Poros 2007 -
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12th September : Glasgow Airport and the Holiday Begun :
Daughter Joanne ran us to Glasgow Airport after we parked the car in the back yard of her Lockerbie house. Readers of the Poros 2006 blog will recall that Ewan was with us on both the outwards trips to Glasgow and the return trip, but this time he was that bit older and was not troublesome or sick. The weather was also different, at 20° Centigrade and dry. However, we knew that the return might be less promising, but Frances had promised us hot weather in Greece. No sports jacket for me - just my two belt-pouches for camera and cash and my fleece in case of the cold. We also each took a wheeled suitcase with under 18 kilos of clothes etc. apiece - on weigh-in, it was only 32 kilos.
With every expectation of being awake for 26 hours, I decided to try to nap in the back of the car and Ewan took the same opportunity; according to Jenny and Jo, we both snored, sleeping almost head to head. However Jo preferred that to my trying to hum, althought she 'went straight down the middle' in her driving, keeping on track for the M8 and the airport. She left us off in the dropoff area, for security has increased since the attempt by terrorists to firebomb the passenger terminal earlier this year. Poor Jo, she had problems leaving the airport and at one point wound up in Paisley. Although we arrived at about 3 pm, I reckoned that this was safer than leaving things to the last minute, but we still had to wait till 4 pm for the check-in desks. As a point of interest, although we had brought half-litre water bottles, regulations made it impossible to take them through, so we had a drink each and then dumped the bottles in a bin.
As before, I had to have my hand-luggage scanned, which included dumping my trouser-belt and pouches in a tray that was run through an X-ray unit. Fortunately, my chinos stayed in place on my hips whilst walking through the security portal. After that, into the departure lounge and shopping area for a wait, broken only by a stop in Bargo's for a £1.65 cuppa and two more half-litre bottles of water. Jen saw a man with e laptop and wi-fi connection working with a glass of wine beside him, so she got a £ 2.00 drink of white wine to start her holiday. She looked at the Duty Free area and was unimpressed; I went to the Boots for a Mars bar and then to WH Smith for a pack of Rennies, some Lockets and some Polos, as I had sadly forgotten my Extra Strong Mints. £8 gone and not even aboard the plane!
A Long and Boring Flight...
To my sorrow, although we boarded happily enough, we found ourselves in seats 3A and 3B on the starboard side in the rear of the plane, with take off above cloud cover and a polar landscape. I only felt moved to take two pictures - one of the plane at Glasgow and another at 30,000 feet of a jet barrelling along a few miles away in the opposite direction. It was odd to see a jet passing and to get a sensation of its speed - most of the time when one looks up, jets are high and slow-moving objects at the end of wispy contrails.
In seat 3C on my left there was a cheerful lady named Elinor, off to Greece on holiday. She proved an interesting travel companion, telling us of a seaplane flight from Loch Long to Oban, a birthday gift from her husband who does not like flying. On take-off, she had been in a similar 'Yay, we're off!" mood to myself, although Jen (who does not like takeoff and landing) relaxed rather more at cruising height. We both had fruit and a roll (brought from home) and a Chicken cupasoup, at airline UK Sterling prices. Naughty, naughty Jenny... she wanted an Irish Cream on ice, got it and continued her holiday.
Entertainment is where you find it. Elinor showed us her photographs after the refreshments - good stuff, all of it - then we discovered that the name of every Stewardess on the flight began with 'L'. Lorna (chief) explained it was a pure fluke, but Laura, Lorraine and Lindsay were her colleagues. The co-pilot had been on the run to Larnaca in Cyprus, so got confused when he was updating us and thought we would be arriving an hour early; being me, I thought about the Jet Stream and believed him, but Lorna kindly corrected me. We both tried to doze, after looking down on (I suspect) Antwerp docks in the evening, although I think Jen found the town lights of Austria and former Yugoslavia of interest. The descent over Albania and Greece was interesting, but the difficulty was of identifying the areas we passed over. I believe we went over Corinth then round over Piraeus and Faliron Bay before lining up to land at midnight at Eleftherios Venezilaos Airport.
Aircraft passing at speed
© 2007 and 2008 Richard Edkins, Dalbeattie Internet.