area of Helsinki on a boat and visited the Helsinki Zoo. I also saw a submarine on display near the fortress.
At the time, I didn’t have a decent cell phone and took 7 disposable cameras with me to take photos. Cost me $100 in getting them developed. Well worth it.
I always wanted to visit Finland and never thought I would be able to get there. Turns out I have some Finnish DNA as later testing found.
Later today I will finish the rest of the trip.