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Bleary-eyed beyond belief

London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Mariscal Sucre (Quito) and José Joaquín de Olmedo International (Guayaquil)

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I'm writing this from Guayaquil, because I didn't have internet connection while I was actually at Heathrow.

I actually left St Albans the night before, on the 15th, because my plane was due to leave Heathrow at 6.35 am and I didn't want to go on a long, expensive taxi journey in the middle of the night. I caught one of the latest possible trains to St Pancras International - Mum, Kate, Emma and Mark saw me off at St Albans station - and got the tube from there all the way to Heathrow Terminal 4.

I sat down in a normal waiting seat, read and had a snack or two. After a while a female airport employee came up and said it was OK for me to go into the exclusive club lounge and lie down on the couch there, because it wasn't officially open so nobody else was in it. I checked that it was definitely OK for me to be there and she said yes, so in I went and set up my position for the night... Of course, after only 15 minutes or so two security men appeared on their round of the terminal and kicked me out! The fact that I'd been told it was OK didn't make any difference with them, so I had to go back to where I'd been sitting before.

The plane was about half an hour late leaving Heathrow so since I had a short connection time at the other end already, I practically had to gallop through Amsterdam Schiphol to get to the right gate in time. I had no time to look round any of the shops. While I was in the boarding queue I noticed that it said 'gate closing', but despite running over time they still let everybody in the queue on the plane, thank goodness. Then it turned out that I needn't have bothered rushing, because we spent an hour and a half sitting on the plane before it set off due to a problem with one of the computers!

Unfortunately on this flight I was in the middle of the middle row, not next to a window. I managed to get a couple of hours sleep and I also read a lot on my Kindle. We only arrived at Quito half an hour late because we'd made up an hour on the way (maybe the wind was behind us). I and the other people who were staying on the same flight to go on to Guayaquil didn't have to get out of the plane and go into transit at Quito, unlike what happened the other two times I've done this journey. We left at the right time so arrived bang on time at Guayaquil. I was apprehensive about whether my hold bag would make it on the same flight or not after the rush at Amsterdam, but as it happens my bag was the first out so you can imagine my relief!

It was just getting dusky when I stepped out of the arrivals lounge. 28 degrees, but also very lightly spitting with rain which felt quite refreshing.

Posted by 3Traveller 12:18 Archived in Netherlands Tagged trains united_kingdom airport layover ecuador guayaquil st_albans Comments (0)


Amsterdam Schiphol, London Heathrow and St Albans

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Edit from January 2019: Again, in this blog's original appearance, on Travelpod, I wrote this retrospectively. Originally I had this split into three separate entries, but I've combined them here.

A near- four hour wait at Amsterdam Schiphol, but time passed quickly because of the amount of duty-free shops to look round. I also saw works of art by Franz Hals, Johan Barthold Jongkind, Karel Appel and more at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol.

At Heathrow Terminal 4 it was wonderful to walk into the Arrivals lounge and be enveloped in hugs by Dave. Kate was there too which was lovely of course - as it was to see Emma once we had joined her upstairs in Wetherspoons, where she was sitting waiting for food to arrive (having thought incorrectly that she had time for a quick bite before I arrived!) I didn't order any food but I did have a Diet Coke and relieved Emma of one or two of her chips.

It was well after dark by the time we got back from Heathrow. Dad opened the door and Mum was close behind. Not much more to say here apart from a repeat the same word from the last entry - wonderful.

Posted by 3Traveller 08:03 Archived in Netherlands Tagged art airport museum sisters dad dave mum layover st_albans Comments (0)

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