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Cornwall 08
Photos Day One

Flying at 35,000ft

Nice blue sky

Beautiful cloud cover

First Glimpse of the UK

Starting the decent into the Clouds

Coming into the Clouds

In the Clouds

Just under the Clouds

Approaching Manchester Airport

Approaching Manchester Airport

My flight into the UK went fairly well.  I checked into the airport in Toronto fairly early so I didn't have to deal with any sort of line-ups through the check-in point or the security points.  Unfortunately this meant that I had a fairly long wait to get onto the plane though.  The flight took off at 11:30pm the night before and was due to arrive in the UK at around 11:20am so it was important to get some sleep on the plane so I wouldn't feel completely beat upon arrival.  Fortunately I hit the jackpot when it comes to seating arrangements as I didn't have anyone sitting next to me on the plane so the other lady and I had a lot of room between us to stretch out a little more! Luckily I was extremely tired when I got on the plane so that I think I fell asleep even before the plane left the tarmac!

About 1.5 hours into the flight they served us an onboard meal, which I wasn't really keen on having since I wasn't really used to eating around 1:00am but decided to have it anyways.  They served us light pasta with a nice cheese sauce but I didn't really like the chickpea salad they served with it.  While waiting for the attendants to collect the meal trays I fell a sleep again and didn't wake up for a fairly long time.  Over all the flight was nice and the landing was very smooth!

Since I was located near the front of the airplane I was able to get off fairly quickly and made it to the customs area ahead of most people on the flight.  This proved very fortunate as three other flights landed at about the same time as us and the line up grew very quickly.  It only took me about 20 minutes to get through the immigration point and looking back I think that some people could have been waiting for over an hour to get through that checkpoint!  They really didn't have enough people working at the customs counter to deal with four flights arriving at the same time.

After immigration, I found my way to the luggage carousal and started looking for my suitcase since they had already unloaded the entire luggage.  Unfortunately, one of the main disadvantages of checking into the airport early for your flight means that your suitcase will be near the end of the plane and one of that late ones to come onto the carousal.  I waited on the stairs where the luggage was coming from and waited until I spotted my suitcase and then quickly made my way to a gap in the crowd so that I could grab my suitcase and go.

Once my luggage was securely in hand it was time to get the car.  I made my way to the Euro car counter and gave them my name.  They quickly found my reservation and started looking around for the car that I was suppose to get; a Vauxhall Astra with a diesel engine. Unfortunately for us the car that was suppose to be checked in at 7:00am wasn't back and they hadn't even realised that it was missing. After the clerk made a few calls to find out what was going on, she decided to give me the only other automatic car they currently had available that was in the same class; a Nissan Note 1.6L 5-door petrol.  The only drawback to this was that the car was at terminal 3 and I was at terminal 1 so they sent one of their workers out to drive the car back to terminal 1 for me to pick up.

While they went to get the car for me, I gave Andy a quick call to let him know that I had arrived safely, checked in without any problems, and was just waiting for them to deliver the car to me. 

It didn't take them long to bring me the car, but when the person parked it, he blocked a hotel airport bus that was waiting to pull out so I didn't have very much time to look around the car and get used to it before I needed to start moving.  This also meant that I wasn't able to get the mount for the sat-nav unit that was in my suitcase that was already put into the trunk.  So I put the sat-nav on the dashboard in front of me and set it to take me 'home' and was on my way. 

I was warned that it might take the sat-nav a few minutes to find out where I was and start giving directions so I decided to try to find my own way out of the airport until it could give me proper directions.  I ended up going around in circles a few times which wasn't such a bad thing as I got used to driving the car without a lot of traffic around, remembered to drive on the left side of the road and eventually even made it onto the highway without any directions from the sat-nav.  Unfortunately I still hadn't heard anything from the unit when I came to the junction to get onto ring road around Manchester, but I knew that's where I wanted to be.  The first time I came with mom this is where we made our biggest mistake so I knew what to expect and positioned myself into the lane I needed to be in from the signs on the road and made my way onto ring road without any problems.  However I was starting to get concerned since the sat-nav still hadn't started talking to me and I was too busy paying attention to traffic and what was going on around me and didn't have the time to play with an electronic device.  I was trying to look for a service station to pull into so I could stop and see what was up with the sat-nav but I didn't notice any and definitely did NOT want to start driving into Manchester.  So I followed the road signs for a while and when I had a moment of clear traffic I would glance down to see what was going on. 

Much to my surprise the sat-nav was showing me where I was and that I was already going in the right direction so it was only a matter of figuring out why it wasn't talking to me.  After thinking for a while I remembered that while I was playing with it back at home I had hit the mute button at one point and thought that it wouldn't remain muted after it was turned off but I was wrong and fixed it as soon as I felt comfortable to do so.  It was a while before it gave me my next direction, but as soon as it spoke to me I was able to relax a lot more and started to enjoy the drive to Andy's.  I made it to his place with minimal fuss and a lot of confidence in myself and with the car. 

After getting to Andy's I needed some time to relax before we decided to do anything else.  It was nice to be able to stretch out and not feel rushed to get things done.  After a couple hours of this I started to feel hungry and really wanted to have some famous English fish & chips so we decided to stake a drive to a chippy in Todmorden called Grandma Pollards which is said to be the best chippy in the UK.   While I didn't have much to compare it to, I wasn't going to complain, as the fish was really good!

After we finished our meal we made our way to visit Andy's dad and had a nice visit with them for a couple hours.  Just as we arrived there the weather turned dark and rainy which it had threatened to do for a while.

After our visit with them we went directly back to Andy's as I was starting to feel the effects of the long flight with minimal sleep for the past couple days and was getting ready for bed!

Approaching Manchester Airport

Banking to come in for final decent

In the final decent

Just landed

Approaching the loading gates
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