Friday, 26 June 2009

Yes I am blonde - Travel trauma's part 1

It's been whirl-wind of a couple of days. I got up at 3am yesterday catch my flight to Holland.
A very hot and sunny day met me in Amsterdam, my flight was a bit late and I knew that the meeting that I was supposed to be at had already started.

The meeting was at a lovely boutique hotel called Hotel Arena, the meeting was in full flow when I got there breakfast had already finished so I just sat down, grabbed a coffee and got out my mac.

These team meetings are always hard going. The team is based across Holland and the UK, so we don't get together very often and when we do - there is so much to get through.
By the time we broke for lunch I was starving but I still had some finishing touches to put to my presentation and loads of press emails that needed answering.
The afternoon went really quickly and my presentation on how as a brand we should be using social media was really well received - even though most of my colleagues thought that I was talking a foreign language!
By the time the meeting wrapped we only had ten minutes until we were being picked up by cab to go on to our guided walk of the city.

I quickly checked in and dropped off my bag. The hotel room was stunning. Set out over two floors, with bathroom and study downstairs and a spiral staircase leading up to the bed room. Two large flat screen TV's and full wireless access.

I was gutted that (1), my hubby wasn't here and (2), that all I had time to do was dump my bag and run.

The idea of the tour was great - as we usually fly in to wherever. Have our meeting and then leave without actually seeing outside of the hotel. But in reality, most of us had been up since 3am and I hadn't eaten a thing.

When we sat down to dinner it was 8pm and by the time we got back to our hotel it was 12.30am. It was in the taxi back that we heard about poor Michael Jackson.

I ordered a room call for 3am to get back to the airport, giving me enough time to make my 7am flight home.

I was so tired when I got up. It was quite possible that I had just a little too much wine last night and I really could have done with a full twelve hours sleep. I shared a taxi with one of the guys, who didn't look any better than me.

It was at this point that I realised that I had been looking my flight times to Norway - and not home from Holland. My flight wasn't till 9.40am!

What an idiot - I could have had a decent sleep and I felt really rough. Who ever said that PR was glam?
When my flight was finally called I got up to make my way to the gate. I went around the corner, following the signs for gate H.
Next sign: Gate H - walking time 45minutes. I looked at my watch. It was 9.15am.
What a nightmare. I had been at the airport for five hours and now I was looking at missing my plane. Around the next corner was another passport control. I had already been through one but this one was heaving, there must have been at least a couple of hundred people waiting. At this point panic started to set in! I pushed to the front of the queue making excuses for being so rubbish and got through quite quickly.
Next sign: Gate H 30 minute walk. Time to takeoff 15 mins.....

What makes it even worse is that I have a problem with my legs. I broke both of them badly a number of years ago. One of them is fused at the ankle and I can't run and they were killing me. Coupled with the fact that I had been made to walk around Amsterdam for two hours and I hadn't had any sleep. it wasn't looking good.

I was moving as fast as I could - then there was another security check.......

Laptop out, jacket off, liquids out. Laptop away, jacket in bag (by this time I was more than a tad hot).

Next sign: Gate H 15 minutes. Take off 5 mins.....

I got to the gate bang on 9.40am, and then I had a huge flight of stairs to get down. All I could hear was can passenger.. please come to Gate H - you are holding up the plane. No shit.....

They were just about to pull the steps but I had made it. The whole plane full of people were staring at me and shaking their heads.

I can't believe how big that airport is! There is no way on earth that we would have made it if we had been with the children. So please take note: If you are traveling from Amsterdam back to the UK - give yourself an hour to get to the gate!

All in all it was a totally blonde day. Lets hope that Sunday's trip to HQ in Norway goes a little better.


  1. That sounds TOTALLY exhausting!!!! Just reading has shattered me out!!!!

  2. Wow! What a busy hectic day, bet you slept well when you got home.

  3. Hi there, new here but I just had to comment. I could feel your anxiety in this post! Yeah you for making that flight!!

  4. Cripes, I feel a bit stressed out after reading that! I am always pathologically early for these things, but you never know how long it will take you to get to the gate! Glad you made it in the end.

  5. I hear you! I too have suffered at the hands of the many stupid passport and security controls in Amsterdam and the marathon walk to any gate. I was in transit, late, and mercifully without my little one otherwise I would never have made it. It is then utterly galling to sit on the plane for 45 mins while it taxis the miles and miles to the runway.

    One to be avoided.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Appreciated as always. xx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...