Friday, July 23, 2010

Relaxing in Britain

Well, I've been in Britain since Monday afternoon. Just relaxing at my parents' house in Lincolnshire. The weather has been fine, although rain is frequently forecaset. It's not nearly so hot as in mainland Europe, but they seem to be having a pretty good summer. It's so nice to see my parents after another year has gone by. Usually on my travels they get to see me for a long weekend. This time I've decided to extend that... nine nights now, and five or six nights later during a separate visit in August.

So I am here until the middle of next week before resuming the European section of this trip. I should try to learn some Bulgarian.. well, at least learn to recognise the alphabet in case I'm lost and looking for street signs when I'm in Sofia.

On arrival at Heathrow on Monday I was amazed to find that my British Airways flight was the first (of several recent flights involving Spanish airspace) to touch down on time. The initial excitement of realising that soon wore off. You know you're in Britain when you get a comedy of errors taking place....

Because we'd arrived on time -- in fact five minutes early -- there was another aircraft at the gate we were supposed to use. Unfortunately, said the pilot, that plane has been told he has a lengthy delay because of air traffic congestion. So we had to park and wait as well. 45 minutes later, an alternative space had been found for my plane. We taxied along slowly until eventually coming to a halt in the middle of nowhere. Then we had to wait for buses. Now, can anyone please explain to me why a bus transfer from a plane to an airport terminal doesn't take the passengers directly to the arrivals area ? We were driven to a gate, then had to walk for at least ten minutes (at my fast pace) to get to the passport check and then through to the luggage belts.

One final comedy. The signs said luggage from my plane would be on belt number 9. Most people got their bags. Others were left waiting, including me. I just happened to turn around and see my bag going by on belt number 8. How ridiculous.

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