Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My first trip 'overseas'

Cape Town Airport, Jhb here we come

I have never been so excited and nervous at the same time ever in my life. I had never visited any other countries and the furthest that I had been 'overseas' was Robben Island.  As the picture above shows I still looked quite relaxed with no idea what was about to happen once we hit Johannesburg.  The smile that was on my face was soon wiped out as we checked through Jhb airport on our way to Zurich.  At passport control, both Debbie and my passport were carefully scrutinised.  Now I must tell you that i had given my details to a local policeman to check before leaving so that I don't pick up any problems when leaving or entering our country and he found nothing as he could only search locally.  The passport control officer took a long time checking my passport and after joking with him he said that here was a problem. He called the police who took about 10 minutes to get there.  It was the longest 10 minutes ever.  He proceeded to escort me to the police station situated some distance into the airport.  I felt a bit like a criminal as people in the duty free section were looking at us following this cop who had my passport and ticket in full view of everyone. Debbie was cursing me at this point as she wanted to do some duty-free shopping but now had to follow me.

When we eventually arrived at the SAP station copies of my passport and visa was already on the desk.  Apparently I was to appear at a court case in , wait for it, 1995 and never pitched. They kept asking me if I remembered. I said that I could not remember what I had for lunch the previous day, how was I to remember 1995.  After about half an hour they let us go saying that they will probably apprehend me on our return. That was not a good way to leave on a 11 hour flight as all I thought about was getting arrested when I got back.

The flight was the worst ever as with my long legs and non-accommodating stewardesses, I ended up standing for 3/4 of the flight, sitting down only to eat or to try and watch a movie.  Sleeping was out of the question and I had never been more relieved when landing in Zurich.  We were rushed from one flight to another before flying on to Barcelona. We did manage however to get to look at some duty-free shops.
Duty Free shop in Zurich Airport
Flying over the Swiss Alps

On the underground in Zurich, going from one side of the airport to another.

The top photo shows Debs in the duty free shop, the middle one is us flying over the Swiss alps and the last, in the shuttle train going from one side of Zurich airport to the other.

The flight from Zurich to Barcelona was 2 hours long and much better than the first flight. Better leg room, better food and lots of Swiss chocolate.  An array of Swiss cheese was presented and despite not sleeping since the previous morning, I was upbeat.  Flying into Barcelona was tricky. The pilot was trying to get through thick mist and had to circle the entire town first before finding a gap in the clouds and dropping down.  Landing was fantastic and being at one of the finest airports in the world was exhilarating. A truly stunning piece of work.

Barcelona Airport, a bit blurred, but you get the picture
Anyway we were whisked by bus to the Port of Barcelona where I caught the first view of our yacht, a very large yacht which we were not allowed to board for at least another 4 hours. A most frustrating time but very well spent indeed.
The Windsurf
The Windsurf only accommodates 312 passengers in total with 150 staff on board. The beauty of it is you just relax, are always served well with 4 restaurants on board.  The service was fantastic and the rooms spacious with flat screen tv's and ipod docking stations in the rooms.  If you didn't have an ipod, you could gt one on e yacht for free. They also had approx., 300 DVD's which you could take to your room at no cost.  I was in heaven.  But first we had to get through 4 hours without sleep and walk the city of Barcelona. I needed energy and motivation and fast.

1 comment:

lg said...

No Man. Why did you stop there? What did you do??? When are you giving us the next instalment?

Sounds like a checkered beginning but the yacht sounds amazing! Looking fwd to more!