10th June: Yes, for anyone who is still wondering, I’ve made it to Helsinki. I was pleased in the end to have changed my ferry booking, as I was able to make a dramatic entrance, sailing majestically past the conference centre, which happens to be right on the harbour front. I made it through disembarkation, checked into my hotel – also near the harbour – and still got to the conference in time for morning coffee.
The ship sat outside for a while but wasn’t actually waiting to take me back to Stockholm. I’ll be going to Turku tomorrow to catch a different ferry.
In the meantime I will be a tourist as my presentation has been delivered and the conference has just finished. As often happens, I have played the part of class clown but most people seemed to be enjoying it.
I will report back later on my return journey, which will be slightly different, but a bit the same – hoping for no faulty trains next time though. I remember on one UK journey hearing the ominous station announcement: ‘This train is a complete failure.’ That isn’t what I want to hear any time on Thursday or Friday in any language.