After Thursdays disasterous trip home - having to drive 524 miles overnight - I thought this week would be easier. Flying down on Sunday evening - no hassle. Well.
I met up with The Family in Aberdeen. And had to get a train to Edinburgh. No sweat. Well. Aside from it leaving about 2 hours too early. Oh well. And the wee 10 year old kid in 1st class, watching hooky movies (Yogi Bear and Gnomio And Juliet) at full volume. Brat.
So I get to the airport early. Seriously early. Three hours early for the flight. I cant even check in yet. I could have got the earlier plane-sort of early. Damn.
Finally I got checked in, through security. And then found that my 9:15pm flight is now three hours late. Which means I land at Gatwick at stupid-o-clock, long after any reasonable train service works. And of course, since I'm going to sunnier climates - I dont even have a jacket.
At least Edinburgh airport have pulled out the stops. All the shops are closed, but the Bar staff are keeping things going. Good for them.
Oh. And since Scotland played 'Brazil' in a 'friendly' this evening (We got 'gubbed'), the last incoming flight spilled out approximately 100 blokes in kilts. An amazing sight, and one that cheered my stony heart, on my last day in Scotland for a while.
Update: As 11pm swung by, I decided to walk the length of the airport, and found no less than four separate easyjet planes all parked up and ready to go. Why didnt the local standby crew use one of these?
We finally boarded (by bus, thus destroying any advantage to 'speedy boarding' and finally took off. And landed at 1:40am. And spent ages waiting for the docking system to be switched on.
Fine, I thought. There are trains at 2:05 and 2:30. The night is not lost yet. Oh. Yes it was. Because it was Gatwick, they decided to dock the plane at the wrong terminal, and then drove us around for a good 15 minutes, PAST the train station (where I could *see* the trains) and finally to the North terminal, where we all had to (as usual) climb two stories, and walk a good quarter mile before trying to reclaim our bags. Okay. And waited and waited. Finally, bags, and upstairs to the tram between terminals. There is still hope!
Ah. No. One of the trams was down, the other was running every 5 minutes and of course I missed the 2:30 train. So here I am, wandering around Bloody London Bloody Gatwick Bloody Airport (which is, as always in the process of being rebuilt) and admiring the hundreds of folks sleeping on the floors.
I suspect when I get to town, there's little point in actually trying to check into my hotel - I might as well go straight to work.
I've just had the two single worst travel experiences of the last ten years. Lessons learnt? Never travel via Gatwick. Its an armpit. How anything works here is a miracle. And never trust Easyjets' last flights. If they go wrong, they'll go spectacularly wrong.
Update 2: Got to London Bridge around 4:15am, and thought there was no point in actually going to bed. So I went to work. I might as well salvage some quality time out of this fiasco.