I had never been to Finland, but the chance to go there was there so I decided to go and Visit Hilkka (Where I got my Chihuahuas from) to personally bring Toby (My Friend Martin's Multi Champ Chihuahua who he wants to be shown in Europe). I went there with my Nanay who was very willing to go with me. Here is what happened on our Trip.
Day 1 October 4,2006
The Usual Check In at the Airport, since we were bringing Toby with US we went earlier than Usual. The Check In Guy was kind enough to give us 2 Seats located near the Lavatory (Just In case Toby needs to do his stuff too). Though we did not ask for the seat, he probably knows that with us having a dog with us, some passengers (who do not like dogs) who will be seated beside us might feel uncomfortable. Since I had a Diners Club card, we had access to the Club Manila Lounge. There was food and drinks available and all for free. And best of all there were private showers, so I brought Toby inside one of the showers so he can do his stuff.
The Trip all the way to Finland was quite long. Our entry point was Amsterdam, and from there we were going to Helsinki Vantaa. It was already Midnight when we arrived at Helsinki Vantaa, the Airport was practically desserted, Lights were closed except for some few lights. We then waited for the shuttle that will bring us to the Airport Hotel. We were so tired so after Checking In, I fed Toby and then went to sleep.
The Practically desserted Helsinki Vantaa Airport when we arrived Midnight of October 4,2006
Toby waiting for me
Day 2 October 5,2006
We had breakfast at the Hotel, it was mostly composed of Breads, Hams, Cheeses. But Buffet Breakfast. After Breakfast I walked Toby outside, It was freezing Cold so I just carried Toby. We went back to the Hotel, packed our Bags and took the Hotel Shuttle to Helsinki Vantaa for our Trip to Oulu.
The Trip was short, i think it was just an Hour more or less. We were picked up by Hilkka. After the usual greetings we went to her car and we were on our way to Toby's new home.
Hilkka's House in Oulu, the Fenced Yard is 500 Sqms and it is where Hilkka lets her Chihuahuas play around.
Hilkka Introduced us to her Husband Esa (Very Quiet and Nice Man, Quite Shy even) and to his son Niko. Hilkka led us to her guest room. A very charming room, pinewood walls all over. After unpacking our Bags, Hilkka told us we would be eating out for Lunch. We first stopped over the Market Place. It was such a sight to behold a Market that did not look like a Philippine Market.
Oulu's Market Hall
We then went around town, looking for some souvenirs and some picture taking. Hilkka then brought us to a very charming Restaurant. I forgot the name but the food was delicious!
This is what I had for Lunch (Late). It was delicious!! I cant wait to go back to this Restaurant and order the same thing.
After Lunch, Hilkka brought us to the Botanical gardens located inside the University of Oulu Campus. After we went to a Museum and lastly we visited Hilkka's Parents.
Botanical Gardens inside University of Oulu
Hilkka's Parents Home
After meeting Hilkka's Lovely Parents. We went back to Hilkka's House. My Nanay was already tired so she went to sleep. I still stayed up, Dinner was still going to be served and Hilkka wanted to show her Chihuahuas to me.
Some of Hilkka's Chihuahuas
Day 3 October 6,2006
Our last day in Oulu and my last day to be with Toby. With how Toby looked, he looked like he knew that will be our last day together. Toby had stayed for almost 3 years with me in Manila, I campaigned him to his Philippine Hall of Fame title to add to his Indonesian and Thai Titles. It was a sad day for both of us. I said my goodbye to Toby and we then boarded Hilkka's Car for Oulu Airport. And on our way to Stockholm, Sweden.
I would never forget Oulu or Finland for that matter. Despite our very short stay in Finland, it made a lasting impression on me. Oulu is a lovely town, very quaint, though sleepy, it is nonetheless the type of town that I would love to spend more time in. Hilkka and Her Family were very warm, friendly and Hospitable. I would never forget Finland, the country and the people.