Hello friends. It’s about time I document the events of my first flight to Europe, don’t you think? Well, let me tell you, it was an adventure in and of itself. In fact, it deserves its own blog.
Early Tuesday afternoon on 9/12/17, my sister-in-law dropped me off at the Denver airport. I caught a flight to Detroit where I was to take a connecting flight to London. On the flight I was able to have a nice chat with the man next to me about religion, particularly about what distinguishes the LDS faith from other Christian denominations.
Our layover in Detroit was intended to be just one hour, leaving around 9:30 pm (?), but some time after arriving at the gate the other passengers and I discovered that the flight was delayed. We gradually learned that the plane had hydraulic issues. Somewhere around 4 a.m., the airline announced that our flight was cancelled. We were given free hotel vouchers and a new flight was booked for 6:15 pm that evening.
I found myself to be uncharacteristically calm throughout the entire experience. I can only attribute this to a priesthood blessing I received before I left as well as the prayers of my family.
It was interesting to observe the various reactions of the other passengers. Some were irate, others mildly frustrated. One particular American family I met seemed to be rather cheerful and unphased. Two parents accompanied four children, the youngest no more than 8, they planned to backpack Europe. They had a distinct sort of light in their faces – one that you come to recognize if you have my religious background. This was appropriate because their last name was literally Light. And I was right; they were devout Christians.
We flew from Detroit to London from Wednesday night into Thursday morning. During the flight I sat next to an English not much younger than I who had spent some weeks in America visiting her dying father and then attending to his funeral arrangements. I expressed my condolences. She told me that she wasn’t terribly close to her father, as he had lived a country apart much of her life, so her grief wasn’t terrible. Though I found that a bit odd, I decided to accept that statement at face value. After all, it is not necessarily our blood that ties us to one another so much as our emotional connection to one another. I hoped that I would have the opportunity to share the gospel with her in some way but unfortunately I never found a way to casually slip it in. She shared with me some wonderful tips about life in England. We both attempted sleep; she was more successful than me.
We enjoyed both a sunset and a sunrise. The picture below is of the sunrise.
It was certainly more picturesque than that. My 10 year old camera simply does not do it justice. But it will have to do.
We arrived at the London Heathrow airport Thursday morning. I am happy to say that I crossed the border into the U.K. successfully.
I then took a subway to East London. Navigating the subway with a large suitcase was another adventure, but I was able to do so with little incident. Here’s me about to enter the subway tunnel from the airport, a little worn but mostly filled with adrenaline and excitement:
My hosts, Vitalina and Igor, friends of my sister-in-law Iuliana, graciously welcomed me into their home. I slept off jet lag most of Thursday.
I’ll tell you about my adventures in London in the next blog. Stay tuned.