Published: August 10th 2012August 10th 2012
In preparation for the trip, I stopped at Godiva Chocolates and purchased 9 huge chocolate bars for the flight crew. Being an airline employee, I know how sucking up can reap rewards. Armed with my Godiva goodies, while checking in at the counter, I tell the agent how excited I am to be traveling revenue, which leads to a discussion of where I work and so on. After bribing her with a milk chocolate hazelnut bar, she makes a note in our PNR to upgrade if available.
No such luck. We are talking 100% full flight! Alida and I had picked our seats well in advance and although we were towards the back of the plane, we only had two seats in our row with extra space! I buttered up our crew with the remaining 8 doses of chocolate crack and we settled in for our 9 1/2 hour flight to London. (note to all, British Airways crews are hard eggs to crack). Outside of some very sincere thank yous, we got nothin!!
Knowing we will be flying in to London I am prepared for picture taking opportunities of the Olympic stadium from 30,000 feet! Sure enough about 20
miles out of London the Captain announces that because the weather is so "smashing", we will have great views of the Olyympic stadium in about 10 miles, from the right side of the plane. Did I mention we were on the left? As soon as the Captain made the announcement to look out the window at the stadium, I got so excited and was trying to pass my camera across the plane for a photo opportunity. Needless to say, you can see from the attached pictures, there is no stadium to be seen. No one would take my camera.
We land and Our plane sits. Our connection is tight anyway, landing at 1535 and leaving at 1625, but we sit. Finally pulling into the gate we start to unload. Alida and I are getting antsy at this point, it is about 1550 and no one is moving in our whole plane section. So finally about 1600 we are headed out of the plane and running towards...hmm...we have no idea. There is no gate # on our boarding card and the connections screen doesn't show our flight. but running we go, through the airport, on a tram, up AND down
escalators, trying to figure out what the heck we're doing and where we're going. At the point when we realize we have to go through security again, we give up all hope of making our flight. So we kind of slow down and quit giving dirty looks to the people in front of us in the security line, like it is their fault anyway, right?
We finally round the corner to our gate about 1625 and they are still loading the plane, there is actually a line to board. Granted we are at the back, but hey, we're on! What a difference this plane is, cramped, smooshed and hot! As we take off from London heading to Glasgow, I fruitlessly search once more for the famed Olympic stadium. Still no luck. As we are on approach into Glasgow, the scenery is amazing. You can see how beautiful the town is from the pictures.
Everything goes so smoothly at this point and we finally make it to baggage claim to get our goods. And we wait, the crowd thins, the bags become fewer and farther between on the slow, creeping carousel. Then the unimaginable happens, the screens states all
Random drunk guy who wanted in the picture
bags have been unloaded!!! NOOOOO!!!
I immediately make my way to the already crowded baggage office to claim my place in line. Alida keeps a watchful eye on all carousels in the area while we notice other families and groups start talking, whispering and wondering...where the hell are the rest of the bags? As we are all gathering in front of the baggage claim office to start a revolution, one man spies his bag, through some electric doors in a whole different room. We all take off, and sure enough, each one of our bags is delivered. Seems we had some "questionable items" that needed further inspection. Oops.
After exchanging some US cash for even less Europe cash, we find about the friendliest taxi driver ever. He whisks us away to our B&B where we promptly are checked in and given a warm welcome from Alam, the owner. Down a treacherous flight of stairs with our 45 lb bags, we finally make it to the comfort of our room. Showering is in order and Alida calls dibs on the first shot at hot water. Now if we can just figure out how to get the water to come
out of the shower head, we'd be all good.
Another trip to the front desk, and silly us, we didn't pull the "string" to make the shower work as we walked into the bathroom. Huh? Anyway, after Alida finishes running around the shower trying to get wet in the very minimal water coming from the stringed up shower head, it is my turn. Now I'm sure you are all familiar with the No Doubt song, something about drinking your bath water, right? Well I drew the line. I mean she's a good friend and all but standing in her nasty ass dirty bath water is not one of my to-do's while in Scotland. So after another trip to the front desk, our poor landlady follows Alida down the crazywindy stairs with a plunger in her hand. This poor thing is slightly overweight, to put it mildly, and she is plunging away while I sit quietly in a towel on the bed. Sweating profusely, she is finally done after announcing she plunged up some scum and we might experience some more back up. Nice!
Refreshed, somewhat clean, we are ready for our big first night on the town! Having
Our shy money exchange guy
gotten the same directions from our super cool taxi man and our Indian mosque dress wearing front desk man, we head in the direction of what could be called "restaurant/bar row". The best part was walking behind people trying to decipher what they were saying. I have gotten the accent down though...Harry Potter has nothing on me!
We end up at The Govness or something like that. A very cool place and OMG, fantastic food.. Although the Scottish have weird appetizers, they were good, but definitely left you wanting more. On the way home we pass a beautiful church that has been converted into a bar and a restaurant. Weird, kind of sac religious, but really cool.
So it has been day one. No walking yet, we meet up with Little Ninja in the morning and then off to Fort William! Cheers my friends, I can already tell this is going to be a great experience!
There are more photos below