Copenhagen to Cairo

Everything went well until I reached Copenhagen and followed the signs for Transit passengers, they suddenly petered out at the top of an escalator. I wandered about for 10 minutes searching for inspiration and direction. If you were tracking my progress it may have appeared that I was aimlessly wandering around like a mouse trying to learn a maze but there was method in my meanderings.

I was looking for that one face, the one that looked as if they wouldn’t mind being accosted by a slightly lost woman, if they spoke English it would be an added bonus. After a few false starts I eventually found someone who explained that this was the area for international flights and I just needed to stay where I was until a gate for my flight came up on the departure board.

The section of the terminal that I was in wasn’t very big and only contained a small duty-free area, a 7Eleven, a block of massage chairs (what is it about airports and massage chairs, I’ve never understood the connection – surely you have been sitting for long enough already?) and finally a small seating area. The departure board told me my plane was delayed and I had at least another 90 minutes added to my waiting time.

I hadn’t thought I was going to need any Kroner – big mistake as it turned out. My onward flight should have taken off 90 minutes after I landed which wouldn’t have left much time to buy anything. Why is it when you can’t have something you suddenly really want it. My tummy started rumbling and I wanted something to eat. Luckily it turned out I could pay with Euros, after a rummage in by bag I found a few notes at the back of my passport wallet. My change was in Kroner (which all seem to have holes in) and my small pasta salad cost me the equivalent of £10.

The longer wait meant my power levels on electronics were dropping but the airport didn’t have any USB charging points only two prong plug points and there were hundreds of those. Of course my adaptor was packed in my suitcase and beyond my reach so I went to my fall back activity which is to people watch.

I was much amused by the dog handler who was patrolling by the gate, he was looking very stern and professional but his dog was feeling just a touch mischievous, he finally had to stop and speak to him very seriously but ended with a stroke of the dog’s muzzle before they started work again.

As the gate got busier pairs of Scandinavians began to arrive and introduced themselves to each other, one lady came over to me and started to introduce herself. I explained that I wasn’t part of what was obviously a holiday group and after a smile and a goodbye she turned back to the group. Unfortunately everybody else having seen her shake my hand headed towards me in dribs and drabs to introduce themselves. They were a very friendly lot and asked if I would like to join them. I got a wave or nod from them throughout the flight as they passed my seat on the way to the toilet.

The plane journey as a plane journey’s go was boring but I had saved a new book by a favourite author (Echoes in Death  by J D Robb) for this section of my travels and so I was soon immersed in the story and the time flew by only interrupted for a meal –very nice and hot and the inevitable trips to the loo. I was slightly envious of the man in the window seat (no one was in the middle seat thank goodness) who had his eyes closed when I got to my seat and didn’t move until we landed.

ML had said that Mr Fixit would be waiting holding up a company sign not long after I got into the terminal, obviously his not long was different to mine (difference between his long and my very short legs). I kept walking but didn’t see any signs until I had turned a number of corners to see in the distance a group of people all clumped together. Mr Fixit is tall (note he has long legs) and so with his hand in the air waving the sign he was easy to spot. Introductions were made and he was off. Talk about the Tortoise and the Hare. I have absolutely no idea what the rest of the airport looks like because I was just concentrating on the back of Mr Fixit as he loped of into the distance.

As I have already said I have short legs and was carrying my flight bag that weighed a ton having been stuffed with all the electrically equipment that wouldn’t fit into my suitcase. I had also been on the go for 14 hours and was shattered so there was no hope I could keep up with him. Goodness only knows what I looked like, probably a slightly eccentric and obviously older version of Alice chasing the White Rabbit in the book Alice in Wonderland.

Eventually I arrived at his side trying to answer his questions while sucking in great gusts of air for my poor lungs that had, had enough of being abused by air pressure, other people’s germs and now starving them of oxygen. We whizzed through passport control and security and he raced off towards the baggage claim area. Much to his disappointment we had beaten the luggage and had at least a 10 minute wait. Luckily somebody rang Mr Fixit and so he went and sat down on a bench and I was able to regroup before we had to set off again.

He handed me off to ML and I nearly forgot I was in a Muslim country and started to reach up to kiss and hug him. More walking along the linkway to the hotel, but at least ML slowed his pace and relieved me of my luggage. We went through more security and finally into the hotel where cool Egyptian cotton sheets, air-conditioning and a shower all waited.

ML had to deliver a phone to a new arrival so down to the Sport’s Bar we went only to find a number of people I had met on various projects in the past. Hugs, kisses, handshakes followed and then a drink of ice cold Diet Coke; most of them were eating sushi but I couldn’t cope with food by this point and just sat back and let it all wash over me.

A good night’s sleep and some fruit the next morning and we were off again heading towards the Red Sea.

If you have enjoyed this blog you may want to read the blogs I kept when I lived in Vietnam and Costa Rica.

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