Sunday, 8 February 2009

Trip to the Lowlands Part 2

Ok so really the title should be trip back to the snowy lands.

Our flight back from Schiphol to Heathrow was scheduled for 11.45am, due to the state of the weather the day before we were almost convinced it would be cancelled and we'd be stuck in Holland for an extra day at least (no bad thing though really) however surprisingly the BA website said our flight was running as normal so we left The Hague at 8.30 in plenty of time. Emma likes being on all types of public transport so we were enjoying ourselves on the train to the Airport and were almost there (approx 1-2 miles away) when the train stopped, after a few minutes the conductor came on the PA and informed us there had been a "stroom storing" (Having spent 7 years in Holland I am still appalled at my lack of Dutch, however having travelled on the railways a lot in that time I was well aware that this phrase which basically means power failure).

So we sat and waited on a stationary train for what seemed like an eternity, I'm sure most of you have been there, you can see the seconds ticking away along with your flight becoming less and less likely and there is nothing you can do about it. After about 30 minutes they decided that there was no point in waiting any longer and turned the train around to go back to Leiden, where to get to Schiphol we would have to catch another train and change twice, there was no way we were going to catch our plane so we opted for the 80 Euro taxi ride instead. We arrived at the airport 2 minutes before check in was due to close, a little stressed but very relieved, however as we were starting to check in all the BA computers went down, so the stress levels came back up again. After about 15 minutes of standing and waiting I was starting to get worried we would miss the flight (again) so I asked the BA check in clerk what would happen if they couldn't check us in for our flight which was now due to leave in 30 mins, at which point he said don't worry your flight is delayed until 1pm anyway, though why he didn't tell us that when we first arrived I don't know. So eventually (after about another 30 mins) we got checked in and went through security (with no events this time) at which point we found the flight was delayed until 2.45pm, aggghhhh, now I know some of you will feel for us when you think about trying to entertain a 2 year old in an Airport for this length of time, but atcually Emma was incredibly well behaved and we are both very proud of her for that, the worst that happened was she started emptying the stones from the potted trees onto the airport floor (mainly I think because she was amused by the fact we had to put them back again afterwards.)

At 3.00pm we finally boarded the flight at which point Emma instantly fell asleep, we were all belted up and ready to go when the captain came on and said that they couldn't get a take off slot for 45 minutes, the atmosphere on the plane was pretty crappy at this point and I was starting to think anything and everything that could go wrong would, however after about 15-20 minutes the captain came back on and said he had now got clearance to take off and so off we went.

The journey to London was pretty uneventful (thank god) apart from a rather bizarre circle as we came over east London which was obviously to waste time but was a little unusual.

When we got on the ground at Heathrow we were then told we didnt have anywhere to park the plane which caused us another 30 minutes on the plane.

Just when I was starting to relax and think we were going to get home in one piece at a reasonable time we were told that it was likely going to be multiple hours before our luggage would be off the plane and available to us. To be fair to BA they did at this point give us the option of filling a small form in and having our lugage delivered to our house in the next day or so, we grabbed this option with open arms and ran screaming from the terminal.
Collected the car from long stay parking no nasty surprises it was all in one piece and atcually was surprisingly devoid of snow. I guess a lot of people were working at home that day as the M25 and M4 were very quiet (it was rush hour by now) now you would think that by this time nothing else could go wrong (or could it) the weather was pretty bad on the way home, driving rain and sleet, the strange thing was every now and then the wipers on the car kept making a loud bang at first I thought it was snow falling off trees or bridges but it seemed to be too regular for that. When we turned off the A34 about 2 miles from home there was an even louder bang from the wipers and the left one flipped over and turned inside out, we stopped and turned it back round and made it home without further incident. I was so relieved when we finally got in the house and relaxed. It was the second worst trip I've ever had and one I won't forget for a long long time.

Next episode: The case of the missing luggage (A short but unbelievable tale)


Amanda said...

Please tell us the story of the missing bag Uncle Brett. Pppllleeeaaassseee.
Incidentally, Pete's didn't turn up with him on Thursday.

brettcarr said...

tell you tommorow, well better pete's bag got lost than pete did. Hope you have a lovely week together. BTW Emma's presents arrived, she loves the Iggle Piggle etch a sketch thing wont go out without it.

Cath said...

Oh sweetie, I am with Amanda though, what happened next???
Its like a blog with teasers, surely you can't keep us waiting...

Glad it wasn't tooo horrendous (remember we got stuck overnight on the M11 coming back from Rome?)

Big respect to Emma for the good behaviour, did you all have a nice birthday ?

Libitina said...

OI steling my bag thunder :) Glas you got back safely though