When I awoke this morning it still hadn’t quite sunk in what was happening. Yesterday was bittersweet, having experienced a really nice last day in work but sad to leave the place where I’d spent almost fourteen years, a fair chunk of my life. I now have practically no bills, no keys, almost no schedule and certainly no worries. OK there’s also no job which is something that if you think about for too long can be a little daunting. Sometimes you have to think that there’s no better time than the present and just go for it
Thanks to the parents for fitting my lift to sunny Manchester Airport around their crown green bowling schedule. When I say sunny Manchester, it’s not meant in some sort of ironic way, there really wasn’t a cloud in the Ringway sky.
The first destination was Paris, for no other reason than the world’s number one tourist destination is as good a place as any to start. Ryanair use the term of Paris in a loose sense for its choice of airport. According to Wikipedia (which obviously may or may not be true), Paris-Beauvais Airport is located 53 miles from Paris. You certainly don’t fly past the Eiffel Tower upon landing. The bus into central Paris is longer than the flight and for some people who booked early, possibly more expensive. I flew using the Ryanair Business First facility. It wasn’t a case of being flash, just when I booked they had a promotion on which meant that it was cheaper than paying for a normal seat with luggage. It’s actually not as fancy as it sound, the Ryanair Business First. Essentially you get a checked bag, priority boarding and a choice of seat, including the ones with the extra leg room. To be honest you feel like a bit of an arse with priority boarding, kind of like you’re pushing is. I’ve never really seen the point because it just means you’re waiting longer onboard and the plane still arrives at the same time. Someone has written a book about the idiosyncrasies of Ryanair, Ruinair by Paul Kilduff which has some spot-on observations. If this was a serious travel blog the last sentence would have an affiliate link to Amazon to get some cash but I don’t want to subject my three regular readers to such shameless money grabbing!
The bus journey into Paris from Beauvais was actually straightforward. When the River Seine came into view there were a few gasps and people standing up to look outside the window, suggesting that the river doesn’t normally look like that. The morning news had suggested that there was a bit of flooding but it’s certainly no laughing matter when people have been killed by the overflowing waters and many homes are submerged.