A major part of the joy of travel is the planning. Imagining where you want to go, working out the logistics, researching what you might do when you get there – the places, the food, the vibe, the people..
I never did find out his name but he was very keen to share. He was on his way to Thailand to convince his son to come home. His son who had a great job, lived in a wonderful part of Bangkok in a spectacular penthouse…I was thinking…good luck dad!!!
Let’s call him Jan. Born in Poland in 1940 his father was sent to a Gulag in Siberia. Jan and his mother ‘escaped’ to Mongolia through Afghanistan by train in a cattle truck – hay on the floor and bucket in the corner. From there they made their way to Palestine (umm bit circuitous) were reunited with his father and later went to England. He became a teacher, moved to New Guinea for ten years and finally settled in Australia.
Then he started talking about his travels. The normally achingly dull rail journey from the Sunny Coast to Brisbane airport evaporated into entertaining vingnettes from an octogenarian. Great start.
As we had an early morning departure we decided to stay in the airport hotel. Best decision! Breakfast was in the airport lounge. This was a serious indulgence. Aging and chunking up a little, presents different issues – less flexibility and a much greater capacity for intolerance – so as a gesture of good will to fellow travellers, we opted for business class.
Business class or not it is still two long flights. Plenty of space, a lay-flat bed, good food, great service and a swim in the pool in Singapore made the journey bearable.
Two flights and a long layover meant we had been travelling for more than thirty hours by the time we reached Copenhagen. It was just after seven in the morning. It was busy. We had to find the train information, buy a ticket and work out which platform, which train and what time. We just didn’t have time to panic. We were on board, bags stowed and seated all within minutes of collecting our luggage. We were on our way. Just seven hours to Skagen!