Heading the wrong way home

Published: August 24th 2015
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Today marked the end of our Aegean holiday so we finished off re-packing our bags this morning ready for our flight back to Manchester. After breakfast we brought our bags downstairs and checked out and then settled in to wait in the foyer for the coach that would take us to the airport. Just as we got comfortable the staff advised us that we needed to lug our bags to the hotel down the street as the coach was waiting for us there. Aaargh, panic stations!

We stuffed our tablets/e-readers into our hand luggage and made to get our wheely bags for the dash to the hotel down the street. Kath's bag was sitting in front of a HUGE potted plant and as she grabbed for the handle she slightly misjudged and knocked the handle just enough to tip the bag over backwards. It toppled into the potted plant which then crashed to the floor and sent pebbles and potting mix across the foyer. The pot survived the impact, but what a mess! The staff were all OK, OK, don't worry about it - you must hurry to the other hotel for the coach to the airport. Damn, we were in such a rush no-one snapped even an iPhone photo of the wreckage we left behind!

We rushed out the door and down the street to the other hotel - in the belief that there was a coach actually sitting there waiting for us - only to find that all of the panic was for naught because the coach had not yet arrived! Oh well, that left time for Bernie and Albert to admire the vintage cars on display out the front of the hotel. Bernie was especially taken by the one painted in the colours of his beloved football team, the Richmond Tigers. Yellow and black!

I decided to use the loo so, of course, I got back from the loo to find that the coach had finally pulled in to the driveway. Luckily bags were still being loaded so I wasn't holding things up. Thank goodness the air conditioning on this coach was working. We had a much more comfortable ride back to Dalaman than the hot and airless journey from Dalaman 10 days ago.

Usual rigmarole at the airport with ourselves and our luggage being scanned and re-scanned before check-in and then killing time in the airport lounge waiting for our departure. Finally it was time to board the plane.The return flight was scheduled to be on an aeroplane with two aisles and a three-four-three configuration so Kath paid extra to reserve aisle and aisle plus one seats for us in the middle section. Oh no, the aircraft was substituted for one with a two-four-two configuration so, instead of our "D" and "E" seats being on the aisle and one seat from the aisle, we were smack bang in the middle of the middle bank of seats. There were a lot of grumpy people on the plane complaining to the flight attendants. Mainly about the fact that extra money had been paid (and wasted) on trying to secure particular seats. What can you do though? Absolutely nothing!

The other downside to theses cheap charter flights is that the planes are configured to fit in the absolute maximum number of passengers. This means the seats are very cramped ... in every direction. There's not much leg room and the seats are very narrow. The thing I found most uncomfortable was that I couldn't even sit with my back flat on my seat. Even with my slim frame I had to sit with my shoulders rounded forward so as not encroach on Bernie's space or the space of the woman sitting next to me. Add to that the fact that we were embarking on a four hour flight westward bound to Manchester - when we would be flying back over the Mediterranean to Dubai on Saturday - and it made for a rather miserable flight! Flying doesn't usually bother me, but I was really very uncomfortable on this particular journey.

The only plus was that I got confused about it being a four hour flight with a two hour time difference between Turkey and the UK. I adjusted my watch by the four hours instead of two so I thought we were still about two and half hours out of Manchester when the pilot came over the PA to announce that we had commenced out decent and would be landing in just half an hour. Yay, what a relief it was to hear that!

Colin collected us at the airport and drove us home to Stalybridge. He filled us in on the way with more details about Amelia's broken arm. While we were having dinner last night Kath received a text to say that they were at the hospital with Amelia with a suspected broken arm and waiting for confirmation and treatment. Colin was able to confirm that the arm is broken, but the treatment part is a bit up in the air with them still waiting to hear if the arm will be set tomorrow or maybe on Saturday. Amelia is being very brave about it, but Colin and Lucy are very frustrated about how long it is taking to get the arm treated. Hospitals, like airlines, have us at their mercy!

Steps for the day 6,321 (4.3 kms)


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