Today started early. Up at 5.00 am to get dressed and get a taxi to Hove station for the 5.57 am train into London Victoria. Then it was on the underground Circle and District line to London Paddington station, where I jumped on the Heathrow Express line to Terminal 5. Timewise you are supposed to be at the airport two hours before take-off. Time for my British Airways flight to Boston was 11.00 am and I had calculated at being at the airport at 8.30 am, giving me a bit of a buffer in case of delays. In actual fact I arrived at 8.00 am. Noticable to me, especially on the underground railway, was the look of misery on people's faces as they faced up to another week of London commuting and working. Why do people do this year after year? Anyway that is another subject.
This is Heathrow's new terminal and I was very impressed. Here is a pic before going through the security.
And here is a pic once you have passed security.
I have never seen an Airport terminal with so many shops.
So the plane is a Boeing 777, and this is the largest twin jet ever built with engines having the largest turbofan diameter of any commercial jet engine.
Look at the size of that engine.
So I boarded the plane along with everybody else and sat down in my seat in the Traveller Plus class. This is one class up from economy and the seats are a bit wider. Take-off was smooth and without event and ofcourse that is exactly what you want when you are trusting your life to metal and plastic. After about an hour into the flight they bring us lunch - chicken and mash or roast beef. I love mashed potatoe so went for the chicken. It was a delicious meal I must say - and eaten with plastic knife, fork and spoon. I guessed this was due to terrorism restrictions, in the same way drinks are served in plastic cups. However, having spied through the curtain that separates traveller plus from business class, I noticed they indeed had real metal cutlery. I guess terrorists don't travel business class.
I read a bit of my book - No Way Down, Life and Death on K2 which seems interesting. Probably not a good idea to read disaster books while flying. Anyway I got bored with this so flicked up my little onboard entertainment monitor to my left and played a Space Invaders type game. I soon got bored with that so decided to write this blog post. So this is the first blog I have written in the air. Of course I cannot post it just yet. Here is a pic looking over to my left.
Usually I dread these sort of days of travelling hour after hour, but today has actually been enjoyable. I think this is due to the fact that I know it will reflect probably my last international trip as a Global IT consultant. Also since it is well over two months now without a cigarette, I am not suffering the stress normally associated with not being able to get that nicotine fix when on trains, planes and transit terminals. I didn't notice a smoking area at the Heathrow terminal. I do think all this anti-smoking legislation is a little cruel on the smokers. If you have a closed of ventilated area for smokers, like they do at the Geneva airport, what harm does it do anyone except the smokers themselves? Also, it's hypocritcal of the airport to sell duty free tobacco, but with no place to smoke it.
Anyway, after a three hour drive I have arrived at the hotel and placed this blog entry. It's midnight English time and 7.00 pm Connecticut time. I'm tired and will get some sleep.