Friday 2 March 2018

Getting to the Gatwick Airport while the UK on "LOCK DOWN"

26th February 2018

I was working all Monday and tried to forget about the weather. We still have not seen anything falling from the sky and they were wrong about the forecast so many times, so why should I trust them now? Surely, it is end of March and we are going for a trip we planned for many month, so we can't be expecting weather problems, I was trying to keep myself calm.

By the end of the afternoon I had already checked that very easy Easy Jet website to see how easy it actually was to change the flight that one was already checked in for (you can check in 28 days in advance on-line with this airline). And it was actually possible and straight forward, for a price, of course. But I felt any price was worth paying in such desperate times (I could not predict, how really desperate those times were to get) I was now determined to push Kendy's flight forward to get her the best possible change to get her to Gatwick at all. All I needed was her saying OK.

Thankfully, she had already felt the desperation & urgency of the situations from my text I sent the night before and when we spoke on Friday afternoon, she knew that moving plans forward was the best chance of deploying plan C to get us to our first destination before we can properly start the trip away. After she verbally agreed to my proposed changes, I swiftly moved her flight ( she had to move her train from Ostrava on her end), checked her in once more and forwarded the new boarding pass to her email! All before 5PM, as I knew Chris was picking me up and we were heading for spinning. Sitting on that motionless bike in Berwick Upon Tweed, I kept looking outside and thinking it is too warm to snow, it is so calm and there is no sign of storm at all. What Beast from the East are they talking about...? Chris and I have already gone thought the weekend constantly talking about the weather and my travels from Edinburgh to Gatwick. If all the snow comes our way, there might be a chance I won't get there at what do we do now?? Chris so kindly booked another hotel room for us at Gatwick, to make sure we have somewhere to sleep, shall we reach the airport.

27th February 2018

That night we came home and it was probably after midnight I decide to book myself on a train from Berwick to Kings Cross on Wednesday morning. Shifting a few other plans to Tuesday, it was the day when we woke up to a bit of snow cover and it was lightly snowing on and off most of the day. I managed to finish packing, driving to a few places and the evening approached very quickly. I was nervously checking the outside for the snow every half an hour.....and did not sleep well at all, as the guts picked up and the snow was hitting the windows very hard. I had a feeling this will be risky for the train. All the road in Scottish Borders were already announced to be closed on Wednesday and they sign on the A1 had a simple and not very helpful advice "DON'T TRAVEL TOMORROW" Great, I thought, easily said and easily done if you don't need to be anywhere!!

28th February 2018

I woke up early with a determination that I will to Gatwick that day!! I checked my train on Virgin East Coast App and my train was still running!!! Then I check the snow outside and it was quite deep in places!! I thought I feed the birds and test with my shoes on, how really deep it is. Yes, it was deep enough to get my bare feet very wet and cold! By the time Chris got up, they already announced that 10:12 train from Berwick was cancelled. My 11:13 was still running, actually already travelling from Aberdeen, being powered by a diesel engine. That must be surely more reliable than an electric one, I thought.

We left over an hour before the train was to depart and just as well! After a relative breeze drive through the farm lane ( that was actually cleared earlier by the farmer) it looked like the road was snowy by cleared. When we got to the Cairn Cross we already saw much deeper layers of snow on our main road ( also a bus route) to the A1. There was a smaller van already stuck in the snow. It look critical at one moment, but Chris, determined to get me to the station, braved driving though even deeper snow and we went pass the van. At the A1 a big SPAR lorry started heading towards us, Chris spoke to him and said if he does not have winter tyres, he will not get to Coldingham and he will most likely just block the whole road. We got to Berwick fine after that, waited for then 45 minutes delayed train and said our goodbyes ( which was quite sad :-( ) After that I was slowly but surely heading for London, though some very heavy show and some very sunny and blue sky patches and got there with only about 75 minutes delay, which I was very grateful for. The trip from St. Pankras to Gatwick is a long and slow journey, and that hour long journey feels like eternity but it got me there and I was happy and closer to our destination.

When I arrived to the hotel just after 6pm, Kendy was already checked in and catching on some much needed sleep. Her plane from Prague was OK, they even landed early, so we were both very happy to be in that lovely Holiday Inn and we celebrated our Reunion with G&Ts that were kind courtesy of VEC trains acquired on my journey. Only then we saw on the news that all Flights and train from Scotland ( and also Ireland) were cancelled for the 1st March and they were considering further cancelations from London Gatwick to Europe. We were both even more pleased were had our plan C!!

1st March 2018

This was our bonus day at Gatwick! Yip, yip, as in nautical terms they would say "Gatwick - Gateway to London" :-) and we were very happy about it - we knew we were here now. We had to move to Hilton, which is much closer to the airport  ( and the South Terminal) and it is much nicer hotel. Thanks to Chris' gold membership, we were upgraded to an Exec Room ( thank you so much Baby!!!xxx and for all your help and support! XXX), which comes with some lovely perks like bottled water, chocolates, bathrobes and business lounge that is well stocked and has a Aperitif o' Clock every evening from 6:30 till 8:30, which was a lovely treat and we thought a couple of glasses of Cava were in order after our stressful travels.

