Getting up at 04:30(am) is not something most would enjoy I imagine. Much less so if one finds oneself with barely 2 hours of sleep before the alarm clock starts its unforgiving wailing cry. Now I would, of course, be even less happy if it did not perform its assigned task.
So up at 0430, everything was packed the evening before, even breakfast… grab and go. Arriving at the train station which is the first mode of transport for me whenever I go travelling anywhere. The journey was calm, not many people out travelling at 0500 in the morning, save for the commuters I was the odd one out with my 100L backpack and a small bag.
The train ride went without much fuss, I managed a blissful twenty minute nap which invigorated me enough and allowed me to form trains of though longer than “me tired, me sleep” Arriving at Bergen I walked the short distance to the light rail, which lets be honest, is just another fancy word for tram.
Again, since it was still quite early, it was not crammed with people headed to work and the airport. An uneventful 45 minutes later I found myself at Bergen International Airport, Flesland.
*insert intensifying dramatic music here*
First I get a text message from my airline welcoming me to my flight and informing me that I’ve yet to check in, I head to the nearest check-in machine, print by boarding passes and luggage tag….
Tangent… I wish I had Rincewind’s Luggage…. it would make me feel so much comfortable (if you have no clue, read “The Colour of Magic”)
Back on track, having checked in and sent my big backpack off on its own adventure, I head through security without any fuss. As I clear through, however, another message ticks in… “Your flight has been delayed…” crap… slight panic … made slightly less slight by the fact that the airline in question has been in the news lately due to it has cancelled a bunch of flights due to manpower issues.
I first grab some food and coffee, pull out my notepad and call the airline… fully expecting to be put through a holding pattern in the eternal customer service “Please hold, your call is important to us…” cycle. I call, get the standard greeting of “We are currently experiencing a higher than normal number of calls….” gaaaah… then I am interrupter ….”there is currently a shorter waiting period on out English speaking service desk press 1 to switch” I press 1 faster than a horny teenager gets an erection at the sight of nudity… suddenly within seconds I am greeted by an actual person.
I explain what is going on and ask how this affects my connecting flight on the same itinerary… confusion at the other end… “Sir, it is the London to Oakland flight that is delayed, not the Bergen to London flight. You should be fine” … I quickly re-read the text message… and find that that is exactly what it says.
I make my apologies for bothering them with such a stupid question and wish them a happy day… and continue to munch on my second breakfast and coffee, eventually making my way through outgoing passport control and find myself at the gate and before long I find my self in the familiar surroundings of Gatwick airport. I go through the transfer gate after having my passport, and ESTA checked and then wait. I already know the flight has been delayed by close to an hour, and gate information would be forthcoming soon. The hour approaches and as I suspected the time at which the gate information should be presented to us in bold letters on the departure board no shush thing happens, instead we are presented with a new time for gate info… this happens a few times, and I am getting a bit impatient and frustrated. But after a while, we get the gate info, and I rush to it. Not because I have to but because I found myself so elated that I finally knew where the gate was, forgetting completely to get supplies for the 11-hour flight.
So now I find myself on a Dreamliner headed for Oakland, US. Current distance, as I am writing this sentence, to destination 8080km (5018mi)
The flight was pleasant, much aided by the company of the two Brits sitting next to me, my book and a few select tunes on my phone. Even so the flight did not exactly feel like it passed quickly, but eventually, I found myself on the ground at Oakland airport, and after 40 minutes of queuing I got through passport control and customs without issue. Now it was only the question of the 15-hour layover at the airport. The temptation to find a hotel grew exponentially as the only options seemed to be, floor, uncomfortable chairs or hotel.
Before I decided I went for a little walkabout and I found the lounge proper with a few chairs and couches which already had a few people napping on them. So I decided to stay at the airport. I got some quality naps in, but after more than a full 24 hours of travel now on little sleep I, that was what I needed sleep, but airports are not conducive to such frivolous activities. I stayed, just napping along.
At 7 in the morning I checked my bags in and found a small breakfast, the clerk at the shop, and I chatted a bit about travel and Katzenjammer, of which he was a big fan. After that, I went through security for my domestic flight, again without any issues.
Second breakfast was procured at Starbucks along with some coffee, and now I am waiting at the gate for my final two flights before I meet up with Olivia and Brian in St. Louis. Oakland -> Salt Lake -> St. Louis… then a week of madness and fun before I head back to Oakland and San Francisco and continue my US adventure there… my travelling is coming to an end soon.. but the adventure lies before me
Flight DL4477… A Bombardier CRJ900 takes me on the final leg of my journey to St. Louis… 20 minutes remaining….