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Friday, November 19, 2010

Space Invaders

2am found the alarm going off and me attempting to drag myself out of bed. It wasn't ghat difficult actually, after all I'm on holiday. By 2.30 W&J had arrived and Mrs G was up and almost raring to go.

It's always tough trying to get moving at this time of day, but with a good reason ahead of you it's eminently doable and now I'm 50,000 feet up in the air looking out over glorious sunshine above Northern Africa. Most definitely made getting up at 2am a worthwhile thing to do.

There was a large amount of cloud cover over France and much of Spain that made looking out of the window appear to be a vista over a snowscape of the Arctic circle. It just looks like an icy wasteland and yet it's the top of the cloud base. The odd break in the cloud reveals a gaping hole through which you can see a further 10,000 foot drop to the surface of the earth.

Looking up the blue gets darker and darker and its not hard to imagine that a few more thousand feet up from here is the total darkness of endless space. And beyond that nothing..... As far as we know.

As much as its spectacular, we're high enough. If I spend too long thinking about it, I'll convince myself I'm not supposed to be up here. Best not to dwell.

As if to remind me of the fact I shouldn't be here, I've noticed how the low budget airline have changed a few things since I last travelled with them. There's the baggage charge for a start. It seems you're expected not to take any belongings with you besides what you're carrying anymore. The thing is, the price of the flights haven't gone down to reflect the addition of this charge. Not only that but the 4 hour plus flight is just a permanent stream of retail opportunities. On no less than 4 separate occasions we were reminded that they happily accept sterling or euros as long as it's more than 50p or €0.5 and credit and debit cards over £5 or €5. To be fair, they do have a very helpful way about them even if they do still wear bright orange 15 years after it was original to do so. And at least they're not RyanAir.

From the sky's of Africa it's a right turn out over the Atlantic Ocean for a while until we espy the Canary Islands (no doubt named after the little yellow birds) poking out of the snow. A little further and there's still some broken cloud, but nothing to really speak of.

The Canaries are part of Spain, in a similar way to how the Falkland Islands are part of the United Kingdom. The trade winds being what they are obviously sent many a Spanish vessel in the direction of this small cluster of land masses off the coast of Africa, and no doubt after some pushing, shoving, jacket pulling and general invading they wound up belonging to the Spanish crown. No doubt I'll read all about it over the next week in between sleeping on the beach, in the sunshine and quaffing pina colada's or something similar.

Must dash. Have to get off the plane and do absolutely nothing.



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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