Sunday, 26 May 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Journey

Tell us about a journey - whether a physical trip you took or an emotional one.
Photographers: show us JOURNEY

Cloud view over Switzerland

I have flown the route Zürich-London so often over the last 40 years, that I think I know almost every mark on the landscapes passing below. At the beginning when I was still a single woman, flying was expensive for my budget, so it was the train from Victoria Station in London, the ferry from Folkestone to Calais and the train departing in the late evening from Calais to Basel in Switzerland: the last part of the journey being Basel-Zürich where I was then living.

Over the years flying became less expensive, and out of convenience grounds the family Anglo Swiss travelled by air. I now travel on my own. The children do their own journeys today, live their own lives and Mr. Swiss stays in Switzerland whilst I visit my aging father (now 97 years old) in London.

The journey has not changed very much. Taking the train from Solothurn (my local town) to Zürich Airport, going through the customs formalities and eventually boarding the plane. Over the years boarding a plane has become a internet process. The document is now completed at home the day before you leave on your own computer. The boarding card is now replaced by a sheet of paper.

I used to look forward to the meals on the plane: nothing master-chef, but a nicely arranged plate with a Swiss meat/cheese selection and your choice of drink. A desert was also served, perhaps some cake with a creamy dressing and fruit. It was all part of the adventure. And today? a sandwich with a cheese spread and a small chocolate bar for a sweet touch. Drinks are also provided and you can still choose what you would like, although I would warn against Swiss Airline coffee. I just stick to plain water.

So let us have a look out of the window. Take off was some time ago, when you get that strange feeling that the distance between the soles of your feet and mother earth amounts to a few thousand kilometres. If you are lucky it is a clear day and you can actually see what is below: resembling a legoland. If you have clouds, then you are drifting through a sea of the unknown. If the weather is bad, then your body will resemble a floating container filled with unpleasant feelings. You cannot see the bumps and levels of the atmosphere; it is all an internal feeling. No problem, the paper bags are contained in the back pockets of the seat in front if you feel that your last meal wants to make a re-visit.

There are two flying routes to London; you cross over Luxembourg and then France and eventually below you can see water. That is when I wonder what happens if the plane decides to take a dip and I am glad that I watched the stewardess when she did her dance with the lifebelt demonstration. However, the English Channel is a matter of about 10-15 minutes and afterwards you can see land again. If you take the route direct South over the coast you see a few unknown seaside towns of England and lots of green fields boarded by hedges with roads in between. If you take the other route, which is my favourite, you cross the coast at Southend, seeing Canvey Island opposite, and follow the River Thames until it reaches London. I generally land at London City airport, it being only about half an hour from my destination.

My ex school friend usually meets me with her car and we drive off to her home, calling in on my dad on the way. Sometimes the half hour journey can take as long as the journey from Zürich to London if it is the so-called rush-hour.

My next trip will be around October everything going well. That will be the week when the Daily Prompt will be ignored.

River Thames, London

1 comment:

  1. That bit at the end about the car journey after getting to London made me smile. Similar to when I travel to the US. I always fly from Heathrow, so it is always a three and a half hour drive home after a seven hour trans-Atlantic flight back from the US.