15 June 2019 (Saturday) - Last Day - Coming Home
I had a light brekkie this morning as I still wasn’t feeling quite right. However a light brekkie on holiday would class as a serious pig-out back home.
Once fed we went back to our room to do our packing. Mine didn’t take that long, and I had a little sleep whilst "er indoors TM" did hers. With packing done we handed in our room keys and moved our luggage to "My Boy TM"’s room, then joined everyone by the pool. I did crosswords until the poolside quiz was announced over the loudspeaker, and our crew managed to score fourteen out of twenty. Mind you some other bunch claimed nineteen out of twenty. Bearing in mind the rules did say not to use mobile phones, I would declare shenanigans (again).
We adjourned for a (relatively) light lunch and then sat by the pool again. As the afternoon wore on our pool seemed rather busier than usual. There were quite a few pools in the complex, but one had suddenly been closed due to a “code brown” alert.
You would think that if a child wasn’t toilet-trained you would either have the child in a swimming nappy, or not let them in the pool, wouldn’t you?
We had a rather lazy day; eventually it was dinner time. Saturday is Chinese day in the hotel restaurant. We had a really good bit of dinner. And then we said our goodbyes and three of us got on the coach for the airport. Glen and Matt had left yesterday. Others had gone during the day. Our pick-up was at eight o’clock in the evening.
In retrospect this wasn’t a good time to start travelling.
We got to the airport after only fifteen minutes and followed the swarm of people from our coach. The queue to the baggage check-in was endless. The process of handing in three cases took hardly any time at all. How could the chap on the counter be taking so long about it?
With our cases handed it we asked the baggage check-in bloke what we did next. He vaguely waved his hand.
I had a vague idea that passport control might be a good idea. We got through there quickly enough, but what a contrast to Turkish passport control coming in. On the way in we were met with smiles and friendly banter. On the way out the chap was surly and unco-operative. Had he smiled, his face would have cracked.
I was also rather amazed at the attitude of those checking our luggage. The woman supposedly looking at the monitor of the x-ray machine was swinging on her chair, looking around, looking up and down. Clearly utterly bored with her job, she was checking nothing. I could only liken her to “Lazy disinterested sixteen year old supermarket checkout girl” from Viz magazine.
We had been told our flight went at eleven o’clock; we had some time to spare. We’d also been told (by a *lot* of people) that Dalaman airport was the most expensive airport in the world. We’d been told that three meals in McDonalds would cost over fifty quid. I don’t know where people got that idea from; a quarter-pounder meal cost just over eight quid. Rather expensive, but that’s airports. I had a strawberry milk shake for two quid. That milk shake was the subject of my last photo of the last album of the holiday. I took just under six hundred photos when we were away.
We did a little shopping, and then thought we might queue for the plane. After a lot of farting around (and being deliberately blanked by several airport staff) we found the check-in for the Gatwick flight. We queued… and then we were told of a gate change. I asked a chap in airport uniform where the Gatwick flight was boarding from; he tried to put me on the flight to Germany. When I pointed out it was the flight to Germany he waved his hands and walked away.
We eventually found where we were supposed to queue for Gatwick. After five minutes some officious little twerp marched up and demanded that we all left the area so he could set up a security gate. Despite having had our luggage and ourselves already searched twice, we were searched a third time. I was thinking of suggesting that had “lazy disinterested sixteen year old supermarket checkout girl” done her job properly then we might have been spared this indignity. But I thought it best not to ruffle any feathers; I’d already had a near-miss with the chap searching me who got *very* over-excited when he found my nail clippers. He was clearly disappointed when I suggested that if they were an issue then he might just throw them away.
The flight was supposed to take off at eleven o’clock. We were finally airborne just after midnight. I had hoped to sleep on the plane. I did doze a little; perhaps I should have taken a travel pillow?
We landed at about two o’clock (UK time). Unlike Dalaman airport, the authorities at Gatwick airport had signs saying where you should go and what you should do. A novel approach, but one which worked. Looking back it didn’t take *that* long to get through passport control and to get our luggage. After less than two hours after our flight had landed we were in the scrum at the bus stop waiting for the shuttle bus back to the car park. After a rather traumatic time at Dalaman airport and a rather poor sleep on the plane I was ready for a fight, and the chance was clearly there. The attitude of the surly jobsworth driving the shuttle bus didn’t help my nerves either.
Finally we got to the car parking. The place had clear signs saying to leave your luggage outside when collecting your car key. I didn’t say anything to the family of five who had all gone in to the office with all of their luggage when only one person (without needing to take anything) could have done the job.
But I had my car key within seconds, and within minutes we were driving home.
Dawn broke as we came down the motorway. Kirsty’s husband was waiting for her at Dobbies, and we came home to some rather excited dogs.
And after eleven hours travelling we got to go to bed.
If any of my loyal readers are going on holiday, don’t take a night flight if you can avoid it…