THE GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME
Trip Start Sep 14, 2012
32Trip End Oct 15, 2012
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The only thing I would do differently re the likes of a stopover like Vienna is get a spot close to a train/subway station: a bit more time involved but cheaper, taxi fares being such a rip off.
Back up for the whirlwind last hour, the most important of which was uploading the final blog during the trip and a final email home, two parents and a Siamese cat no happier to see me than I will be to see them.
Checked out by 0750 from a pleasant little place 51.5 E. The taxi was outside. It was a bit cool outside but a nice temperature for me.
A large windfarm spoke to different approaches to green technology here than at home. There was a McDonald's sign on a roundabout, just in case I guess the Local Losers need a burger any time going through Vienna. Passed a large refinery or at least I presume that is what Borealis does.
All airports seem a bit confusing re the check-in procedure. I was in the right area at check-in 3 but I am not that savvy with the self check-in stuff so waited for a chap to show me: it was nil more than putting the passport in, my particulars [including Aeroplan] coming up, earning me a flimsy boarding pass. Baggage check-in followed. A short walk to customs, sourced out gate D29 and was seated by 0820, a scant half hour after leaving for the airport.
My gate does not open until 0930. Can't find any free wifi [grr #1] and the ugliest hag, likely Miss Vienna 1930, was seated opposite me [grr #2].
Headed to gate D29 where Vienna airport lost points. The area was crowded and a tad chaotic. Security was slow. I even had to take off my watch. Inside, I would estimate one third of the passengers were standing around ie no seats. I was eventually in seat 18A aboard a B767-300 by 1012.
This plane at least had individual tv's. The music offerings hadn't improved. The magazine was the same, my luck flying with Austrian Airlines in a two month window of its use.
While tired, my options for the flight are either makes some trip notes from my travel guide or cull pix. The latter seemed a less taxing way of spending the time.
Pulled back at 1038, 8M late. Where is the Teutonic efficiency? In a train of departing flights but did seemingly jump the queue over some very small planes. In the air at 1101, a mere 8H 40M of flying time ahead of me.
The flight was a mishmash of culling over several days, usually while switching between stations 3 and 6 re music options. No jazz or opera on my play list. There would be breaks for just chilling, closing my eyes and hoping time would zip along. Three beverage/meal breaks consumed some time, the overcooked lunch pasta not being as good as the light cold plate for dinner. I didn't even both to ask for a rum and coke, opting for a gin and tonic. Filling in the customs form was the usual quick exercise.
The theme of the flight should have been Queen's Another One Bites the Dust re deleting pix off the camera and the same one from the computer. Some 230 pix were seemingly worth taking at the time but are but a distant memory now. I was able to cull pix from Sept 15th through Oct 5th so there is more to do and yet another round of culling when the pictures are seen on a larger computer screen.
All of eastern Canada that I saw was clouded in, the first clear land being Toronto when already past the CN Tower. Notwithstanding an episode or two of real turbulence ie enough to think you were on a roller coaster and your stomach 'jumped' we were on time. We were at the gate at 1400, the scheduled time.
Customs was fine. My bag was one of the last off. The chap that ultimately took the form caught me off guard asking about the countries I visited. In my haste I said Czechoslovakia, now two countries. He didn't catch me out on it, Roddy.
Park 'n Fly was there waiting, a first for me. A bit of drizzle but home a bit before 1600.
One song I really like is the Tom Jones' version of Green Green Grass of Home. It speaks to family. I love to travel. It was great to give Mom a kiss, shake hands with Dad and hold little Tabu. Until the next time my passport whisks me away, I was home.