The photographer’s road to Bologna began on early Wednesday morning after arriving at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport and meeting with a few other team members taking the same flight to Italy. Apart from daily items packed in the luggage, the tools for the job itself are obviously the most watched piece on the road. For some reason a bag rather full of camera stuff and other related gear often receives extra attention in the security controls. For instance, each time going through the checkpoint in Frankfurt, the officers have kindly escorted me to a room around the corner and quite meticulously run a swipe test for possible drugs – unfortunately for them they haven’t had much success. Also, when leaving from Munich, a stereotypically German fellow has been consistently eager to see if most of the gear really works – it has. Compared to these experiences, security in Helsinki has been considerably less interested in the contents of my backpack. Until this time. At an early stage the lack of advance in the queue suggested that the two persons staring at the all-revealing monitor of theirs were actually having a security training. Of course, this very bag was selected as a suitable teaching material, since the camera bodys and a few lenses were not x-rayed once or twice, but three times. The last time, seeing the sensitive tools being lugged around in a plastic box not very firm-handedly didn’t increase my feeling of security one bit at that moment.
At the Rome airport our group was instructed to hop in a small bus that would take us up north one-quarter of Italy’s length. Before getting on the road, we had to report at a car rental desk to add some additional named drivers to a previously hired car to facilitate the commuting and the return trip – after all, the entire team and management travelled in four separate groups. The procedure needed a good while of standing in queue to no avail, after which a service person redirected us to the car pickup desk. Finally, getting the job done allowed us to find the correct bus, load the luggage and hit the road – one that revealed to be longer than it looks on the map. The trip form Rome to the correct hotels in Bologna took a best part of six hours, which wasn’t helped by a moderate navigation error by our native chauffeur. At a critical point the first try took our group on the narrow streets of central Bologna instead on the outskirts and the intended destination. Of course it would be nice if the local university would have more to do with agility, but not this time. Otherwise the travelling went smoothly with only one witnessed crash (those two locals seemed to be accustomed to the event sequence of screeching tires, a sounding horn, and an bump in the corner). Would the next town named ‘Maranello’ have something to do with it?
Getting to the hotel after close to 12 hours, there was just enough time to do some mandatory shopping of some snacks for the upcoming days, and more importantly, check out the competition venue and ensure a usable connection to the Internet for reliable image uploads. A round trip to the Unipol arena and a neighboring mall by walking took slightly more time than I had anticipated, which resulted in a sped-up preparation for the gala event. After receiving some details about Thursdays events, and eventually writing this travel blog opening, it’s about time for some sleep. Nevertheless, there wont be much time to admire the Italian landscape anyway in the upcoming days in AWC2015 – //koirakuvat.kuvat.fi/kuvat/awc2015/