It hasn’t been much action since my return home from my 12 days over in the UK and Ireland. Had a very bad flue in my cabin luggage. And my “sorry ass” somehow got very sorry for nearly 16 days, so no longer time in front of the PC!!!!
But now the spirit is back!!!!
Every year I do a bit off the UK, Scotland, and Ireland tour to meet up with friends and colleagues I left behind when I returned to Sweden after 20 years “over there”. I often do it in January, because then flights and hotels are on sale.
This time I used my Avios points (some left from all my Tesco shopping) and I flew British Airways all the way to Belfast, with a change of flights at Terminal 5, Heathrow. That is a killer job in itself.
It all started with a bit of panic the day before departure when I realized that my departure time wasn’t 11.15am – that was my arrival time. 9.25 was the right time and that meant I had to take the 6.22 train from Landskrona. That meant I had to pre-book a taxi, because no buses that time … on a Sunday, and no taxi company (we only have 2) could take any bookings, because of a shortage of drivers. So I had to go online, find a good deal at The Quality Hotel View at Hyllie, Malmö – the last train stop before the bridge over to Denmark and Kastrup Airport.
Brilliant hotel, with only 2 min walk from the station and 10-12 min crossing time to Kastrup. Comfortable rooms and a great breakfast – was lucky I found a good deal on Hotels.com – €66/$82/£59/667SEK with breakfast included. So panic was very quickly over.
Terminal 5, a mini London – but the walking distances from and to the gates is horrendous – it’s like walking into London. Passport control very quickly and the same with the security, even if I think they have every odd system at UK airports.
Then it’s all about staying put in the main part to see what gate the next flight will be at – and then it’s all about walking the distance again.
But it’s a fantastic terminal … it is like landing on Sloane Street in London, with all the designer brands … not for my bank account, but I love window shopping. Dior has 3 shops.
I did a bit of shopping at Harrods – my friend Anna Liisa love their bags, and it’s her 75 birthday next year, so I invested in a “Bling” bag to her. Then that was when the problems started.
Had asked Lloyds Bank for a new pin number for my card, because I wasn’t too sure of my old and they sent me 2 pin codes. So I tried the last one I received = no luck!!! Then I tried the other code – same result. I tried the first one again, it worked but after 30 seconds my card was declined. Welcome to the UK!!!!! Anyhow my little Swedish red card saved the purchase.
But it meant if I had to use my Swedish card I will lose out a lot on the exchange rates between the accounts, not a good start.
A far distance again to walk to Gate A1 – and the plane was packed … but I arrived on time, 14.25pm at George Best Airport, Belfast – nice to be back – quite a long waiting time on the taxies, but I wasn’t in rush.
Check in at Premier Inn on Alfred Street, always welcoming (my favorite pillows in the city) … and I got a room with a view over the city, normally I end up against the courtyard on the backside, room 706.
Then it was time for me to connect with my friends and I turned on my UK mobile – and the sim card didn’t work … GREAT!!!! I topped it up just before I left a year ago.
Both tired from the early start, all the airport walking, and the technical problems … I decided to have dinner at the hotel. Enjoyed a lovely noddle salad together with a nice chilled white wine and life felt so much more pleasant.
Next day – new strength … Monday and time to solve all the problems, after a good nights sleep and breakfast.
”Adventure may hurt you
but monotony will kill you.”