In the air again

In the light of the success of my recent train journey to Brussels, I thought I could go by train to London, but no such luck. Going by train all the way would have cost around 10000 SEK, which was more than I could afford right now. An alternative would be to go by train to Gothenburg and then by boat to Newcastle, which would be considerably cheaper, but seeing as the boats don't go very often (and indeed, come November they will cease completely) if would have taken me a week to travel back and forth, which would have traded most of the travel savings for accommodation costs. So, I had to give up and buy a plane ticket instead, which cost less than 1700 SEK. sigh

My flight to Heathrow was late, so I had to have lunch at Arlanda, where they of course take advantage of you in effect being locked in behind the security control: 122 SEK for a sandwich and a glass of juice!

London was hot and crowded, so after having trudged around a bit I took the opportunity to go to bed early.

The course I was there for was OK and the day after that it was time to head back home. Heathrow was plastered with signs indicating you could not take any liquids or gels with you on flights to the USA, which I didn't think was that onerous for me. There were long queues to the security controls, but they still seemed to proceed at a good pace. I noted that people took their shoes off and sent them through the X-ray machine, even though it was unclear to me if they were being requested to do so or if everyone was just imitating the person ahead of them. I followed the example. My bag was taken aside and searched and my toothpaste confiscated. The impression that only US travellers were forbidden to use toothpaste was apparently incorrect. Possibly the intended point of the signs was that I could have bought a new tube of toothpaste in the Booths on the other side of the security control, but that I wouldn't have been allowed to bring even that on a US flight. This however implies a second security control right at the gate. I did not have opportunity to observe this, however.

The flight home was also delayed, but eventually I got home.

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