I’d had original plans to meet a blogging friend at the East Midlands Airport yesterday and was looking forward to meeting my friend travelling back to France as well as doing a blog from the coffee shop there. Due to the snow our rendezvous was cancelled. As it turned out the weather wasn’t so bad on Wednesday and I decided to go to the airport for a short visit anyway.
I always get excited about going to airports as a visit generally means flying off to foreign climes and yesterday was no exception. I don’t drive so I took the skylink bus service to the nearest airport to me, East Midlands Airport. I caught it half way along its route and paid £5.00 return.
The bus was packed with young people (mostly young women) off on an exchange visit with French families in Chinon in the Loire Valley. I go on exchange visits to Germany every couple of years and I was excited for them. Each student was wearing a dark blue top with the 2009 exchange details on the front and their own name – Jenny B – Chloë J – Alex M – on the back.
The bus goes along the A453 and we all enjoyed the view of the snow-covered fields on Gotham Moor. It only takes approximately half an hour to get the airport and we arrived at the departures area at the busy little airport pretty quickly. The exchange students had entertained themselves by taking digital photos of each other grinning and bubbly on the bus. Once in the airport Terminal I had a quick look around the empty BMIbaby check in areas and the slightly busier Easyjet and Ryanair building and then queued for a cappuccino at the Café Ritazza.
There didn’t seem to be many staff on at the coffee stand and each order of a baguette or filled ciabatta bread sandwich or hot drink seemed to take a fair while to get sorted. Eventually I got my drink and threaded my way through the un-cleared tables (generally beer glasses) and positioned myself on a tall stool with my drink, camera and note-book. I was pleased I’d made the effort to go there as it was very amusing listening to a large group of tipsy middle-aged ladies talking and bitching about the fact that one of the female check-in staff had challenged Maureen as she tried to check in.
‘Shay were a clever camel’ quipped Maureen ‘I tode ‘er I’d on’y ‘ad one pint!’
All her friends in pink cowgirl hats muttered their support and the whole group were then keen on discussing bag weights and restrictions. ‘Mine were on’y twelve. Karen’s were sixteen wont it Karen?’ ‘Yeah, I’ve brought scales for on the way back.’ General chorus of approval and nodding of pink frilly heads.
As my coffee cooled and I attempted to take a sneaky picture, these older ladies were joined by three girls in their twenties similarly in cowgirl hats. Sometimes I would have approached them all and asked if I could take a picture but I wasn’t feeling very brave yesterday in that regard.
I am relatively familiar with the airport amenities from previous visits and flights and was astounded to find that the shops – W.H Smiths, Boots etc had disappeared from the main concourse and that you can no longer go upstairs and watch the aircraft arrive and depart. There did seem to be quite a lot of structural work going on so maybe they will return one day.
So, my note taking done and pictures taken I decided to head back to the bus and returned back to Nottingham. Hope you had fun on your trips ladies and exchange students. I wish I could join you all. Yee haa!