I left Ottawa at around 10pm on Monday, on the overnight flight to Heathrow. I’m actually not great at sleeping on a plane. Partially it’s sleeping in an uncomfortable position, partially it’s the noise of the engines and other people, and partially it’s sleeping in public. All of these things lead to me not being able to relax enough to actually Sleep.
So for my almost seven hour flight I tried to doze. I propped myself on the wall with my pillow, pulled my hood up, took off my glasses and stowed them safely in my glasses case, and listened to a track of my relaxation music on a constant loop. I kept “waking up” as I slid out of position, as my fidgety seatmate bumped me or brushed against me, or when he spilled his rum and coke on me.
So at about this point, as we were rushing towards sunrise, I gave up and just started looking out the window. We were still two hours out from London at this point. I got to say hello to beautiful Ireland again, although I didn’t stop in this time.
And I got to say hi to Holyhead, Wales, where I had taken the ferry.
Once in Heathrow, I stopped to get breakfast and then I just had to wait. My bag was checked through to Copenhagen and I didn’t need to do any high end shopping, so I tried to read and chill. I watched the United Nations of airplanes parade past the large windows (where I was hoping to have enough light to mess with my body clock – not that it needed help at that moment.) (Or maybe it did.)
Yeah, I figured that was a bad idea so I started pacing. I grabbed a green tea and shifted from a warmer area to a cooler area, then just standing, waiting for my gate to be published so that I could occupy myself just walking there. Forgetting, of course, that they publish your gate at about the exact same time that they start boarding. But I made it.
Then, the clerical error that seemed to be a security threat happened. Someone’s name appeared twice on the passenger manifest, and they were trying to figure out why all the seats were full and it said everyone had checked in but the number of passengers was wrong. Thankfully they didn’t deplane us to start over and someone noticed the duplicate name, half an hour after we were supposed to leave. Luckily, I had a 4 hour layover in Copenhagen anyway so eating a bit into it wasn’t a big deal.
Ah but during the excitement of the delay, I blinked out. I came to realizing that my body had shut down. Damn. My seatmate sympathized because he was also “just coming from North America”. I tried to read on the flight but kept jerking awake in the same paragraph, which ended up making no sense so I had to keep rereading it.
My layover actually didn’t seem so long in Copenhagen because I had dinner at an upscale seeming place – The Sommelier bar and grill. I felt a little bit bad, since I was sitting there all rumpled and sweaty in my yoga pants and hiking shoes… But only a little. Then I was having trouble with the wifi – even more deadly! I couldn’t even keep myself awake with the blue light of my phone! Finally I had a gate to go to so I spent the last hour and a half in an apparently deserted part of the airport trying, again, to read.
Finally, 20 minutes after boarding was supposed to start, and 5 minutes after everyone else on the flight showed up, we boarded a really awesome, totally black, jet with immense leg room and flew 30 minutes to Sonderborg. The captain said something (in Danish) to the single flight crewmember, and I presumed that it was something along the lines of “Take your seat, we’re about to land” so I was watching out the window and thought “Oh, wow, we’re flying through the clouds. Huh, we must still be high… Wait, what’s that other light? Oh, there’s the runway. Oh dear god, I hope the pilot sees that…”
And we landed in foggy Sonderborg without incident. He parked right beside the small airport and we deplaned like rock stars right onto the tarmac. We walked right into the airport, where we waited two seconds in a small living room type area for the ground crew guy to sling our bags from the plane onto a trolley and shove it through the door. I have to say, it was a ton more efficient than Copenhagen. Then I called a taxi (with an automated message in Danish that I was trying to talk to, initially) to take me and my colleague to our hotel. I think he was up for more socializing, since it was only 12:30am in St Petersburg, but it was 4:30pm in Ottawa and I hadn’t slept since I got up at 7:30am on Monday, so I wished him a good night and went to bed.
Next up – adventures in Sonderborg. :)