Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 Holiday To London-NYC-Niagara - Day Eleven

Spent 50 minuets this morning writing my diary as I had two days to catch up on. Then it was down to breakfast for the final time. Last bit of packing and the missus and I went to the tube station to preload our Oyster cards to the trip out to Heathrow but it appeared to be a bit pricey. Mr Rees suggested topping up at the newsagent, which we did, but I was confused why extra money was put into the card rather than being able to purchase a specific 1-6 zones ride. Never mind.

Luggage was a bit heavy going down the stairs at the tube - I'm sure that the missus and The Boy would've struggled later by themselves as they were taking a later, direct flight to New York. No surprises on the tube and I was able to access the Internet in some places. Returned my Oyster card for the remaining funds and deposit.

To my surprise the fat people who had mysteriously disappeared in London made their reappearance at Heathrow. Iceland Air checked bags, including carry on, for weights. Haven't experienced that before. For some reason one of my bags caused suspicion and was swabbed for a test. No issue found though. Only about 30 minutes to check in. Was unable to call the missus - maybe she was already on the tub as she called me not too much later. Iceland Air don't use the most comfortable lounges at Heathrow.

Boarded without any troubles - sat next to a couple from Baltimore. For much of the flight a weird shadow with a circular rainbow was visible. Only soft drinks, waters, juices and tea or coffee were served for free on board so I didn't have a meal. Read the paper and caught a few zeds. Wasn't paying US$6 for headphones. Iceland, from above, almost looks like another planet. Fairly desolate landscape.

Lots of Americans at Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik. Surprising number of connecting flights to North America. Prices for everything in Iceland were dear. An American woman paid US$8 for a drink, a 300ml bottle - perhaps alcoholic, and was none too pleased. When she asked why it was so dear the response was a simple, "It's Iceland." No wonder many items for purchase had no marked price. Might have been cheaper to eat on the plane. The airport itself was busy. Another jet landed just after us and a C130 Hercules was close behind. I hadn't expected this.

No waiting lounge inside the gate at the airport. No announcement to start boarding. No proper queueing either. Bit of a dog's breakfast really.

People on the flight to NYC were strange. Almost nobody closes the lavatory door. The Dutch couple next to me greeted me and then didn't say another word to me for the rest of the flight. The husband cleared his throat every five minutes and even stretched out his legs pushing his feet firmly against the seats in front of him. He broke out into song every now and again. And he slumps in his seat. Not the sort of travelling companion that I enjoy. There were a great many Icelanders on the flight which surprised me as it appeared to be only Yanks at the airport.

At the immigration point, the missus, who had arrived a bit earlier than me, spotted me. But she didn't bother to point this out to the lady who was directing people to particular immigration officers. When I arrived at the front of the queue she was still dealing with her immigration officer so I managed to get in that particular line by pointing out that my wife was there. "Oh, you should be with her," said the lady directing us. She thought that we need to be processed together. Not that she was aware we had come on different flights and so actually should be processed separately. Good thing I did too as the officer wanted to know the address I would be staying at and I said that my wife, whom he'd just processed, had that. He grabbed a crumpled piece of paper out of the bin which had our apartment's address on it. Boy, did I do the right thing by getting in this immigration officer's line.

Ended up having to wait an extra 20 minutes or so for my luggage and so we went through Customs separately anyway. The missus bought something to obtain some change so that she could call the person in charge of the apartment we were booked to stay in. Calling using a credit card was unsuccessful. Contact finally made and we grabbed an Airtrain to meet up with the metro on A line. Waited about 20 minutes for the train then we were on our way. Approximately 45 minutes to get to 42nd Street. Then we had some faffing around to do as the apartment is supposed to be residential and not rental so we had to basically sneak into the building. Not a bad view from level 23. Went out to purchase a subway later as it was around 3:30 to 4am London time and I was hungry.

Photo Album Vol I
Photo Album Vol II
Photo Album Vol III
Photo Album Vol IV (Final)

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