Well, I better get some sleep now, as we need to be up in 5 hours and checking-in just in 6 hours. I just had to check the flight coming from Barbados one more time and it is now on it way and should be here in plenty of time to get us on board on time, Let's hope the weather is kind to us and the Portuguese storm Emma can let us leave first before she decides to pay her scheduled visit to the south and south west of the UK, All Fingers and toes crossed!!!! :-) xxx

Times are shown in local time.

thomas-cook-airlines MT3977
Barbados (BGI)London Gatwick (LGW)
scheduled departure
01/03/2018 19:20
01/03/2018 19:29

scheduled arrival
02/03/2018 07:40
 on time
expected arrival
02/03/2018 06:55

Thursday 1 March 2018

Start of The Great Caribbean Adventure 2018

The worst snow in 50 Years!? Only History might tell.

Wow, what a week! We are still in this very strange blizzard, so the history might even change this to the worst 100! Depends on which newspaper do you believe! ;-) Never the less, I want to just repeat this, what a week it has been!!!

As the start of this trip was born in my dear friend's Kendy head in May 2017, well this is when she told me about her idea and ask if we could go and travel somewhere hot and exotic, somewhere she has not been to and she could create some memories to last her the lifetime. The idea was in the making since then, but only November 2017 brought a bit of reality to this pipedream and I suggested to Kendy we go on a cruise!! She did not take much to warm up to the idea and then I started to feel the responsibility to deliver this dream holiday for her and me!

Well, back to last week now, probably exactly a week ago I started checking the weather and the horrific forecast of monumental blizzard coming our way, started to appear in media likes Express, Mirrow and others. I was told by Chris, every time I started to get a bit excited we are going to have some snow, that I could not believe what I am reading in those papers. However, last week it was a bit different, as other media very quickly started to pick up on that weather story.

Last Friday, I felt I need to book another ticket for Kendy from Prague, just in case her flight was delayed. So she had now two flights booked for the 1st March, one with Easy Jet at noon going to Gatwick and the second one for the 1st March going to Heathrow in the evening....well, we now had a plan B, surely we were now bullet prove, right? Hmm, not really. By Sunday evening ( 25th February) I was already texting Kendy that things are not looking good and I am very worried about the snow that is coming towards the UK.

Bear in mind that by then we still have not seen a single snowflake, and it actually was very dry and sunny weekend. So just before I went to bed, I texted Kendy to say, we have to think about moving her flight to the 28th February to give ourselves a bit more time to get to Gatwick. I knew this will change her plans, as she already had her train booked to get to Prague and flights with Easy Jet are not that easy to change, ironically!! Well we had to do something, right!?

Sunday 31 July 2016

It Has Been A While....we are coming "Home" πŸ˜‚

It was my birthday yesterday, and it was an amazing day full of British Summer sun. And it was revealed to me that my birthday present is waiting for me in Southampton! What!? I have to drive 400 miles - 652 kilometres to be exact - to collect my birthday present?? πŸ˜‚ Well, I would do anything that involves traveling and getting a present, so why not travel to the sunny south !? I think this has been really worth the travel and the wait.
Later today, we will be joining Arcadia, our old home, to check her out after her refit and sail with her to discover beautiful Norwegian FjordsπŸ˜ƒ Watch this space to see more....if you can be bothered πŸ˜‰

Saturday 9 February 2013

More Pictures from Paris

Par obrazku z Patku/A few pictures from Friday-Metro~Vitezny Oblouk/L'arc de Triumpf-Eifelofka/Eipfel Tower a/and okoli/surroundingds!!

Tady je par obrazku z dnesniho nabiteho dne,ktery jsme plne uzili prochazkami po Parizi a navstevou tri nejvyznamnejsich monumentu v Parizi..... Povidani a zazitky budou nasledovat!!

Here is a few pictures from today's full day which we used fully to walk around Paris and we properly visited 3 most famous places - Champellyse Boulveder/L'arc Triumph/Eiffel Paris. Some more stories and experience to be continued a bit later!!

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Thursday 7 February 2013

Nas Vikend v Parizi - Our long vikend in Paris

Kdyz jsme se s Chrisem poprve poznali,tak mi rekl,ze me jednou vezme do Parize...pak jsme se ale nejak rozcestovali a na onu Pariz se trochu zapomnelo. Letos k Vanocum byl mym darkem prave vylet do Parize,takze tim se nam tak ty Vanoce krasne prodlouzili az do studeneho unora,ktery je trochu ponury a chladny,a tak jsme se meli zase na co tesit.

