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

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