Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Trip Into History

It has been decided. We need some foreign flavor so we're off to Europe. The car is loaded and we are headed for the airport. Last time we were a little overloaded with baggage so this time we only have two medium sized rollies, and one overnighter together with the requisite computer bag.

For the benefit of those who have not been to Lawton-Ft. Sill Airport, it is a regional facility where the departure hall is the arrival hall. There are smaller airports but this one will do for our departure. Here is a picture of yours truly in front of a mural.

Here are Patsy and Swee'Pea engaged in a little girl-talk. It was kind of Helen to sit with us until our flight was ready to board. They are just joking around and Pat is "snapping" me as I reciprocate.

Here is our ride to Dallas, an Embraer ERJ-140. Although this model is barely out of the puddle-jumper category it is a comfortable ride when handled correctly. The trip was smooth and the landing equally so, for which I thanked the Captain when we disembarked.

Here are your intrepid travellers, in the departure lounge, which is really more of a holding facility, ready to board.

Shortly after taking off from Lawton we passed over the Spaceport at Geronimo, it's copper domes gleaming in the sun. Regular readers of my blog will recognize that it's an aerial view not of the Spaceport but of the Geronimo High School.

After what seemed like a scant few minutes of flight, we were descending into DFW. Here is one of the metroplex' ubiquitous mixmasters. These interchanges are initially daunting, then tolerable and finally preferable in areas where a multitude of freeways meet and through traffic is smoothed out and spun through with a minimum of decrease of speed or delay.....ah....modern engineering.

We arrived at Terminal B, our departing flight was in Terminal D. We took the Skylink tram to D and looked for a place to eat. Although they would feed us on the plane, we preferred to eat earlier than 10p.m. In D there was a mosaic of a hummingbird about 25 feet across. I climbed halfway up a staircase to get this shot, with Scooterchick smiling up for scale.

There's a peculiar piece of "art?" in D. I guess it's supposed to represent a cityscape, but looks more like crystals growing out of rock. I don't get it, but that's frequently the case with modern art.

We decided to eat a place called Reata. The food was good, and for an airport surprisingly reasonable, then we relaxed in a lounge and watched a couple minutes of TV. This is the Southwest Spring rolls that Scooterchick ordered. They were so filling that it had to help her finish.

I also had to be quick about it because I had a Chocolate crumble with ice cream waiting for me. It was gooooooooooood too!

There was a mural painted on the wall that was quite eye catching. One could finally recognize it's intent. It was a "Dos Equis" ad. "It has never been...his bad".

I managed a quick shot out the window as the sun was descending over Dallas.
Our plane boarded on time, but was late pushing out as we had to wait for a couple of late boarders. Perhaps their connection was late in arriving. as it was we left about 1.25hr. late but we had plenty of time to make our next connection.

Having completed that leg we are smiling in Heathrow, waiting for our plane to Budapest. This would be about a 2.5hr. flight.

Boy is Heathrow ever a busy place. as it's a major hub for the continent and points east, there are planes taxiing by every minute or so.

Our ride from Heathrow east was an Airbus A-320. We have been on this type of plane before, but as a long-hauler, not a regional and it had some interesting features.

As we took off from London. there were 3 of us taxiing towards the same departure runway, plus another 3 ahead in the queue as the Brits say. As soon as we got airborne it was easy to see a few satellite terminals as well.

There were screens showing our relative position and flight info overhead. No movie, no music but a constantly scrolling screen of info.

While Scooterchick took advantage of a much needed bit of shut-eye, they came around with a wrap and an a drink. The wrap was fresh, tasty and welcome and the Coke was the British variety. This is like the Coke we used to get without all the additional additives, and with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. I had forgotten how good this stuff was before they "improved"  the recipe. Crisp, bitingly fresh with hints of citrus.

I held the camera up to try and get a movie of the display. It starts with a pilot's eye view and adds info until you get the full overview.

I slept for about 20 min. and then we were descending into Budapest. Although we were running late it was still light when we arrived.

The architectural style is very different in Europe compared to North America. You can see it pretty clearly in a neighborhood we passed over on our way in.

This is the control tower. A modern relic of the Soviet Era. Different no?

Just in case I wasn't sure of my location. There was a large mirrored backdrop on the way to get the bags.

If I'm in Budapest, Scooterchick must be nearby. Here she is happy to be finished with the trip here. All told it was about 27 hours and we managed about 5hrs. of sleep between us.

Here the bags are collected, and we're ready for the bus and subway to our hotel.

We are now within about 10min. walk from the hotel. I look completely baffed don't I? Yeah, I am.

We got in, checked in and passed out. I'll pick up the narrative tomorrow..ciao


Helen Marie said...

I enjoyed your blog and looking forward to more. Some really great pics..that one of the "domes" on your way to Dallas was really cool...glad your flight was smooth :)


Scootard said...

You mean the Spaceport. Yeah, I like it too. Thanks for commenting Swee'Pea.