en Finlandia

The art of living in Finland

Cheap Flights Spain - Finland. My experience.

Saturday February 20th, 2010. 01:42 PM.[Spain, Tampere, helsinki].

Spain is a popular destination for holidays among Finnish people. This is the picture of the home page of Air Finland and shows All Europe flights that they offer. Not France, Greece…etc. Only Spain.

air_finland

I’m from Málaga and it’s good to have direct Air Finland flights (5 hours) for 130-200€ one way.
Not bad price, but you can find cheaper ways if you don’t fly directly. For example Helsinki - London, and then London-Málaga. Bad thing is that you will spend all day long in airports and you have the risk of losing your suitcases in the first flight (still didn’t happen to me) or a delayed first flight that will make that you can’t take the second flight. No refunds, because they are 2 independent flight tickets.

But if you want so save some money, you will have to take these risks.

skyscanner

The best tool I have found to search combination of flights is skyscanner. Also I like that you can make generic searches. From Finland (without city) to Spain, and it will show you all airports, the whole month, etc and indirect flights are automatically calculated .

After finding the right flight, jump to the airline company website to book the flight.

Ryanair (from Tampere) and Easyjet (from Helsinki) are normally the cheapest ones, both flying to London. And then London-Malaga.

Remember that flight prices only includes 1 handbag of max-weight 10 kg. Any extra suitcase you will have to pay for it. If you have an extra suitcase, Ryanair adds 15€ and limits max-weight is 15 Kg. Easyjet adds 9 pounds and max-weight is 20 Kg.

Also, they will add other extra in the last step of the payment. Because of paying with credit card you will have to pay some extra euros. (Except Easyjet it will be free if you pay with Visa Electron).

So if you take 2 flights, multiply by 2 these “extras”.. and think if still worth it. Also add the price of a meal in London airport because you’ll be hungry after the first flight. (And you will have to change cash to pounds to pay!)

More tips:

  • GOOD news. Ryanair will open a base in Málaga, opening a direct route Málaga - Tampere since June 2010. Also from Málaga to Aarhus, Berlin (Schonefeld), Bratislava, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Krakow, Maastricht, Memmingen (Munich West), Oslo (Torp), Paris (Beauvais), Pisa, Santander, Santiago, Stockholm (Skavsta), Valladolid, Venice (Treviso), Wroclaw and Zaragoza.
  • Cheap flights airlines are VERY strict with sizes and weights… some times being ridiculous about it. Don’t risk, make sure you are not overweight. And your handbag is correct size.
  • If you are planing to go to Helsinki, a Tampere->Helsinki Train costs (now) 36 € 28 €

I will add here more tips in the future. I hope it’s helpful. Please ! add some tips in the comments, or experiences. I will like to know your experience too.

Update 9th of June. These holidays I took 2 flights with Easyjet from Málaga -> Manchester -> Helsinki, about 100 € all together. I was lucky that the vulcano wasn’t active during that time and I didn’t have problems except that my suitcase was lost in Manchester (it didn’t arrive from Málaga). I had to fill a form and happy end: They ship the suitcase to my address in Helsinki and it arrived 1 week later. No extra cost. I had to call them all the time to know about the status of the process, at the beginning they give you a reference and you can track it online in mylostbag.com. If it happens to you, don’t worry, 95% of suitcases are found

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Google Street Views in Finland

Monday February 15th, 2010. 02:31 PM.[Finland culture, Photos, Summer, Tampere].

Look this picture from Tampere’s lake Näsijärvi.

finland

Professional photographer? Nop, it’s from one of the cars of Google Street View. (click over the picture)

It’s so easy to take good pics in Finland, specially in summer. Everything looks perfect. I love that little summer clouds that always are there in Finnish summer

Google Street View Service just started last week? in Finland. They have covered many little towns of Finland, not only big cities. It seems they did it during summer 2009 when Finland looks at its best.

Try yourself. Go to Google Maps, type a place and drag the yellow little man. It will show you blue streets in the map when Street View is available.

google-street-view

At same time they launch Google Street View in Norway and you can see in one of the streets a couple of Scuba Divers attacking the car.WTF? XDD

scuba

With Google Street View, Bing Bird’s View and 360º Cities, you can really have a good virtual visit to Helsinki from your sofa.

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Hymyile! olet Espanjassa

Saturday February 13th, 2010. 12:57 PM.[Ads, Photos, Spain, Winter, helsinki].

Smile! You are in Spain.
Fast Finnish lesson: -ssa means ‘in’.

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Good way of promoting my country. Congratulations to the creator. It reminds me to this other advertisement about traveling: Routine sucks

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Natural History Museum photos in Helsinki

Sunday February 7th, 2010. 03:11 AM.[Photos, Winter, helsinki].

We went last Sunday to the Natural History Museum (Luonnontieteellinen keskusmuseo). It has 3 open exhibitions, but specially the Finnish Nature part is awesome. Many and very realistic stuffed animals. If you want more information, schedules, prices, etc this is official website of the Museum.

Also “The History of Life” exhibition was good for refreshing my memory about history. (There is a English paper guides in the entrance). Did you know that Finland was in a time by the Equator line, so it had a tropical climate? It was in the Devonian age, 390 millions years ago, when first amphibians came out of the water.

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img_7397img_7400img_7403img_7410img_7422(A simple glass made a cool “water” effect)

img_7436img_7440Have a pigeon ever shit on you? Imagine this.

img_7447Outside. Confirmed. Finland is not anymore in tropical latitudes.

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70ideas

Tuesday January 12th, 2010. 02:32 PM.[Ads, Videos, helsinki].

I have been working on a new project during Christmas, and the result is here: 70ideas.com, where you can watch the most creative 70 videos of 2009 (ads, short films, animation…) have a look and enjoy watching as I did collecting them.

