Travel itinerary Day #1. Half Way There

Well, I was asked to tell the story of our Australia trip, I wrote long blogs with pictures on my Icelandic but why not here, too? If you get bored, well just don’t read I suppose. Would like to know if ppl are reading, otherwise I probably I won’t bother…

Flights to Europe from here usually leave at the ungodly hour of 07:00 AM, we have to show up at 05:00 which means wake up no later than 4 AM. Quick shower, woke up the kids (at their insistence) to kiss them bye. They could then go back to sleep (eldest one’s 18, perfectly safe to leave them alone). Kjartan, the chairman of the Society of Icelandic Composers showed up in a cab about half four and to the airport it was. Lucky 18 year old didn’t need to get up and drive us there.

I always have the same sort of breakfast before these early flights in Keflavík, they’ve got an excellent café, some hot chocolate + a ham&cheese croissant, not too expensive. Bought a couple of books to read on the plane, had brought quite a lot of them actually but you can never have too many books! Meant to get transferred to Economy Comfort but didn’t ask for it in the right place, needed to go to Saga Lounge and by that time it was too late, I got told by an extremely irritated lady at the desk. Never mind – this flight was too short to bother anyway.

Ascension in cloudy weather but after a short while we flew around old Eyjafjallajökull. We hadn’t brought the family out to see the eruption like half the nation did at the time, so this was the first time we saw the cloud with our own eyes. Quite amazing, even though it was from a distance.

I and husband ate half our homemade sandwiches on the plane, Icelandair used to give out breakfast and dinner in Economy Class but no more, sorry to say.

Didn’t even bother digging up the books or computer for a 2 1/2 hour flight, went uneventfully even though we didn’t get to land right away, had to fly in circles, then there was another plane at the gate, then there was something wrong with the gate ramp but fortunately we weren’t in a hurry. Definitely no hurry. Later in the day we saw the Icelandair plane take off, quite a bit later than usual, suppose the eruption delays were still taking their time.

Sent the teenager an SMS to let her know we had landed safely in London.

Freezing and raining in England so we decided not to go into the city at all, just waited in the airport the 10 hours until next flight. Went to Terminal 4, where the Abu Dhabi flight was supposed to fly in the evening. Talked to a really nice guy at the Etihad Airways check-in desk, he asked us if we lived close to the volcano and if our families and homes were in any danger (which fortunately they aren’t).

10 hours in an airport is a loooong time, though. Long and boring. Had a burger with huge fries in the first restaurant we saw. Looked better than it tasted, the burger was dry and the fries mealy.

Went looking for a business lounge, didn’t dare to go into an enormously wealthy-looking Etihad lounge but finally found one where our Priority Pass gave us the possibility to buy some peace and quiet. Cost £20 for 3 hours per person and £40 for 9 hours. 80 pounds for both of us was a bit steep so we went to the Starbucks café for a cup of coffee and some fresh fruit for a while, took turns sitting there and looking around the almost empty airport. Bought a couple of more books (I simply cannot walk past a book shop) and some sweets, also saw some Thornton’s chocolates we decided to buy on our way home, 2 weeks later.

The business lounge was nice, well worth the money, food and drink as much as we wanted, nice seats and internet included for our computers. Weren’t able to connect the computers to a power plug, silly British sockets and plugs – or silly us not to have brought the British size with us, rather. Browsed the net until the computer wailed at me, then started on one of my by then numerous books.

After the 3 hours we had bought, out again, took care not to look in the direction of the book shop, all 3 of us sat down in a pub with a beer each, trying not to drink too fast. Really, really wanted to be able to connect my computer to a power source so when I saw a shop with electrical appliances I ran over there and found this excellent adapter, on which was claimed it had all the world’s sockets and plugs. Bought it, of course, pronto. When Kjartan saw the adapter he of course had to buy one too, it would fit our appliances to the Australian sockets too.

Earlier in the day I had seen my dream handbag, beautifully violet, in Harrods, don’t remember the type but on the way to the gate I had to see what it cost. £1260, thank you very much! Don’t need a new handbag all THAT bad!

Finally the Abu Dhabi flight, around 10 o clock in the evening. Large Airbus plane, not the biggest I’ve seen but big enough. Very very limited space, when I squeezed my little Mac laptop in the seat pocket in front of my seat I bumped my knees on it. Wouldn’t like to have had long legs, fortunately we’re just a bit vertically challenged so we survived. Not comfortably though.

Otherwise the flight was very nice. More in the next instalment.

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June 2010

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