Published: April 19th 2013April 19th 2013
Hello to everyone again and especially any new recruits to my blog -
I do love this travelling malarkey. Yes I know it takes me ages to organise and plan and yes I have to do it all myself and clean the house and get ready for visitors coming while I am away - but when I step into the plane I am away on another adventure. There is a world out there....and I don't want to get stuck in a rut.
Icelandair gets thumbs up from me - mainly because it is departing from Gatwick ( my nearest airport) - and flying to and from the destinations I wanted... added to that it was cheaper than the usual BA and Virgin. Service was good - they didn't keep announcing things- just came round with the trolley ....and unusual for a major airline you have to buy a meal or snacks but non-alcoholic drinks are free. ( What is it about planes that makes me want to drink tomato juice - its the only time I ever do - anyone else feel the same way??) The seats were very good and didnt hurt my coccyx - I did some
of Mimi's excercises and the plane wasn't crowded so I ended up with 3 seats to lie down on for a couple of hours. There was a short stopover in Iceland - and just with a small glimpse of the place from the air I can say that it is defo a place I will go back to and visit - all that lovely geology. The FREE baggage allowance is amazing - going to the US you can take 2 bags 23 kgs each!!! Well my 2 bags ony weighed 21 kg altogether - how does anyone cart around 46 kgs.?? But for me its good to have 2 smaller cases - I can manage that. And unlike BA ( charging £35 to book a seat!!!!)you can reserve your seat no charge.
I know flights can be boring but I always try and get something out of the experience - and I chop up the time into 2 hour chunks...that way it is manageable. The flight path took me across Greenland , over Hudson Bay and North Canada, then Minnesota and Nebraska - snow and ice everywhere... frozen expanses of mountains and lakes and sea - and as we
flew south a chequerboard of fields appeared , some squared with great circles inside them - is that because of irrigation or planting or cropping patterns I wonder. Anyhow this was like looking at a painting - strips and squares and circles with a squiggle of a river - and with the snow lying the colours were muted shades of white and blues and greys with some browns showing through - a fantastic artists pallete. And over the icy snowy mountains looking down was like a black and white pattern of NZ ferns....a wonderful sight.
Well here are just a few fotos I took from the plane. Of course I did manage to watch a couple of movies ( one Icelandic with subtitles - I am glutton for punishment when it comes to foreign films!!), read my Kindle and listen to music . But I ask you how do some people manage to sit for 7hr 45 mins without getting up and going to the loo - well actually this old lady ( well older then me) in the aisle seat had to get up several times when I wanted to go - but she sat doing her knitting
like Madame Defarge all that time- and never went to the loo once !!!
Denver is a very nice spacious airport and on the long walk to Customs and Immigration ( it's always a long walk!!) the walls are covered in huge black and white prints of Native Americans - the names conjuring up old western movies as you walk past - apache , shoshone, pawnee, rapaho - beautiful old photos - majestic looking people.
It's alwaysa bit scarey at the passport desk - the US officials are stern and non-smiley and ask you questions and you are afraid you will say the wrong thing and they won't let you in - why are you here? who lives at the address you have put on the form? how long have you know him? Phew - I must've answered correctly ... and then put your hand and thumbs on the green light thingy and look in the camera and I was in.
Shared transport to get to local hotels is run by and efficient outfit called "super shuttle" - I had booked online - found their office and was directed to where to wait and a few minutes
later 10 of us were piling into a mini bus/limo vehicle...and lucky me my hotel was first.
The hotel was great value with a very nice room and friendly staff - by this time it was about 8.30pm ( 2.30am UK time) so I was fighting sleep - but got myself to the little restaurant and had a caesar salad and a budweiser and then back to the room and tumbled into bed. I always set my watch to local time where I will be when I leave the UK - and try and stay up - so getting myself acclimatised to mountain time.
And I didn't know that Denevr is called the "mile high city" - it is that high aboce sealevel - so there are warnings about altitude sickness. There's a bit of info you might need in a pub quiz one day.
Today ( Friday) Patrick picked me up and we drove to his home in the mountains not far from Vail and Aspen but thats a blog for another day.
Bye for now and I would love to hear from you and hear your comments on what I have written. Love to
There are more photos below