As this account of our first day in England turned out to be quite longish, I decided to write about that day in instalments.
The Flight – Evening and Morning
As said before, our flight was quiet and uneventful. After having reached our cruising altitude, we sometimes had a really fantastic view of the land we were flying over, for example the Tennessee River, meandering far below us in the evening dusk, and the sky’s evening mood shortly before and at sunset was simply grandiose, too.
This is how Mary described her impressions in her travelling diary:
“Soon we’re above clouds, flying in lovely blue sky! Clouds, many white puffy clouds below us. […] As it begins to get dusky, there’s a beautiful sunny orange diffused light coming in window over Pit’s left shoulder. […] Sunset/sun is putting on quite a mystical pretty show! Thin clouds racing past little window and thicker clouds over part of sun are creating a marvellous view for Pit and me. 🙂 During supper there are intense streaks of orange in western sky.”
And at the next morning: “Sunrise is around 06:30 – 06:45 – beautiful!”
Arrival at Heathrow
When we were descending on our approach to Heathrow, the clouds had mostly disappeared, and since we had to land against the prevailing westerly winds, which means we had to loop around to the east over London, we were lucky and could see a lot of London, e.g. the River Thames with her bridges and the “London Eye” [that big Ferris wheel on the banks of the Thames], to mention but two of the sights, as well as the whole of the City passing by below our plane. We didn’t land as early as predicted, but still 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival, at 09:20, at Terminal 4 of London’s Heathrow airport. Even if Heathrow is a giant airport it didn’t take us too long to get to the gate and to leave the plane.
Customs procedures were fairly speedy, too. Mary, as a non-EU-citizen, had to go to a different line than me. In addition to that she had had to fill in a so-called landing-card [I still remember having had to do this when I travelled to the UK in the 60s and 70s] on the plane, which I, as a EU-citizen, was spared to do. Her procedures at customs took a little longer than mine because there were more non- than EU-citizens waiting in their respective queues, or, maybe, because there were fewer immigration officers for her line. Anyway, when she was processed and was waving to me [at the time she reached the officer I was already waiting at the exit for her], the officer told her we could have gone through customs together in either line as we were husband and wife. Anyway: the procedure at immigration was quite fast, much faster than at US immigration where I as a non-US citizen but permanent resident always have to have my self fingerprinted and photographed.
Um diesen Eintrag in Deutsch zu lesen, hier klicken.
- Travelogue: England & Scotland 2013 – Day 1 (pitstexasexpatblog.wordpress.com)