Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TallyHo Traveller's Springtime Gallop Through Northern and Central Europe 2012 -- Day One

A typical April Fool’s Day this was not! After months of planning (with a few revisions), our 12 day European adventure began with summer-like temperatures in the mid-80s during the 1 hour trip to Denver International Airport. After parking offsite at our favorite Tower Road facility, USAirport Parking, we arrived at the British Airways check in desk around 6:15 PM. Patiently waiting in the queue for about 20 minutes our travelling party finally completed an efficient, as well as pleasant, check in. After a short delay at the Concourse A Security we made our way to Concourse A’s food court and the last Micky Ds Filet-O-Fish, the best of American fast food fish sandwiches that I would eat for the next 12 days. Watching the sun set over the Rocky Mountains while the outside cargo crew loaded luggage and cargo onto the British Airways (BA) 777 which would take us over the Atlantic to London Heathrow was a fantastic start to our adventure. Finally it was time to go through the UK Customs procedure (passports available, everyone!), walk down the long walkway and board the plane.

The boarding process was relatively smooth considering it was definitely a full flight. Soon the plane pushed back from the gate. Within a half hour of takeoff, the flight attendants served the evening meal. By the time we were served the only meal option available was chicken and rice, which wasn’t horrible, but not up to the standards of a previous BA transatlantic flight. When enquiries were made it was discovered that the requested Gluten Free (GF) meal entrée for one of our traveling party did not get loaded onto the plane. The flight attendant was profusely apologetic and did locate and serve some other GF food items to keep starvation at bay (glad we thought to bring GF snacks for a contingency!) Having eagerly anticipated watching the movie “The Iron Lady” which was listed in the current selections at BA’s website for this flight, I was extremely disappointed to discover that it was not listed in the on board choices. (Major Bummer!) “The Debt” was not as exciting as the movie trailer previewed but “The Descendants” proved to be an unanticipated, pleasant surprise (George, you should have won that Oscar)! The overnight flight was a little bumpy at times and the service by the attendants was not as stellar as on a previous trans-Atlantic flight but eventually we did arrive at London’s Heathrow airport.

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