We had a brief layover in London, way west of where we have been traveling, but that’s what you have to do when you make last minute changes.
We may need to count England toward our admittedly padded number of countries. Before we started publishing the blog, our itinerary stood at 18 countries until we decided that a 12-hour day by rental car, scheduled for this week, just would be too much. So, we dropped Liechtenstein and Switzerland in favor of a little more time in Austrian Bavaria. Then we had to drop Croatia and Slovenia because of migration border issues. And, although we picked up Belgium, we had to cross off the Netherlands due to a train strike. So, the final tally is anyone’s guess.
But the time we spent walking at Heathrow airport makes us feel like we were in England. Our pedometer registered 1.5 miles there, and that didn’t count the bus that seemed to take forever, with many turns and tunnels, getting us from one terminal to another.
Earlier on Friday, our first stop at the Brussels airport was Immigration, where the officer either thought he was the funniest guy alive or he was the biggest jerk we have encountered on our trip. We had boarding passes for all three of us on an IPhone, and the uniformed officer said he could tell we were going to ruin his day. Then we encountered a little difficulty understanding how to self-scan the bar codes from our phone onto an out-of-the-way machine. All the while, he and another officer were loudly joking in French and laughing (it seemed at us) . Before we finished, he told Greg not to ever return to Belgium. And, he kept saying, “leave and never come back” as we departed. Very strange sense of humor?
Anyway security was quick and easy, but we had to do it all over again at Heathrow. And, there, that meant extra baggage screening for us, with multiple swabs for explosives, and computers that seemed farther advanced than in the US. They showed us the individual baggage scans, showing the contents, and added our flight destination for each piece of luggage to the database.
Our two British Airways flights were comfortable and included food, even on the leg that was only 45 minutes.