In February I will be blogging about Day 1 of the Scotland and Ireland tour and adding a gallery of photos from the day. This last day of January, I want to write about travelling there. I know flying overseas has now become routine for so many, but it was my first time. Every moment of the day is strong in my memory.
We departed Kansas City about 1 o'clock on Saturday afternoon and arrived in Newark close to 4:30 p.m. eastern. There were gate changes but we had enough time between arriving and leaving to easily get where we needed to be with time to fill. Once we had eaten and were kind of settled in our gate area, I did a little venturing to see if there would be anything photo worthy out the massive windows. I did catch a little bit of the sunset but more impressive was that we could see the New York skyline in the distance. Watching it transform as the sun set was mesmerizing. Shortly after 8:00, we were in the air heading to Edinburgh Airport and I even managed to get a couple of night shots leaving the New York area.
A friend who travels a lot had advised once we boarded, I should set my watch to the time at our destination and it seemed like a good plan to me. What I hadn't thought about was the fact that I wear a FitBit so it syncs to the time on my phone. And then my phone syncs to the signal it gets from its location. So I was careful not to look at the time on either my watch or my phone.
Since it was dark out and the end of a long day, sleep seemed natural for my body. I can usually fall asleep in places other than a bed and also had the seat next to the window. Between that support and my travel pillow, I managed a few rounds of winks. My sister was in the middle seat with her good friend Jane next to her (Jane's husband was across the aisle.) They all watched movies. I tried during one of my times awake but the engine noise seemed to be amplified by the earbuds so I couldn’t understand the dialogue, gave up and did my best to rest.
Somehow I did nod off because I roused and saw on the screen tracking the location of the plane we were most of the way to our destination. The window shade was down because I didn't want to look out and see us flying over water. Of course I wouldn't have been able to anyway because it was night. I decided to risk opening the shade and was rewarded with a view of the sun coming up. It was breathtaking and again I was able to get some nice photos out the window. It also helped my body to believe no hours were “lost” and it was time to be awake.
We were still high enough for it to be possible to tell if we were over water. I think we were, but soon the long descent began and we could see land far below. It was Ireland! Definitely green but I mainly I knew because of the path the plane had to take to get to Edinburgh. From then on our row was much more awake and enthralled looking out the window. The view was hazy but we were still able to see solar windmills dotting the landscape (no sheep spotting though). The clouds thickened below us looking pretty and fluffy with blue sky overhead.
Descending into Edinburgh we dropped below the pretty clouds which became a gray overcast. In almost immediate preparation for the weather we would experience intermittently throughout the trip, it was raining when we landed. Once through customs my rain hat came out and proved its worth right off the bat. Our soon to be "home" bus taking us to our first destination in Glasgow was at the end of a long outdoor, uncovered walkway. It was just shy of a downpour when we rolled our bags that fair distance. It didn't matter though; we were in Scotland!
Even writing this 4 months later, some water is sliding down my cheeks as I smile just thinking about it.