The KLM flight to Amsterdam boarded just on sun rise. Bleary eyed I sank back into the airline seat cherishing memories of the warm bed from which I had recently removed myself back at the hotel. The taxi out to the runway took us past the two dilapidated Iraqi Airways’ jets reminding me that there was at some point in time a more convenient and comfortable means of reaching Baghdad.
The routine fight landed at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport 4 hours later and after a short stopover I was on my way to Finland.
Enough distance and time had elapsed between me and the Middle East at that stage for the excitement of this new adventure to begin rising and I eagerly watched the glorious golden forests and sparkling lakes pass underneath the plane as we made our approach into Helsinki.
Shortly after we were touching down at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and after a short taxi ride into the Finnish capital I was checked into a small but comfortable hotel near the heart of the city.
With sleep beckoning and a strong desire to reacquaint myself with a soft bed I was soon drifting off into a surreal slumber to the thoughts of what lay beyond the border which was now as little as 150kms to the east.