In transit

For day 8 of #blogjune a small diversion from our travelogue, places I’ve been to, but not really…

There was a Twitter conversation a while back, started by Anne I think, about places we’ve been to but only in transit, just changing planes or never leaving the airport.

My parents brought me by plane from Wales to Australia in 1959, when I was just a few months old, but I have no idea of the airports we stopped at along the way on that trip.

qantasmap

In 1967 we sailed by ship on a holiday to Wales and flew back, and I do remember very clearly all the places we touched down along the way. We started at the West London Air Terminal where I remember waiting with my mum and three brothers for hours. It’s strange to think of waiting right in the city for your flight and then getting on a bus which took you out to the airport when your flight was ready. In another strange twist of history and serendipity, I’ve since read that the building was later turned into the Sainsbury’s supermarket on Cromwell Road which we visited a couple of times on our recent holiday!

We flew on a Qantas 707 from London to Athens, Tehran, Delhi, Manila, Brisbane and Sydney. Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport hadn’t opened yet and there were no international flights to Melbourne, so we had to swap to a TAA 727 for the final leg to Essendon.

taa727

I haven’t visited Athens, Tehran, Delhi or Manila – and I’ve actually passed through Manila twice without leaving the airport. The second transit through Manila was in 1984 on a trip to Japan via Bangkok and I also passed through Taipei during that trip, another city for my in-transit list.

On New Year’s Day 1990 I flew from Melbourne to London on Lufthansa via Kuala Lumpur and Frankfurt, two more cities I’ve never visited. We departed Melbourne just after midnight on New Year’s Eve and we were the first plane to land at KL in 1990 which happened to be “Visit Malaysia Year”. As a tired and bedraggled plane-load of passengers entered the transit lounge so the plane could be cleaned we were greeted with balloons and ribbons, bands and dancers to celebrate the grand occasion. I don’t think the musicians and dancers got the enthusiastic reception they deserved – tough crowd.

Los Angeles should be on my in-transit list but in 2010 coming home from New York our plane was grounded and we had a surprise overnight visit – although I’m not sure that staying one night at the LAX Sheraton really counts.

The last of my in-transit cities is Dallas-Fort Worth. A tip when signing up for the airport wifi is not to use your real email address. I still get occasional emails from DFW Airport telling me about their special offers.

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