A relaxing day off yesterday out and about in Helsinki, a beautiful city that's crisp and clean as a whistle with old world architecture. I've been told that Finland has the best public education system in Europe, that's quite a claim and it speaks volumes about the country. With Ike as a tour guide we rummaged through four or five old record stores and came away with a few things. The Scandinavian countries have always been very big on jazz so there's plenty of it around, but the good stuff's getting a little expensive, still there's always a hidden treasure at the right price. In between we managed an Indian lunch and a stop at the Kaffe Kafka for a coffee and beer. It was a good six hour march. Back to the hotel and a dinner out with the guys, nothing fancy and lots of laughs. A few wandered off to a sports bar to watch a football match and a few of us ended up back at the hotel bar for one last cleansing Finnish brew and an early night.
I only managed a couple of hours sleep and was wide awake at four this morning, read for three hours until the gym opened, put in my 90 minutes, showered and had breakfast. Back in the room by 9:30 and ready to make up a few hours of sleep which I did on and off until noon. Packed and decamped the grand Hotel Kamp in Helsinki, then it was on to Stockholm for tonight's show.
The airport was quite a way out of the city centre and combined with very heavy traffic made for a long hour's drive to get to The Globe Arena. It was the third time we've played this venue since the Golden Heart tour and it's like being inside a big red ball. The show went along fine but the security guards prevented anyone from enjoying themselves too much, taking it as a personal affront if anybody stood up and quickly getting them seated again. After two hours of it, Mark swatted the guard in front of the stage with a towel and told him to bugger off. A lot of happy fans came up hands extended and Mark obliged with a few shakes. A good ending.
The drive back to the airport after the show was equally congested due to the repaving of the freeway and it was another hour long slog to the plane. Once boarded we were treated to platters of fantastic Thai food courtesy of Susi and it was off to Oslo where we'll base from for the next few days. Taj, one of our pilots, returned today after a week off and set the Legacy down in Oslo so smoothly to cheers and applause cabin side.