Hectic in Heathrow

I arrived in London from Chicago at 10:30 p.m.ish and had about 8 hours to kill before my next flight at 6:30 a.m. I tried to snag some Z’s in the terminal I was in, but soon discovered that tile floor is not a friend to exposed joints such as the elbow and the kneecap. After surfing the net and pretending to nap, I tried to print out my boarding pass when the desks all opened up at 4:00 a.m. I was told that I was in the wrong terminal, and that I’d “betta huhrry up, chap” so I could reach the next terminal in enough time to check in with some breathing room.

I briskly walked to the train that would take me to Terminal 5, only to find out that the train wouldn’t come for another 45 minutes. So I tried the bus, and upon arriving at the busses, was told by an employee that the train would actually be quicker. So I even briskly-er walked to the train again, found out it was going to be even later than expected, so I ran back up to the busses and paced back and forth in the chilly drizzle of London in anticipation of the bus that didn’t end up arriving until 5:35. My check-in was to be no later than 5:45. I squeezed my standing-room handle on the bus tightly (as if it would make it go any faster) and arrived at Terminal 5 at exactly 5:44. When the doors skooshed open I took off sprinting to British Airways’ check in desk, dodging Englishmen left and right, and arrived in enough time for the guy at the counter to tell me I was too late and had to catch the next flight. Apparently he felt sorry for me when he saw that I was sweating and panting, and gave me one of those “I know I shouldn’t do this, but I’m letting you slide” kind of looks and said “Gate B, chap. RUN.” So I ran. Buzzed through security. Arrived at the train that was to take me to my gate. And sprinted to my gate only to arrive at 6:08 (boarding closed at 6:10) and realized that boarding was delayed due to a malfunctioning door on the aircraft. I sat down, shared my sweat with the seatback behind me, and took a few long breaths of relaxation. Being alone in a tense situation in an unfamiliar area is a unique experience.

And so I arrived in Santorini, where they don’t believe in clouds. I wandered around the town of Perissa for about an hour looking for my room, and ate a stuffed calamari for a peaceful sunset dinner on the beach (no, not fried baby squids, but a foot-long, grilled, full-size squid stuffed with feta cheese and herbs).

Next post: My days in Santorini.

Soaking in Santorini,

Carlyle

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