After much agonizing over deserting an elderly parent for the so-called festivities, Francine and I finally bit the bullet and accepted a Christmas and New Year house-and-dog-sitting assignment in Spain. I booked the flights, departing on 19th December and returning on 9th January, and ‘fessed up to my mother. The flights were more expensive than usual being around Christmas but, hey, life is for living. Mother was thrilled. [Ahem :)]
Just to add insult to injury, having decided upon a 3:30 AM alarm and arranged with our neighbour for a 4:15 AM departure for Luton airport to get our 6:50 AM easyJet flight to Alicante, easyJet sent out a text message saying,
Owing to high passenger volumes travelling through Luton airport over the Christmas period, we recommend allowing extra time for your journey. We are opening check-in desks three hours before departure rather than the usual two hours.
Screw that! Friendly though our neighbourly reciprocal arrangement for transport is, I wasn’t keen on dragging anyone out of bed any earlier, so 4:15 AM it remained.
Good decision! We arrived at Luton in good time and walked straight up to a bag drop desk (having checked in online some weeks earlier). Maybe extra staff in readiness for the Christmas rush was helping? Our luck continued as we encountered no horrendous queues at security; we got through the scanners quicker than ever before. Great stuff!
Our flight left on time – actually a couple of minutes early – and went smoothly save for a little turbulence approaching the Pyrenees. Alicante’s baggage handers were their usual slow selves getting bags from plane to conveyor belt but our luggage did arrive eventually and we sauntered out past some strangely alert Spanish who actually wanted to see our passports. We were reunited with our hosts, Chris and Yvonne, for the 1-hour ride north to Jalón.
The only fly in today’s very smooth ointment was that we’d left a sunny forecast in England in favour of a rainy forecast in Spain. Nonetheless, since making the almost impossible decision to come, we’ve really been looking forward to a different Christmas and it felt very good to be back.
First job, an early evening beer or five with a few more Vall de Pop friends at the Casa Aleluja in Jalón. 😉