Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monday 5 January - Coming Home

I checked the web first thing to verify that the RER line B was working properly (I.e. not on strike). The flight was scheduled 30 mins. late as the incoming was delayed in flight so we took a little longer getting ready. We now know the ropes.  Waking to the Metro, metro to La Chapelle,  walking to Gare du Nord, RER to CDG on the slow train, fighting the crowds to get to the Air Canada check in, printing tickets and baggage tags, customs and security. All of this took just 1 hour and 35 minutes which must be a record. We sauntered down to the gate stopping for a coffee and a final excellent croissant at Fauchon.
And this is where the story really starts.
Departure was further delayed for an hour or so then they had to take on extra fuel. There was freezing fog at CDG so there was a further delay while the aircraft was de-iced. Visibility was very poor - possibly a hundred yards or so. I have never taken off in freezing fog before.  It must have been exciting  from the cockpit barrelling down the runway at full throttle with a heavy plane full of fuel and passengers and not to be able to see the end of the runway. It was great to break out into the sun above the gloom.
By this time we had missed our connection to Ottawa in Toronto.  Not to worry as Air Canada will have a table at the connections area with new boarding passes for us. The table was there but no boarding passes. We had to go upstairs and check in again. Then the Air Canada computers went down. I managed to get boarding passes out of a machine but it wouldn't print new baggage tags. The check in lines weren't moving. With a little prodding I managed to get to a check in person who sorted out the baggage tags and told us that next time the computer knows of any flight changes so the old tags would have been fine.
All this to say we arrived home just two hours later than planned.
It was -15 and, wonder of wonders, the 97 bus driver didn't need a pee break so we got right in to a warm bus - otherwise we would have had to wait outside in the cold looking at a warm bus.
Ottawa is a winter wonderland as all the trees are covered in ice. We can enjoy the results of the freezing rain without having to put up with it.
With all the good eating over the last 6 1/2 weeks I was delighted to find that I have actually lost 3 pounds. It was a fantastic trip.

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