Wednesday 06022010

Our plans: During our last day in London, we are going to check out of the hotel at 930. We are going to leave the baggage either at the hotel or at a locker room at Victoria station. Afterwards at about 1100 we are going to visit Westminster Abbey and are going to have lunch at Westminster Bridge or in a restaurant near Trafalgar Square. We are then going to move to St. James’s Park to lie in the sun or to relax on the superb lawn if the weather is fine until we meet at Victoria Coach Station at 1500 again to take the bus back to Stanstedt and check in at Stanstedt at 1730 to fly back to Weeze and take the train back to Bielefeld where we are going to arrive at 0127 at Thursday, June 3.

Our report: During our last day in London, we checked out of the hostel at 9.30. After breakfast at our favourite Italian coffee shop, we went to Hyde Park to chill out. It was not so nice, that we had to take our luggage with us, but it was fun. We relaxed there in the sun for some hours, talking, drinking and laughing. The weather was nearly perfect, some of us even got a sunburn, many a sun tan. At 1400 we arrived at Victoria Coach Station, had our lunch there and had to catch the bus to Stansted Airport at 1535 from Victoria Coach Station which was about 10 minutes walk away from Victoria station, up Buckingham Palace Road, two crossings from the station entrance. There the stress began...

1) The five lost angels: During our bus trip, we got into a traffic jam on the highway to Stanstedt, it was just a stop and go. We knew that we would come too late. This was not the plan, everybody got worried that we miss the plane. But at this time we laughed about it... When we finally arrived at the airport, everybody had to run. It was 18.20 when we arrived, so we were 45 minutes too late. This meant that the check-in counter for the luggage was closed so that five of us had to try to get into the security zone with unchecked luggage. The rest of the group was through the security zone already, but we had to wait till they checked our luggage. They took nearly all of our cosmetics out and threw them away. I can't desribe how we felt at this moment. The security men laughed about our big suitcases and said we would never get into the airplane. And they were right. We stood there in front of the gate and were not allowed to get in. We saw our plane, saw how it prepared to fly and we stood there behind the big window... . We were confused and angry and didn`t know how to act at first. When we got our mind back and realized that we really had to stay there longer, we began to plan how to get back to Germany. At first we booked a new flight for the next day. Afterwards we left the airport and tried to find a hotel. I do not have to mention that we did not get a room in the hotel that we found at first; no more rooms were free. After some time we finally found a hotel. It was very nice and luxurious and the price was okay, too. Breakfast was included. At the next day we left the hotel at 11 o`clock and stayed many hours at the airport. We chilled outside in the sun. Our flight left at 16 o`clock, so we arrived at 18 o`clock in Paderborn. We were so happy that we finally came back home again, even if it was one day too late.

2) The 13 Nightriders: In the city, from Victoria Coach Station, we took the 1535 National Express bus to the airport at Stanstead. On the road there were a lot of cars so that the bus arrived
at the airport 45 minutes too late . We ran to the gate and 13 of us got the flight against all odds, but 5 had to stay there. Ryan Air knew no mercy. All the same, it was quite funny to see how two of us emptied Mr. O's suitcase and threw it away after having packed his luggage into plastic bags or putting pullovers on as underwear in not more than 2 minutes. That was bad indeed. After a while and a lot of discussions with the crew and the stewardesses, we finally took off and landed in Weeze at 9.15 p.m. We missed the bus to the train station at Weeze and missed the train to Düsseldorf. So we took a train to Düsseldorf at 2245 where we arrived at 0100 and organized our way back home by phoning our friends, relatives and husbands who took us by car. We all arrived at Bielefeld at about 0330 on Thursday morning. All in all it was a hell of a trip, but also quite krass indeed. Damn the torpedoes!