….where nothing works.
So back to England….
- Taxi to Faro airport at 6.30am – on time, friendly, helpful. Didn’t make a big deal (actually didn’t make any deal) out out the fact I’d got him up at some unearthly hour. No overcharging.
- Check-in – opened when it said it would. Queue got a bit long (30 people), so 3 more desks were opened.
- Gate announced when it said it would be.
- Boarding on time, departure on time (unlike departing the UK two weeks ago).
Departing from the UK? ….Just dream-on for this level of service!
Then back to reality…
Wheels down in Liverpool at 12.05pm, through Customs at 12.15pm. Then we wait for the baggage handlers. It was not busy – we were the only inbound in a 15 minute slot.
Guess it was lunchtime – baggage started coming through at 12.40pm. Even the airport arrivals “helpers” were peering through the doors, trying to work out how it takes 30+ minutes to empty the only plane arriving (and it’s a small one – a 737) and move the bags 100 metres from the plane to the baggage carousel. In Faro on the way out two weeks ago, it took 15 minutes from wheels down to picking up the bags.
Usually you find no baggage trolleys on arrival in UK – they get used early in the day, and sit outside for several hours as no staff (or no staff are motivated enough) bring them back inside arrivals. I was very surprised to see trolleys in the arrivals hall. Then all became clear – they need a £1 coin to release them from the other trolleys. Obviously these were all broken and permanently tied to one another. There were some good photo opportunities of passengers (and staff) kicking hell out of them trying to get them to release (to no avail). Perhaps it’s a UK government fitness incentive – carry your luggage you lazy gits (??).
So, we are now out of the airport. Get my car and make an exit from the airport. But no…. that would be too easy. In England we choose Friday to do major roadworks on only road out of the airport. Excellent… another 20 minute delay.
Now we are through this and can perhaps try to drive home? Don’t be stupid. This is England. The main road north (M6 motorway) is closed (AGAIN). Had been closed for 7 HOURS before I arrived. Thankfully my car SatNav had sorted this for me and diverted me so I avoided the worst.
On the way north, the motorway information boards also told me that the A66 – the main West-East route across northern England is closed (AGAIN).
And to cheer me up even more….AS USUAL immediately after crossing the county border into Cumbria the rain started. We are talking proper Cumbria rain – sky so dark my car SatNav decided to switch to night-mode at 4.00pm. Timid (incompentent) drivers who come up alongside a lorry spewing water spray and slam on the brakes in lane 3.