Last minute rush
So here we are, finally, on our flight cross the atlantic! But before that, we had to get ready, which means to finish a lot of things. Last Friday was my last day at work after an intense week trying to organize a few last things, buying some gears we need, selling my mountain bike, thinking about what to take for the trip... Still after the week-end visiting Lory's parent we weren't close to be ready in any point of view. Wednesday lunch time was our deadline, that was sure! But before that we had to sort out our multiple paperwork, to bring my car and scooter to different friends, to say goodbye to a few last friends, to pack down all my belongings moving them in the basement, giving the keys to the new renters, ... By wednesday 5am (5 in the morning!) we were close to the end of our "must" to-do list, as much as ourselves, and crashed in bed for a 2 hours power night/nap, as you want, but not much anyway... And to awaken to start the cleaning of the flat. At lunch time, we could rest to enjoy a last glass of wine and be delighted of that was left ahead of us: 12 months round the world to visit our short-list of countries. Still it was hard to feel that we were on holidays, still seing familiar walls, building and streets.
The clock is ticking, wake up! Time to move to the train station, to catch an early train and get on a first destination, London. But wait, who just poped out at the same time of his door as we were closing our, my neighbour Bruno (another round world class traveler). As he said, he had the extrem pleasure to share the first meters of a round world trip, to be the first encounter we did on our journey ;-) Thanks Bruno for those minutes. I'm sure that plans of new adventures are shacking and shaping in his mind right now...
For once we had time, we weren't gonna rush to the airport and into the plane. That's not as you want to start such a trip. But that was without reaching the huge queue we had to get through in the middle of a wednesday afternoon at Geneva airport. What the heck were doing all those people getting on an Easyjet flight? But well, we had 1.5 hours ahead of us, it should be enough, right? We didn't reach the end of the queue that people of our flight to Gatwick were pleased to jump into dedicated counters to register quickly their luggages as we had about 40 minutes left before the flight due departure time. Guess what, even if it went quite smoothly, the next challenge was to get through the security check with those other wednesday-middle-afternoon-people who wanted to take a plane... Soon 15 minutes left before departure and we weren't really close to the scanner. I don't want to miss our first flight, come'on! Excuse me Sir, would you mine to let us jump in front of you? We might have 5 minutes left to get on our flight... Yeeees, he let us go. Bags, belts, computers on the scanner belt, pants in one hand, smile on the face, everything is fine, no biping. Let's rush to the gate noooooow!!! No one left seating in the waiting area, and they were calling for boarding the last passengers. Check! Touch down! Whatever you want, but we were in! :-) 60 seconds later we were already sitting in a row, hearing that we were closing the plane door. Ouch! What a start.
A couple of minutes later we had our last sight of Switzerland until a long time, the adventure was on! And the surprises as well. We landed in time in Gatwick, but it was without the idea that another flight from Amsterdam landed 3 minutes before us with my sister in it. We arrived at the bagages claim and Lory saw directly her pimped bright flashy yellow protecting cover rolling in front of passengers. She left me, and like 5 seconds later while I was cruising up the bags belt my eyes, someone grabbed me by the shoulder. What? Is there a good friend here at the same time? Who is it? I turned my head around to meet my sister smiling! Wouaw! She came all the way from Holland to spend the evening with us and our cousins for a last goodbye. Then my aunt was waiting for us with big open arms and huge smile seing all of us coming together. We spend a great evening chatting with Simon, with who I crossed the Rockies from North to South on a mountain bike in 2009, Marina & Luke, and Tim. Time was flying and our next flight was approaching. Another short night of not even 5 hours before Evelyne kindly dropped us at Heathrow for our flight to SFO. Oh surprise... No queue!!! And more than 2 hours before our flight. We got on the plane easily, with time for a breakfast before hand.
All I can say: what a start!