It was a 5.30am start for us both. Refreshed with a shower and coffee we checked out, made our may to Crawley train station (conveniently attached to the hotel) and boarded the relatively empty London commuter service to the airport just a 10 minute ride away.
We negotiated security, passport control and check-in in double-quick time and were soon sat keeping and eye on the departures screen, munching through bought sandwiches and logging into the airport WiFi.
The flight wasn’t full and left on time.
Travelling west long haul makes for a long day. Air Transat seats aren’t the most capacious (well not in economy class) and the in-flight entertainment isn’t the most technologically advanced but Jamie seemed to find enough to keep him occupied. I watched the Angry Birds Movie and found it very amusing. I slept a lot and Jamie managed a few winks. The food was pretty basic, just a choice rolls (though the choice had been depleted by the time they got to our class) and a small packet of biscuits. I did however enjoy my roll with an acceptable glass of red wine. Being at the end of the queue does have some advantages, as we were in the last few rows of seats the cabin crew found they had grub left over and Jamie and I supplemented our meagre fayre with two trays of delicious sushi. I learnt not to put fresh wasabi onto anything you are going to eat ……………. it was painful!!!! Towards the end of the flight, pizza and more drinks were distributed.
We landed early, but to no advantage as we had to wait while another aircraft vacated our arrival gate. Being processed through Canadian immigration was quick and easy. I particularly envied the neat outfits that the myriad of senior citizen volunteers were wearing. White stetsons, red cowboy jackets and white trousers, very dapper.
Both sets of luggage appeared on the carousel…. phew! We quickly found the transport desk and bought tickets for the downtown bus that would take us to our hotel. After a half an hour wait we boarded the bus and travelled 20 minutes to the Sandman Hotel.
Checking in completed I rang the RV company to confirm our arrival but annoyingly it kept defaulting to answer phone. I left a message.
We had coffee in our room then went for a walk along the Bow River bank and onto King Edward’s Island, very pretty. On our route back we were joined by two helicopters which chose to land on the bank next to us. Jamie managed to be way laid by two elderly chinese ladies who wished him to take photos, I could see he was not amused as they kept finding different poses for him to photo.
Returning to the hotel the RV company confirmed a 1pm meet for the next day. Jamie spent an hour in the hotel pool and I read through the local tourist information leaflets (just like Sue!) On his return we took a walk downtown to the Calgary Tower and did a spot of elevated sight-seeing. There was a glass floor and Jamie overcame his fear of heights and manged to uncomfortably stand on it and look down.
Returning to earth we wandered along the main shopping and restaurant area of the city before finding a place to grab a couple of burgers, fries and root beer. We both found it fascinating to watch the locals go about their business early on a Friday night. The contrast was quite stark to back home where a glad-rag, binge drinking evening would be the order of the night and these Canadians were quietly snacking and going home.
Back at the hotel we sat a whole in the bar watching a baseball match on the TV’s behind the bar. I spent an amusing hour explaining the rules of this adult rounders game to Jamie, pointing out the posturing and other nuances of the game.
Drinks finished and game ended we watched TV for a while in our room then slept.