Travelling during this surreal time we are living in is not for the faint of heart. Covid tests, vaccinations and such and that’s only to get to work let alone do any meaningful travel. Travel is something I love, something I’ve missed and something I have amassed so many memories from and will hopefully create so many more. Today was the day I had been waiting for what seems like an eternity from when I first booked back in August. With the ever charging rules and regulations around overseas travel I was hoping and praying that this would be able to go ahead. Luckily for with the aid of a 48 hour covid test I was deemed safe to travel. The journey from Chelmsford to Heathrow I was slightly more apprehensive about and bizarrely that journey itself was a similar time to that of my flight from Heathrow to Split.
It was 11am I embarked of the first leg of the first part of this journey across from Chelmsford to Stratford then on the Central Line to Holborn then switching onto the Piccadilly Line for a journey across London passing places I’ve never heard such as Osterley and Boston Manor finally arriving at Heathrow Terminals 1-3. I’m flying from Terminal 2 today.
The enormity of Heathrow Airport would bring anxiety to the most seasoned of Travellers so I just thought about the destination rather than the obstacles laying in wait. On arrival in the terminal there are airline desks from all the airlines you have never heard of and some of the ones you have only read about in travel articles. Croatian Airlines is my bird of choice today so interesting to see what they are like. Firstly I pat myself down checking that everything is where it should be and proceed to security expecting a barrage of questions around vaccinations, tests and the like but to my surprise there was not one mention of this virus that has changed the world in which we live and I’m through security in double quick time. I have nearly 2 hours to kill so I first make my way to the magazine section of WHSmith where I would normally acquire a magazine for reading on the plane but nothing really grabbed my attention. That killed 10 minutes. What could I do now? I decided to go to the Big Smoke BrewCo who have a taproom in the terminal which is great idea if not a bit dangerous. I order the FruJu which is New England style Pale coming in at 4.9%. Was lovely drop and was nice refreshing beer to help me get some holiday spirit.
I sat nursing this beer for an hour watching some footy scores come through on Soccer Saturday then I remembered I should probably go to the Pharmacy and pick up some bits for my trip. Then the announcement I had been waiting for. Passengers for Croatia Airlines to Split please go to gate A17. At that point I started to get some anxiety in case I hadn’t brought the incorrect covid info or left my passport on the table in the hall but thankfully all was well and no issues so I was on board and ready for take off. Bonus points for not requiring the extension for my seatbelt like what I had to do last time I travelled overseas. Thankfully that chapter is confined to the history books.
The plane was about three quarters full. I had an aisle seat which was good as I could stretch out a bit. I was a bit tired after my cross London journey so shortly after take off I must have drifted off only to be woken by a baby crying a few seats further back. I do wonder the logic of taking such young children overseas. What do they remember from these trips when they are older? I was 5 when Mum and Dad took me abroad for the first time to Mayrhofen in Austria. Then a short time afterwards it was announced the flight would be landing soon so I was about to touch down in Croatia.
Welcome to Croatia the sign says. I was here. After a painless passport check I make my way through to meet my taxi driver who was waiting with a sign welcoming me to Split. Nice touch. 30 or so minutes later I’m at my apartment with some football chat along the way. Apartment is lovely. Pics to follow when it’s daylight. So far so good Croatia. Keep it up!