Life after Lockdown – The Holiday Part 1

The first of my lovely Guest Bloggers – the long-awaited Holiday Update!! You can read the start of the story here.

What We Did AFTER Our Holiday – by 67 and Stopped Counting

I am writing this from my lounge in lovely West Yorkshire because – we are home!!

We were “stuck” in Mallorca for 14 weeks and 3 days, not that I was counting. It was quite a big decision for us to leave the safety of Mallorca, where there hadn’t been any Covid cases or deaths for a couple of weeks. Nonetheless, after our fourth attempt at a flight home was cancelled, we could bear it no longer.

Some people have criticised us along the lines of “take a chill pill and enjoy the sun”, which is good advice if you don’t have any medical issues, if you aren’t missing your family, if you aren’t missing your friends, if you aren’t missing your house and your garden and all the familiarity that is home – and we were, a lot.

As you may recall we went out to Mallorca for 12 days at the beginning of March. Seven days after arriving, the Spanish lockdown came into force. We foolishly though that it would last maybe three or four weeks, then things would be fine.

Our return flight was cancelled. We weren’t worried. We were due to fly out again on April 27th for two weeks to celebrate DH’s birthday. Then those flights were cancelled, and the lockdown continued. We were also due to fly out again at the beginning of June to attend an owners’ meeting. We thought that we would just be able to get the return leg of that flight home but no … it was cancelled as well.

I appreciate that being stuck in your holiday apartment in the sun is entirely a First World problem – but like it or not it we live in the first world, and we were desperate to get home.

After hearing reports that Jet2 were flying from July 1st, we booked a flight for July 2nd. It too was cancelled, with disputes going on about air bridges, quarantine, the demise of the holiday industry, airline layoffs and redundancies. We just wanted to come home.

We spent ages looking at possible routes using scheduled airlines. One popped up offering us a flight to London via Kiev. We passed on that one but finally managed to get a flight to London Heathrow via Madrid.

The flights were sold by British Airways but it turned out that it was actually Iberia so we kept being transferred back and forth between websites – all very confusing.

It was a nightmare trying to buy the tickets, print them out and check in. I think that the cool kids keep all this information on their phones. We are not cool kids.

We had to arrange for a hire car to get to the airport in Mallorca and another to get from Heathrow to Leeds but eventually all systems were Go!

Social distancing was a high priority at Palma until we got on the transfer bus to the plane, when it appeared to be abandoned. Luckily masks are compulsory in Spain.

Madrid was more laid back than Palma but nothing prepared us for Heathrow. It was anarchy, with all the passengers jam-packed onto a tube/shuttle to arrivals then herded up one escalator because the other was broken.

Border Control was quite keen on the two-metre rule but then they asked us to approach the counter, stand about two feet away, and remove our face masks. We were confused.

Nonetheless we are delighted to be home. We have flights booked to go back in September. We are taking that under advisement…

Watch out for more ‘Life after Lockdown’ guest blogs over the next few days.

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