We ended up seeing rather more of Schipol Airport than intended today. Our flight from Manchester was okay, but after queuing to be frisked and generally humiliated at the departure gate, there was an announcement to say that our plane wasn’t working and that our flight to Cape Town would be delayed by two hours.
So we went walk about, leaving the transfers area to go outside, which was surprisingly easy, or unsurprising given the laid back nature of the Dutch.
The main reason was to indulge our filthy tobacco habit before the enforced period of abstinence. Amsterdam was very grey and colder even than home and we had the birds to keep us company. Like the brave sparrow above who was just a few feet away from us.
There were also people jogging along inside a huge hamster wheel, or the Wheel of Energy, to raise money for cancer research.
We finally took off around 12:30 local time for what turned out to be a pretty uncomfortable journey. This was the longest I’d ever sat on a plane and no matter how much they feed you or how good the films available, the novelty wears off after the first 30 minutes or so.
I did manage to get a photo of the sunset over Africa to match the sunrise over the Channel I’d taken earlier. I didn’t quite catch the sun on the horizon because the clouds were becoming quite dramatic at that point, great columns rising upwards and full of lightning.
We landed at one in the morning and the delay meant that darling daughter was able to meet us at the airport which was great and we finally crashed out at 3am.
The sunrise and sunset photos can be found on my Cape Town pages. Meanwhile, if you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s pretentiously lifted from Persian poetry:
“To learn the age-old lesson day by day:
It is not in the bright arrival planned,
But in the dreams men dream along the way,
They find the Golden Road to Samarkand.”