From Heathrow to Halifax
After over a year of planning and months of preparation we’d finally got to the departure date. We knew this was going to be a long day and so it turned out.
We got up early and finished up clearing out our flat. We were leaving at 9.30 and our tenants were moving in at 10.00. My dad had kindly offered to drive us to the airport and he arrived early and we duly set out.
Arriving at heathrow we took stock of our modest amount of luggage and went to the Icelandair check-in. The guy checking us in was obviously new and immediately raised the fact that we had 4 bags for the hold as a problem. I quickly explained to him that transatlantic flights got 2 bags per person – he checked with his supervisor and our hold luggage was clear. Next problem he asked to weigh our hand luggage. A small problem because they allow 5kg per bag and mine weighed 14kg and Sarah’s 12kg. On top of this I had a computer bag which was another 10kg and Sarah had a camera bag which was 6kg.
After a fairly drawn out negotiation and the transfer of quite a lot of the hand luggage into my photographer’s vest we managed to convince the checki-in guy’s supervisor that we were good to go – so we were off.
The plane journey itself was quite enjoyable with the first leg being 2.5 hours to Keflavik airport in Iceland. This flight was rammed full but was fine. Icelandair have upgraded there planes since we went to Iceland last year and now have touch screen seat back TV’s with a decent selection of films and TV.
Arriving in Keflavik we had a three hour stopover in a modern bright and breezy airport. We then boarded our second flight of the day the 4.5 hour leg to Halifax. This flight was pretty empty and we both had a sleep, lying down with 3 seats each, which made the flight fly by !
On arrival in Canada we passed through immigration pretty quickly – with a quick discussion of our plans but no real questions asked. This is in contrast to a two week holiday we’d previously in Banff where the immigration guy at Calgary quizzed us in detail as to our plans and wanted to see proof of where we were staying.
We picked up our rental car. We had booked an economy car and got upgraded to a Ford Fiesta – which barely fit our luggage in. If that’s an upgrade I’d hate to think what the bottom end is.
The journey to our motel was hard work. It was hammering with rain, so road visibility was terrible and we managed to get lost. The most interesting bit of the drive was when we hit a toll bridge which took coins only. I had some canadian coins but in a bag in the back so had to leap out, get soaked, and dig them out – all while holding up the traffic.
We finally got to our motel – got wet unloading the car – but we were finally in Canada. Next step getting the Beast and we will have become overlanders !