70ideas

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Helsinki, Walking over the sea

Saturday January 9th, 2010. 06:17 AM.[Photos, Winter, helsinki].

Cost of Helsinki is frozen. (Baltic sea) Today was a sunny Saturday and many people was walking over the icy surface without worry. (Walking, skying, with dogs, kids….). It’s amazing, I can’t believe it. This is how it looks in summer

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Andalusia in 1 minute

Sunday December 27th, 2009. 03:50 PM.[Ads, Spain, Videos].

I just received a big package from my parents with lots of stuff: olives, Spanish ham, etc… and talking with them by phone told me about a recent TV ad about Andalusia, the south-part of Spain where I am from. The advertisement is made by Cruzcampo, a beer brand.

I added subtitles. Most of things can be applied to Spanish people in general, but I have to say that: IT is true, Andalusia, the south of Spain has something special.

Most of the statements are in metaphoric way, so I will add some explanations in brackets:

Andalusia is not where Europa ends. It is where starts.
Here is, nonetheless where The New World started.
(About Cristopher Columbus)
We have sea, countryside, snow, desert (snow in Sierra Nevada in Granada, desert mostly is about Almeria).
We have cowboys (In Almeria’s Tabernas desert was filmed many American spaguetti Western films) and even English soldiers (Gibraltar, English colony)
And we have art, a lot of art. (images of La Alhambra, in Granada)
Andalusian is not an accent, it is Spanish talked among friends
And blondes are never alone, they come with ‘tapa’
(we call Pale Ale “blonde beer” because of the color, and traditional bars serves beer with some free snack)
Here we don’t eat tomatoes, we drink them (Gazpacho, cold tomato soup)
Our suits are not shown off, they are of light, (words game about “suit of lights”, i.e. the suit of a bullfighter)
And our matches always have a third time.
In Andalusia we aren’t afraid of horns, we fight them (In the picture, Picasso born in Málaga)
We don’t undo our shirt, we ript it in two. (mostly flamenco dancers, I still didn’t achieve to do that )
We don’t walk the street, we live it.
In Andalusia we don’t exagerate. It is the others that fall short. (They say that Andalusian people tends to exagerate)
We love the olive oil, the cured ham and bulbs of colors.
We love the friendship, the passion and to dream at midafternoon (siesta)
We love to the ones who went and the ones who stayed (in the picture, Camarón de la Isla, considered the best flamenco singer)
We love that art, that laugh, that pride, that breed, (breed referring to the Andalusian horse)
That green, that white. (colors of Andalusian flag)
We the Andalusian people love our land and we
make a toast to it with this beer
Cruzcampo, made of Andalusia.

Although is a little stereotyped, I liked it. We are more than 8.000.000 people and is not easy to represent us in 1 minute without falling in stereotypes. I don’t support bullfighting but my grandparents do, for example.

The funny thing is that Cruzcampo was Andalusian for almost a century and, some years ago was bought by Heineken Group and they are spending a lot of money to keep in our minds that “Cruzcampo is Andalusian”. (This ad is only broadcasted in Andalusia, not rest of Spain).

Also they are sponsors of the Spanish soccer team.

In a way it’s Andalusian, because still Cruzcampo’s factories are in Andalusia and Heineken keeps promoting the brand and the Andalusian/Spanish culture, but at the same time I can’t stop feeling fooled by the marketing department of Helsinki.

Aside of this marketing stuff, I still like more San Miguel or Alhambra beers and I can be proud that they are still 100% Spanish. Here in Finland, Karhu III it’s the one I like more, but anyway I’m not an expert.

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Eat.fi - Restaurants guide

Monday December 7th, 2009. 11:51 AM.[helsinki].

I found a couple of interesting places in Ruoholahti for the work break in Rouoholahti: Eat.fi

eatfi

Good as reference, specially real time features like is easy to find which ones are open just now (in green). But I have to say that not all the scores represent so much what I think about some restaurants I know. Some good ones I know have only 2 or 3… and McDonalds have a 4 out of 5.! O_o

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A data center under Uspenski Cathedral

Monday November 30th, 2009. 12:42 PM.[Photos, Winter, helsinki].

From January, Excess heat from hundreds of computer servers to be located in the bedrock beneath Uspenski Cathedral, one of Helsinki’s most popular tourist sites, will be captured and channeled into the district heating network, a system of water-heated pipes used to warm homes in the Finnish capital.

[News.cnet.com.]

hdr_photo_of_cathedral_of_uspenskyCredit: Photo from secondpicture.com and btw, a great tutorial about HDR.

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Helsinki transport & Finnish Punctuality

Monday November 23rd, 2009. 12:39 PM.[Finland culture, Music, Photos, Videos, helsinki].

Finnish people are punctual. If they say 11 o’clock, is 11′oclock. Even between friends more than 10-15 minutes delay is considered rude. In Spain… how could I say… we take time in a more relaxed way generally :D

This photo is the bus schedule from a City Bus in center of Helsinki. 3 main sections: Ma-Pe (Monday-Friday), La (Saturday), Su (Sunday). First row (in bold) you see the hour (18 for example), and the column under represents the minutes (18:10, 18:24, etc.)

bus-schedule-20-bulevardi

Besides of the strange way of representing the timetable, it amazes me its accuracy . If it says there that the bus number 20 is going to be at 18:52 in that stop… it will be there (90% of times). Spanish urban buses timetables normally only say tells frequency (for example “every 15 minutes”).

In Helsinki every year is sent to home a small book containing all routes and timetables of urban transport (bus, metro, tram).

All this is nice, but in the end is paper, very 20th century thing. Is it not supposed to be Finland a high-technology country? (more…)

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