Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Day 6 - September 29

I woke up fairly early, which was good as I had to make an early start.
Turned out, however, I think I did make it a bit too early! :-)
I found it difficult to estimate how longer travel time would be needed for different things, especially in central London, and since I was a bit unsure of procedure at Stansted Airport I wanted to have a lot of time ... well I did ...

I checked out of the hotel at 7 a.m., or shortly after - no problems at all, I basically only had to leave the key! :-)
Walked up to Praed Street and got a bit worried! In the direction from where the buses were coming, there were lots of blue lights blinking, so I was afraid it had been a traffic accident, and that it would cause stops or delays in traffic.
However, traffic seemed to move fairly quickly and it didn't take that long before a no. 23 bus arrived.
And wow - what an experience to ride a bus through central London at 7.30 a.m. on a Saturday morning! For one thing, we had green lights constantly, all through Oxford Street from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus! That is not supposed to happen - it's like ... against the law or something! *LOL!!!*
The bus ride, that normally takes about 1h 10 minutes or so ... took 30 minutes!! YIKES!!

We arrived at Liverpool Street at 7.45 and there was a Stansted Express train due to leave at 7.55 - perfect timing! Basically no people on the train either, which was a pleasant change to the ride from the Airport some five days earlier ...

We arrived at Stansted Airport at about 8.40 a.m. ... and my flight wasn't due to leave until 12.25 - yikes! Still, at this point, I was glad of the extra time, actually! It gave me the opportunity to walk around the airport, and figure out what was to happen when (okay, this sounds like I have had no experience of travel at all, which is not the case, but I hadn't been abroad since the summer of 2009 and this was pretty  much the first time ever I was on my own .... ), and that was good.
I had a sandwich and some water and the check-in desks for Malmö opened earlier than expected.
I had no problems checking in my bag and then it was time for the security check. For some reason it always makes me nervous and uncomfortable, even though I know I have nothing to hide or nothing that is dangerous. However, it went almost strangely smooth for me this time!
Placed my bag in the box on the band - the girls before me had to remove their shoes/boots, one of them was pulled aside for a body scan - but they just waved me through and I got my bag and that was it! Cool!

I bought a coke (to get rid of a headache that threatened to set it) and some snacks and waited for our gate to be listed. Walked around a bit, and bought some cool postcards - and waited for our gate to be listed. And waited. And waited. And waited!
Every other flight had gotten their gate, eventually even three or four flights leaving after the flight to Mamlö had a gate - but not Malmö ...
At this point I got a bit worried, thinking about delays and problems with gates and whatnot - and pretty much standing, pacing and sitting watching a monitor for about an hour was quite annoying!

Finally, around 11.50 we found out that the plane for Malmö was leaving from gate 48, so I set off ... and yes it is quite a distance to walk, that's for sure.
By the time I got to the gates, it was basically time to form into queues - which I hadn't expected ...
Things went smoothly however, although I think there were at least some minor problems - that none of the passengers were told about of course.
First of all, that the gate came up so late. Then we had to stand in line, they started to check passports and boarding cards and let people through, but we were stopped in a stairway and had to wait before being allowed to board the plane. After a while we were allowed out of the stairway and walked toward the plane, but were stopped at the stairs to the plane and weren't allowed to board ....

We ended up being about 10 minutes late from Stansted Airport, which after all, didn't feel that bad - and the flight went really well.
The touch-down in Malmö was not so pleasant though - apparently they had had stormy and rainy weather, so it was quite turbulent coming down, a bit too much so for my taste, and when we landed, the runway was soaking wet so it was quite slippery - however, no incidents.
When we got out of the plane however, we were apparently going to be shipped by bus to the main terminal - when did that happen in a tiny airport like Malmö?!?!?!
We ended up just at the Passport control, which was nice, and I was through very quickly, and had to wait for my bag.
They had, all in all, two conveyor belts at Malmö, at one of them would come bags from some Greek resorts and on the other, would be the bags from London. I went to the bathroom but they still hadn't started our belt - and then there were talks of the fact that all bags was on single conveyor belt .. so I went over to check - and within a few moments I saw my bag there!
I got it and went outside ... there were some issues with the Airport Transfer Buses which was quite annoying as I just wanted to go home, but in the end, at least, I got to Lund and were able to take a bus home! :-)

Was home about 6.30 p.m. - and it felt quite unbelievable that the whole trip, door to door, had taken almost 12 hour (yes, I know most of it was my fault because I was so darn early! *lol*)!!


The Darkest Night said...

LOL Rather early than late! :)

I've truely enjoyed reading about your London-trip!

Jessica said...

Well, yeah, that's how I felt - though in retrospect, maybe not all that early?! *lol*
Spending about 4 hours at Stansted Airport isn't THAT much fun!

I'm glad you enjoyed reading all my ramblings - I still have a few more entries to put up, hopefully I'll have time for that today! :)

The Darkest Night said...

Well...it IS hard to calculate travelling time...and I tend to be very early as well, just to avoid stress... (besides they have HMV and Burger King at the airport LOL)

(Last time my flight home was a total nightmare though...)

I sure did! Lots of fun to read about your trip! (I sure wish I would have thought of making a London blog for MY trip LOL)

Jessica said...

You're absolutely right, it is quite hard to calculate travelling time, unless you're REALLY experienced and have travelled a lot!

Hey, why did I miss they have HMV at the airport?!?!?!?! Not fair!!!

LOL! You'll have to make a London blog for your next trip, right! :)