Monday 1 September 2008

Swapping Scotland for Montreal

We have arrived in Montreal at last. We enjoyed our last few days in Scotland and had a lovely time on Saturday at our goodbye party.

We got all packed up and out to Glasgow airport where lots of the family came to see us off, which was great...not sure how we will manage without all those extra hands when we need to manage checking in at the next airport!

By the time we reached London we were being subjected to a lot of evil stares from our fellow passengers; Luke is not a massive fan of flying while tired. He spent most of the flight screeching at the top of his voice and assaulting any passengers within grabbing or kicking distance.

We had to change terminals at Heathrow, due to ongoing problems at T5. I was a bit worried about this, but it all went smoothly. We boarded the flight in plenty of time and it was looking like it would be a prompt 17:45 departure....for a minute. Due to the late arrival of some passengers and bad weather in London our departure time started to slip with each announcement from the pilot - we finally left the stand at 20:20. Luke felt that almost three hours on the plane was quite enough for him and we hadn't even left the ground! The flight itself was not too bad (six hours) and we had a nice soft touchdown in Montreal at around 21.30 (Montreal time). So far so good.


We were braced for US style customs control and were pleasantly surprised to find a much more friendly welcoming. Passport control didn't take too long and by the time we got to the baggage hall the bags were circulating. Red bag #1 arrived quickly, five minutes later the tent and car-seats were hauled from the conveyor, we were already dreaming of the taxi to our hotel.

"This is a British Airways announcement, due to delayed luggage will the following passengers please report to the British Airways desk: ....David Holmes". Oops maybe we should have remembered to check the clothes were split between the two bags. After a few more queues, forms, visits to customs etc we finally reached the airport exit around 23:30. (We got lucky with the packing, the bag that did make it had the majority of the clothes in it!)

Well, at least we were in Canada and not some third world middle of nowhere sort of place, so the taxi ride to the Novotel Montreal Airport should be a breeze. Except for a taxi driver who understood little English (at least not Scottish-English), didn't seem to know where the hotel was and then struggled to keep the taxi on the road (to be fair he only mounted the kerb at speed once, most of the time he swerved away from it in time).

It might come as a surprise that the hotel had not lost our booking, has never appeared on 'holidays from hell' and was not undergoing any renovation - we have lower expectations for our hotel for the next few nights, but that's budget travelling for you. It is nice to have our first night in a slightly more comfortable environment even if jet-lagged children and a lack of swimming costumes mean we might not be able to make the most of it.

We look forward to a less traumatic 3 weeks before we return to the claws of the airline industry.


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