I'm always happy to return to Helsinki: it's such a nice and safe place to visit! I was lucky to be there again very recently.
The aircraft for the outgoing flight was the A320 CS-TNV named "Grão Vasco", the last one received brand new from factory, in 2009.
|WING LT ON|
This time I decided to explore a neighbourhood that was yet unknown to me. It was a nice walk but with nothing special to tell about it.
When leaving the hotel for the stroll, it's impossible to be indiferent to the Finnair Skywheel.
And then I started my walk through Pohjoisranta starting with this nice ship.
I was surprised to get a different view of the beautiful Uspenski Cathedral!
And what a nice way to end the stroll with an awesome sunset. The weather was cold but with a proper jacket it was perfectly bearable. No wind or rain also helped a lot.
After the sunset it was time to return to the center of Helsinki and find a place to have dinner. The Railway Square and its railway station designed by Alvar Aalto is always an impressive sight.
|Molly Malone's - where we had a good time the previous night|
And some street art at the south end of Mannerheimintie.
Since the first time I visited Helsinki in 2009 (full report has yet to be completed), I know the existence of this travel agency which has a shopfront with lots of interesting stuff for an aviation enthusiast: plenty of aircraft models at various scales.
Everytime I go to Helsinki, it's impossible for me not to go there again and again... Even though they won't give me any of the models or if I don't have anymore space at home for them!
After having dinner I was alone in Helsinki (which I don't mind at all in this town) and decided to go to Kapelli Cafe at the Esplanadparken and stay there until midnight. Yes, they are open until that late! Surfing the internet or reading a book while drinking a coffee (americano type, which you can refill at your discretion without paying more for it) is always a good plan in this very enjoyable place.
|Arriving to the Cafe...|
|My coffee mug!|
Cozy and pretty, hun?
Even though this was an unsually long layover, soon it was time to return home. And now it's time to explain the title of this post.
At the airport I could see this interested ad announcing the brand new type - the A350 XWB - of which Finnair already took delivery of some aircraft:
|Finnar A350 ad|
At the parkind stand of our flight, an "old friend" was waiting for us - the Airbus A320 CS-TQD - which started its flying career with Swissair and which I know from the time it was part of Air Luxor's fleet. In fact, the following post on this blog will be about my first flight to Praia with CS-TQD in 2006, which was also my last flight with Air Luxor that went bankrupt a few months later.
Our departure time was at 3:45 (local time) so when we took off it was still night time. But at 13000 feet and after passing through the layer of clouds we were presented with this illuminated sky by the moon which was about to disappear under the horizon line.
What a wonderful sight from the flight deck...
Although it cannot be seen in these photos, Jupiter was also a brilliant dot visible to the naked eye - confirmed by the Star Walk app.
|Moon and Jupiter|
Rotating 180º, the sun was about to rise in the East (as usual!!).
Back to the passenger's cabin and looking at the Foward Attendant Panel, it is clear that we are really on board CS-TQD, named "Eugénio de Andrade".
Business Class after the sunrise:
It's nice to see that our old logo is still present and "flying" around. This is the front door of an ATLAS container.
|Air Portugal logo|
The flight back to Lisbon always reminds of my very last L-1011 flight on the same route, nine years ago (outch!). And just before top of descent, another view of the A320 cockpit...
I love Helsinki - I'm looking foward to my next visit already!