Monday, July 14, 2008

Southtrip: Arrival

The new Tallinn Airport is a massive improvement. Naked concrete, exposed steelwork and lots of glass partitions make it feel genuinely Nordic-modern. I notice that they used rust panels on the outside – it’s a popular gimmick now: untreated metal that gets quickly covered in a thick, uniform layer of surface rust. The intention is to have a warm brown cover that is pretty much impervious to the elements, in that it has already rusted. Looking from afar, the pattern could be mistaken for massive wooden veneers.

There was a Japan Cargo 747 parked at Tallinn Airport for three days. It left as I was waiting for my flight. When a Jumbo takes off from an airfield as small as ours, you feel it in your dental fillings.

Estonian Air is also improving rapidly: only slightly more than an hour’s delay this time. Hey, last time it was five hours. They also persist with the delusion that is Estonian Air’s business class; the chairs are absolutely the same, the only difference is that you might get off the plane first, and you get free booze. Hardly seems worth triple the price of coach.

My first sensation of Rome was the pervasive whiff of urine, but then I suppose that is what I get for arriving at the central train station. My hotel room is basic, but clean, and at ~800 EEK per night in high season in East Central Rome, reasonably priced. Oh, and there is free WiFi in the hotel. Verdict: Italy is a civilized country.

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