The journey back home to Finland started insanely early, so early that our travellers actually managed to be at the airport before any sort of check-in was open. After waiting over half an hour (which at four in the morning felt more like half a day), the agricultural checkpoint for check-in baggage was finally opened. After that, things moved surprisingly fast and the travellers were through all formalities within twenty minutes. Breakfast options were limited, as only Starbuck’s was open, but in the early morning hours any type of nourishment was welcome.
The first flight, merely five hours to Los Angeles, went by quite easily, as plenty of napping occurred onboard the dated American Airlines plane. Four hours at LAX followed, during which a pizza lunch and very light shopping occurred (terminal three did not offer very much in the way of shopping).
The second flight, about 9000 km from LA to London, was the big one. On paper, the flight time was closer to 11 hours, but with favorly winds it “only” took about 10. Luckily the plane was quite a new one with personal entertainment systems for all and plenty of movies to choose from. Naturally, Hattivatti opted for some of the best, as can be seen in the photo below.
Surprisingly, the flight was not nearly as mind-numbing as the flight from London to Miami had been. Some time was spent wondering whether sleeping at this point would be a good idea or not, but no consensus could be reached, as the sheer massiveness of the total travel time (about 30 hours) and time difference (13 hours) involved in getting home was nearly incomprehensible.
On arrival at Heathrow, after being awake for 24 hours, there was slight desperation apparent in the eyes of the travellers. A sole thought dominated: only one more little flight to go, only one more little flight to go… It was therefore happily noted that the winds were still favorable, leading to arrival in Helsinki ahead of schedule. Miraculously, all bags had also survived the trip unharmed through both LAX and Heathrow.
Finally, the end of The Epic Journey had been reached. Sleep deprivation led to very quick farewells by the taxi stop. Home was a welcome sight after six weeks of hotel rooms with varying levels of comfort.
All in all, the trip had definitely been all it was meant to be: Epic on a whole new level.