Day 1 - Travelling to America
Updated: Jun 7, 2019
Well here we go!
A decent drive to Gatwick with minimal delays except the exit to the airport itself. Met with the Car Parking guy and he took my car off for storage - all good there too.
Made my way into the terminal with my bike box needing a 'Wide Load' sign as I bumped into walls and found the queuing systems did not cater for such a large box. Nevertheless, I avoided causing injuries to any fellow travellers and booked myself and my bike in for the flight.
I can never quite understand while this place is called Greenland!
Met Catherine from Oregon on the plane and having watched Bohemian Rhapsody and various other things, the time went extremely quickly. That's when things changed!!
Passport control at Bristol Airport is forgiven!! Seattle Airport's arrangement for passport control only took over 2.5 hours of queuing!! The guy I met was fine but the ladies organising the queue seemed to not understand how to communicate effectively! It was the cause of much banter and frustration from the 100s of people queuing. Any information or signage was minimal and then the poor ladies were juggling people's questions and trying to answer 50 questions at the same time! It was dreadful, however, after much queuing and frustration, a guy finally took my piece of paper and said, "Welcome to the United States of America!"
Regrettably, that was not the end of things as everyone had to now try to find the way out of the terminal. This involved a train, escalators, stairs and, if you were disabled or carrying a large bike box, you had to queue to use the one lift! I eventually became so frustrated I took my bike box, case and rucksack up one escalator and down another to reach finally reach the taxis! Now I know how disabled people must feel!! I was rather warm when I eventually climbed into the taxi.
I made it to the hotel and was offered a key to a room for me to find it was already occupied but, hey, I ended up in a large room on the top floor - I'm not sure if this is the penthouse suite but it will do!!
Given that it was still mid-afternoon despite travelling for some 12 hours, I decided to take a walk and found this rather lavish war memorial on the way through Renton:
It did seem rather ironic that I also saw 2 or 3 rather dishevelled guys in wheelchairs with missing limbs, looking rather impoverished and on the verge of begging. Poverty in society is something we would not like to talk about but we are prepared to celebrate those who died in war. It would therefore appear that if you survived a conflict and even lost limbs, you are not so celebrated at all! How is that right??!
Planning on doing my tourist bit tomorrow
Welcome everyone to the USA!