Dnes rano jsme se na tenhle vylet vydali, a ne jen tak ledajaky,ale stylove vlakem, prvne rychlikem z Berwicku do Londyna Kings Cross,ktery cestu 600km zvladl za 3h a 30minut!! Zde jsme si jen tak zbezne take prohledli zname nadrazi cislo 9 a 3/4 z Harryho Pottera, ale trochu zklamani,ze z toho je placena turisticka atrakce I kdyz se jedna o misto,kolem ktereho se vlastne jen tak prochazi....tak se asi musi na necem vydelat,kdyz jsou lidi blazni a chteji to!! Pak jsme se presunuli jen o par metru dale na druhe nadrazi London St. Pancras odkud odjizdi vsechny Eurostar vlaky do Parize a Bruselu. Nas vlak vyjel z nastupiste cislo 7 presne v 15:31 a cesta to byla opravdu prijemna, krasna a pohodlna sedadla a velmi prijemna obsluha,ktera nam podala chutne obcerstveni. Cestu zhruba dalsich 650km jsme zvladli vlakem za 2h a 16minut vcetne tunelu,takze pak clovek ma pocit,ze na zadnem ostrove vlatne nebydli...protoze spojeni s kontinentem je vlastne tak strasne jednoduche. I kdyz jsme cestovali skoro cely den, od 9:30 rano zhruba do 19:00 (nez jsme dorazili do hotelu) tak cela cesta byla hodne pohodova,bez stresu z letist a clovek ma pocit,ze vlastne nekam docestoval.

Nas hotel se jmenuje Comedies a je celkem v centru. Z nadrazi Gare de Nord je to jen 3 zastavky metrem,takze jsme cestu zvladli behem asi 10minut. Brzy budeme objevovat Pariz a pridame nejake zajimave fotky a zazitky :-) Takze Parizi, tady nas mas, tak se tesime, koukej nas ohromit a prekvapit!! :-)

When we first met with Chris he told me one day he will take me to Paris. I have never been, so I got very excited as it all sounded very romantic and I wanted to be taken there for some time. However, then we started to travel all over the places and kind of forgot about the Paris idea a little bit. Until this Christmas, when I got a very lovely surprised trip to Paris for a long weekend. This forthcoming trip also gave us feeling that Christmas is being prolong into February which is usually a bit grey, cold and doom, so there was something very nice to look forward to.

This morning we set off for this trip, and not just some trip, but trip in style, when we boarded the East Coast fast train in Berwick Upon Tweed travelling to London Kings Cross in the first class. We even had a time to check out the platform 9&3/4 from Harry Potter!! A bit of disappointment is that they are making money out of it as the only way you can get a picture is an official paid for photo!! Well, we took a sneaky photo from a distance anyway! (Coming on maybe later) Then we just had a short walk to next door London St. Pancras station where we boarder 15:31 train to Paris. After 2hrs and 16mins, enjoying very nice seats and service, we arrived at Gare de Nord, the main train station in Paris for Eurostar trains!! It was a really great feeling. Getting cartel of 10tickets and finding our way via metro 4, only 3 stops later, we got to our hotel Comedies, very nice, friendly and stylish hotel, in the middle of everything. Just for the record, it took from Berwick to Kings Cross - 360miles - about 3hrs and 30mins, St. Pancras to Paris Gare de Nord - 400 miles - 2hrs and 16mins...what a journey we have made today :-)

We can't wait to explore soon and if we have any picture and stories we try to share them on the blog. Just about time to hit the streets and get some french dinner!! So Paris, here we come! Try you best, amaze us and surprise us, we can't really wait :-)

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Friday 12 October 2012

Croatia Dubrovnik - October 2012

This trip was not certainly a holiday as Chris had to work 5 out of 7 days we have spent in lovely Croatia. I managed to relax and catch a bit of late summer sun and I am so happy I could come along to discover for both of us this new country. From what we have see it is a really beautiful part of the world, the coastline could be almost seen as European Fiji as there is so many islands dotted around the coast, no wonder that Dubrovnik is called an Adriatic Pearl! People around here are helpful and friendly, yet still scared by the recent war. The Old town itself looks very sureal, it is very pretty and with all its historical buildings and narrow streets, it looks almost like a film set rather than a real town. We have seen many cruise ships stopping for a day visit in the port of Dubrovnik. Cruise Passagers can grow the population here by even 20,000 people during the day, as 2-5 cruise ships stop here in the same day! It brings some money to Dubrovnik, however from speaking to some locals it is not really that great as many one-day-turists don't spend any money with local business. Tourism is the main income in this part of Croatia that why it is crucial for local people having jobs. We can see it is getting very quite at this time of the year. By the beginning of November there will be almost no direct flights from Europe as many of them don't start again until April. Many lovely restaurants will close, hotels will be half empty and many businesses will have to survive with almost no income until April next year. Still, it is a nice image of Dubrovnik being quiet and the life will take much slower pace. Maybe this is good for local people in some ways. They can rest and get ready for next busy season. We have liked Croatia and hoping to be back to explore a bit more of this country. Here are some picture from this lovely town that should be on a list of everyone who wants to discover Balkan region and Southern part of Europe! As the Lonely Planet guide might call it, a definitely a Must See Destination!

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Sunday 26 August 2012

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Our Latest home addition

Getting there with making the house becoming a home,still a long way but slowly getting there :-)

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