Friday, 24 December 2010

Wednesday 22 December

After yesterday's debacle at Stornoway Airport, today went well. The plane took off only half an hour late, and much of that delay was run up waiting for two incoming planes. Arrived at Glasgow at 10 o'clock, after a flight over snowy Highland mountains.

Loch Maree, near Gairloch

The bus transfer to Glasgow City Centre took less than half an hour, but it was noteworthy that the trees were thickly encrusted with rime. Had to wait for the Edinburgh train at Queen Street station, where it was so cold. Temperatures at Glasgow Airport were reported to be at -11C, and it felt like that at the station. Fortunately, they called the 1100 departure well before the scheduled time so all passengers could wait in the warmth.

The journey to Edinburgh ran up a delay near Croy, but I have many hours to wait at Edinburgh Airport. I have lunch on the very cold station, then jump on the bus to the airport, where I arrive at 1.30pm.

Cue a period of excruciating boredom, until I could check in for my flight. A queue of 25 minutes, after which I proceeded to departures. Cue another period of waiting, extended due to the late departure of the flight. Once on board, there were more delays. But we finally took off at 8pm, 90 minutes late. The journey to Amsterdam was made enjoyable as I struck up a conversation with a lady next to me, who had suffered the same sort of delays that I had. She had a journey of 2½ hours ahead of her once at Amsterdam.

Touched down in a snowy Amsterdam at 10.30pm local time. At the baggage reclaim, dozens of cases were lined up - these were awaiting collection by their owner. There were 3000 pieces of luggage still there. My train departed at 11.15pm, and for the journey to Utrecht, I was able to use my laptop to go on-line, as the NS train offered free internet access. They did rather better than Edinburgh Airport which wanted £10 per hour for the privilege. Arrived at Arnhem at 12.40 am, and took a taxi to my father's house.

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