The Bright Arrival Planned

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.”

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 5th February 2011

    You smoke! How utterly vile! You need to see sense, muster some willpower and give the buggers up once and for all. Smoking makes you stink. You both must give up together and if you have a year without stinking fags I shall donate £100 to Oxfam.

  • Mr Parrot 5th February 2011

    We do have this vague plan to give up when return and I shall hold you to your pledge if we succeed. We should have taken a leaf out of our daughter’s book — she gave up while in Cape Town which is impressive since smoking is the norm and also very cheap!


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