Day 208..#My Journey Home!
Yesterday, I left Portugal after 11 months of being abroad.
It was strange, but awesome at the same time!
Let me break down my day!
So, you already know from yesterday’s post that I went to the dentist before heading to the airport.
So I pulled all my luggage down the three flights of stairs and out to the street to hail a taxi! I only live a train ride away from the airport, but I had too much luggage to even think of going down that route..
I got to the airport and proceeded towards the check-in desk whilst silently praying about the weight of my luggage!
I did a self check-in and went towards the “Baggage Drop-Off” point.
The woman behind the desk asked me for my check-in pass and my passport. I handed both over with a smile. Then she asked me to put my luggage on the belt. With all the strength I had, I bent my knees, picked up the bag and pushed it onto the belt.
She looked at me.
“This is too much. It’s 32kg.”
“32?!” I exclaimed.
“Yes.” she responded looking at me, “The limit is 23kg”
I explained to her that as I was an Erasmus student, I was told that I was allowed to take an extra 10kg of luggage. Then she told me, that is true, but it’s supposed to be in a separate suitcase.
I was unimpressed. I would be entitled to the extra 10kg of luggage if it was in a separate suitcase. Because it wasn’t, my option was to pay €40 or buy a new suitcase at the airport and transfer some of the luggage into the new suitcase in under 30 minutes. Either way, I would have to pay for something, and I really didn’t want to!
I decided that as I was now a little annoyed, I should go straight through security..plus, my hand luggage was crazy heavy AND I also had my laptop, so my shoulders were in agony!
I went through security and made the long walk to the gate..it was so far away from everything..lol..I kept having to stop to rest..and to tie the laces on my shoes.
I finally got to my gate and waited for about 15 minutes before they started boarding.
It was another 25 before we actually got on board the plane!
So anyway..the flight went smoothly, and we landed in Gatwick Airport at 15:30. I’d already braced myself for the crowds and hell that would be check-in upon my return. After walking from the plane to the “Luggage Collection Point” I looked around. It was a ghost town. I’m sure if I looked properly, I’d see tumble-weed blowing across the space!
I was highly impressed to have collected my luggage, gone through passport control and the declaration zone in all of 20 minutes.
At 15:50, I found myself at the self-service ticket collection to pick up my tickets for the Gatwick Express train that was to leave at 16:05. I was running on schedule perfectly!
I managed to get all my stuff through the gates and took the lift down to the station platform where I kindly asked a train worker to assist me in getting my luggage on board. I sat down and exhaled heavily switching on my music and closing my eyes.
The train started moving and I was on my way.
I got to London Victoria Station 30 minutes later and again received assistance in getting my bag off the train before I stood there looking perplexed.
A National Rail worker approached me and I asked him if there was a lift installed at the station yet..he said no..adding there was not an escalator either. I exhaled again. This was a heavy suitcase and the stairs to the Underground was a journey I was hoping to avoid! He looked at me and laughed..after all the preparation they were doing for the Olympics, I would have thought they would have at least tried to install escalators or some sort of step free access to the Underground! Guess not!
Then he offered to take my luggage to the entry point to the Underground (It was still a while away from the platform I was on)..to which I happily accepted.
After I was dropped off..I then had the challenge of getting all my bags down the stairs. I eventually did so..topped up my oyster card and proceeded down the escalators to my platform, where a train happened to be pulling in the same time I got there! I got on and started counting the stops!
When I got off to where my dad was coming to pick me up, I realised I had to take the lift from the platform to the ticket hall..and again..the lift was so far away from where I had boarded the train! It was another mission and a half to get where I needed to be!
I eventually made my way out of the station to find my dad waiting for me. He took my rock-filled bag and exclaimed at how heavy it was! I gave him the side eye.
Trust me! I know!
So, all in all, I got back to my house at 18:00, dropped myself on the sofa and exhaled.
I looked over at my luggage and was contemplating whether or not to start unpacking..I decided against it..just because..and instead went to raid the fridge..ha ha!
Always good to be home!