Sincere apologies everybody. I have much to recount, but have not had time to do any recounting - it would not be right to be unsociable spending time on the internet. Today we are staying in so I shall do a mega catchup when we get back from our dawn swim.
Indeed apologies are much needed! I'm sure that I'm not the only one who wondered if the lack of a post was down to you having been dancing with scooters again! We want you and Vera to enjoy your holiday without any visits to the health centre. 😇 Bob
OK. Sorry folks. We've now eaten again and I am at liberty to do geek stuff.
So...... Friday departure, we needed to set off at 2:45am, so off to bed nice and early. Quarter of an hour later some plonkers started a fireworks party a few doors away and it went on for 45 minutes!! Grr.
Then off we went at 2:45. The journey to Birmingham airport is nearly two hours, but we aim to stop after an hour for a cuppa at Gloucester services - that lovely new one with a grass roof and people who speak English as a first language. The notice said we open at 6am. Grr. So we had one at Strensham, just a boring place with no grass roof.
Meet and greet at Birmingham went well (this time I took a photo with my phone of my speedo and odometer - whether it stops them zeroing them I don't expect, but at least I'll know!) Now, I am a homo sapiens - what distinguishes me from the not sapiens homos is my intelligence. I am able to learn stuff. So I remember that Thomson's checkin desks are miles away from the Departures entrance, through and beyond the Arrivals entrance. Accordingly, I led us through Arrivals entrance to TUI's desks 100 - 130. They had moved to desks 1 - 10a - that was all the way back through Arrivals and Departures to a much smaller cramped area of bedlam.
TUI said checkin online and do the bag drop thing, easy peasy. Like heck!!! One single line going to a woman who looked at our boarding passes and passports and sent us to the left. People without were sent to the right - a sort of stalag arrangement and we were to live for a while instead of going directly to the ovens. Next, another woman, also holding up the entire queue to look at the paperwork, then tell us to go log into the machine - one woman delaying everybody wanting to use the ten machines. So we did the business eventually and found it to not be the bees knees, just a pain in the bum!!
This next is proper grump! I go into WH Smith with my 75p exact change for the newspaper, wave the barcode over the window thing and it says wave your boarding pass over the window thing. So I grumped at it. I mean, why the devil do I need to show my boarding pass to get a flaming newspaper??? Worse was to eventually get to the departure gate where they had a rack with free newspapers!!
When we go through those xray things, I always ask to be frisked by a nice girl, but I never am. Anyway, I didn't get beeped so I sailed through. Only to find that Vera had been stopped and her hand baggage was being gone through with a fine tooth comb. A young woman (who we later learned was a trainee) was examining every last item, riffled every page of her dictionary, every page of her notebook, examined every bit of whatever do-dahs women have, opened and checked every item in her jewelry wrap thing, wiped every surface with a drug pad thing. We've never seen anything like it. And Vera didn't get arrested or jumped on or anything, just allowed to re-pack the shambles which was left scattered all over the counter! Yes you've guessed it - GRRRR!
As you saw with my first post, we didn't have time to do anything as we proceeded to departure gate 65. What a rubbish gate! We had to go along a long corridor, then we hit the steps, millions of them. Why have we got hand baggage things with wheels when we have to lug them down stairs. And instead of a nice bendy pipe to get into the plane, go outside and get on a bus.
I can remember one flight when we heard every word the captain said over the speaker system. Only once. So here again, he gave a lovely speech, that airforce captain stuff, clipped, precise, fast, posh educated voice and in that monotone which tells you how competent the crew is. Tally ho chaps! Completely unintelligible. We had several more during the flight, we had to admire the quality, brilliant, just one small problem, it was spoken in crackle and fizz. Can anyone explain to me why the crewmembers never seem to let the captain know that his speech is completely pointless???
There must have been a headwind, because instead of making up the usual delayed departure, we arrived late by half an hour or so. Somewhat bumpy, but cushioned by six Baileys, which also made up somewhat for the outrage of no window for my window seat again!!! Last year, row 16 was windowless, this time it was row 17 - and I had just booked us into row 17 for September!! As Bob said, we landed at Xanemos ende - twigged this before we landed from the view across the aisle and the wriggly adjustments for landing. I didn't like it.
I didn't check the arrivals toilets, Vera says they were nice (queueing of course). But I was otherwise engaged with the baggage carousels, two of them with flight numbers and where they arrived from, neither of them ours. The TCX from Stansted eventually sprang to life and disgorged a few Birmingham cases, but not ours, of course. The Luton thingy rolled a bit, but with nothing coming out. Then the signs changed and TCX Stansted became Luton and Luton became TCX Stansted. Eventually our cases came out of one of them, but neither of them ever got to show Birmingham! Onto the coach which was doing sauna in the sun and after an age off we went. At Villa Maria, Angela scolded us for being an hour late, but I didn't care, I was just happy to grab the cold beer she had provided in our fridge.
We ate at Varelli as per our normal programme - Tsatsiki, Kleftiko for Vera and Sea bass for me. Two beers weather. I fell asleep at the table, no brownie points!!!