Tuesday, 16 December 2008

What I Did on My Holidays: Part I

It did not begin well. Due to the cost of airport parking, and the not wanting to have to drive around (especially around Heathrow) when it was cold, and dark, and I was tired, I decided to start my journey by train. I was organised. I checked the time table and the connections. I re-checked, an hour before setting off. I checked the display boards when I got to the station. All were unanimous. The first train would come at 19.14, which would give me 8 minutes to change trains in Bath, en route for London. And it would have worked, I’m sure, if the train company had played there part by sending the train. So, with that, and with the next train being delayed, I didn’t get to Heathrow until Midnight, instead of arriving as planned at about 9.45. It’s just as well that I had planned to sleep at Heathrow (In a funky little Pod hotel), as I would have been very much more stressed had my flight been in the evening not the following morning.

The ‘Yotel’ Pod was rather sweet and the bed was very comfy. I slept, and arose refreshed for the first of many breakfasts.

My flight was on time, less than half full and therefore peaceful and comfortable. Changing planes in Istanbul slightly less so – the international and domestic terminals are quite a long walk from one another, and the domestic terminal was packed, as it was the Friday before the start of the Eid El Ulna festival on Monday (‘Feast of the Sacrifice’, which is festival, when everyone goes home to be with family, so my travelling was pretty much the equivalent of getting a flight on Christmas Eve…so the flight to Dalaman was absolutely packed. I felt quite fortunate in having actually got the flight to Dalaman, however, as due to various delays, cancellations and gate changes for a lot of flights, a very poor quality announcement system (poor sound quality; not even the Turkish passengers could make out what was being said) and an apparently arbitrary approach to buses I was half expecting to find myself on a flight to Antayla, or any one of a number of destinations…

It was therefore particularly nice to be met at the airport by my sister, Kat, and driven home (by one of her neighbours, who has a car) to a hot meal, drinks, and bed.

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