A to Z of Travel ~ Greatest Feeling to Keepsake

Is it the anticipation, is it stepping off the plane in a new place?

No the

Greatest Feeling While Travelling

is leaving the airport and getting on whatever transport is taking you to your destination. For me it means I have fully arrived after having; got up far too early and got to the departure airport at an inconvenient time, had my shoes and camera x-rayed by a security jobsworth, been ripped off by airport catering outlets, bought various things at inflated prices that I didn’t want to stave off the boredom of waiting for the flight to be called, queued up too many times to remember, endured OPCs (other people’s children – they are always far worse than your own ever were), been cramped in a metal tube for hours on end listening to someone else’s little ball of joy howling all the way, queued for immigration, fought over baggage reclaim, endured the Homeland Security nutter who thinks your alarm clock is a threat to the USA “Because we are at war”, explained to Department of Agriculture guy that the thing on the X-Ray is a damp swimming costume rolled in a towel not a haggis and finally been scowled at by Customs officers, before that moment of panic when you can’t find the railway station or coach park!

Only then are you truely free from all the idiots who will impede you.

Cheers from Munich

Next best feeling is sitting down for your first beer.

Hottest Place I have ever been to

This is a bit subjective as I’m not really the sort of person who records figures, but I’d say it would have to be Luxor in Egypt. We went in July because it was quite cheap and I remember opening the door of the air-conditioned Nile Cruiser and being hit by a blast of hot air just like opening an oven door. It’s the nearest I have ever come to feeling like a frozen chicken. On the plus side it did not take too long to get used to the heat once we arrived and the tourist sites were not that crowded.

Incredible Service

I don’t really do luxury that often, but it would be a toss up between the Paradisus Rio del Oro Resort in Guardalavaca Cuba and the Grand Palladium Colonial Resort in Mexico, Both of these all-inclusive resorts were absolutely brilliant and the staff genuinely happy.

We have had all your money now get lost

For restaurant service the Witchery in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, has waiters who verge on OCD in their attention to straightening linen.

Longest Journey

In Fiji, Air Pacific the national carrier have only one 747. It broke down when we were due to fly on to Hawaii, we got bumped off the replacement 767 and abandoned by the airline staff in Nadi Airport. We spent the night at a cockroach infested airport hotel before I tracked down the Air Pacific office and got us put up in better quality one. We spent another two nights in Fiji before being flown to Los Angeles, where we were able to spend a few days, before our connecting flight to London. On the plus side Air Pacific coughed for the accommodation and food, refunded what I had shelled out for the airport fleapit and put us in the First Class Bubble (free booze all the way) of the now mended 747 on the way to LA. We also got to use the Qantas First Class lounge at Nadi Airport. It had a glass fronted fridge the length of the room filled with free beer and a toaster with loads of  Vegemite! 

Our nightmare UK rail journey was from Edinburgh to London around Christmas 2010 there will be a separate post about that soon!

Keepsake

The Famous Jackaroo Hat on Holiday in Cyprus

It has to be my Jackaroo hat, bought at Cairns, Australia. It’s real kangaroo skin which I have no qualms about, having eaten kangaroo and found it to be good. It’s battered and stained with sun tan lotion, sweat and beer, and quite well-travelled too having been to Fiji, California, Florida, Mexico, Cuba, the Cape Verde Islands, Spain, Portugal , Cyprus, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece and Italy.

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4 thoughts on “A to Z of Travel ~ Greatest Feeling to Keepsake

    • Sarcastic moi, the very idea.

      In all seriousness the travel nightmares quoted all happened including the incident with the Homeland Security guy at Orlando Airport. This sort of batshit lunacy combined with the rest of the very unwelcoming and frankly paranoid treatment meted out to non US citizens arriving at American airports has put me off going back to the States, despite the fact that I have enjoyed some great trips there and met some fantastic people (most of whom don’t work in airports)

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