Canada day 1

It was finally time for our “last” trip to Montreal, Canada before Andy’s parents move back home. Since we had already experienced the Canadian winter we were very keen to see the summer. The trip has been “planned” ever since we got back from the last one in January 2010, but for a while there it was really touch and go, if we’d be able to pull it off…

The trip started from home at 4 a.m. with my Dad driving us to the airport. Sweden was shining from it’s beautiful side, as to give us a real nice good bye in comparison to the last couple of days of heavy rain. We couldn’t have cared less but in all fairness to my parents and to the rest of the vacationers in Sweden, I guess the sunshine was a welcome addition.

We arrived at Arlanda Airport around 5 a.m. and proceeded to check in, although we had aready checked in online. The line to the check in was already quite long, but when it was our turn the check-in took about 25 seconds, which was a nice twist. We had been planing to have breakfast with my Dad before he set of to work, but unfortunetly there weren’t any places outside the security that were open. So off my Dad went and we proceeded through security and to the first unpacking of the hand luggage of the day. Andy’s bag, filled with camera equipment, doesn’t usually have any troubles through the x-ray machine, but this time they wanted him to unpack it all… A hassle to say the least.

After the security we found a café to have some breakfast and then it was time to board our plane to Paris, with Air France. I haven’t gone with Air France for many many years, but had unfortunetly heard lots of complaints toward the stewards/stewardess and the plane. So I guess my expectations weren’t that high. But I was to be surprised.

Pre-flight at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Sweden. As you can see it was truely a beautiful morning around 7 a.m. with sunshine. We were sitting in the center of the plane, row 15, right over the wing of an Airbus 320 and it was good seats. And we had a whole row of 3 to our selves, which was nice. Good bye Sweden.

Once up in the air it was just a matter of minutes before the sky opened up and the sights that I love came into view. There is something so soothing about soaring above the clouds and the deep blue of the sky in gulfs the plane and the fluffy clouds make you feel like the world is your oyster. Many of my friends know I LOVE photographing from the air, I have hundreds, if not thousands of pictures taken from various planes. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be having lots more…

After an our or two, breakfast was served. And since we were pretty sure that the food was going to be iffy, like “AirFood” usually is, we weren’t that hungry. But to our surprise the breakfast was quite eatable or even good. The tray contained  a berry yogurt, a croissant (what else?), a chocolate muffin and an assortment of various hot and cold drinks. The yogurt made me very happy and so did the croissant, it was scrumptious.

The flight didn’t have any in-flight entertainment so Andy and I did crossword puzzles and Kakuro.  But most of the trip I was watching the world go by in amazement. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in an airplane, probably quite a bit more than most but the beauty of it never seizes to amaze me…

The flight lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes and we landed in a very foggy and slightly chilly Paris. The colors of the fields made it seem much more pleasant.

At ground level the airplanes were all lined up ready to board passengers and take them all over the world. We were parked out on the tarmac and were taken in to the terminal via buss. The layover in Paris was to be 4 hours and 30 minutes. And unfortunetly Charles de Gaulle Airport has a lot to desire in entertainment. Although we did spend quite some time in the security, unpacking Andy’s bag for the second time today. Entertainment was scarce, but the architecture of the airport was lots of fun to photograph. Lots of great windows and walkways with geometric shapes and lots of light. I loved it…

When we had finally passed through security and found our wing of the airport we made our way to a little café to have a small sandwich since it would be a while before lunch on the aircraft. We choose the Italian café chain Illy, where espresso meets art. And had mozzarella and tomato sandwiches.

Next to the café there were a few very cumfy-looking lounge chairs that we wanted to sit in. But we had to get there at the right moment to be able to sit in the best chairs overlooking the tarmac. And after eating and chatting finally the chairs were freed from other travelers and we seized our chance to sit in style. Brown leather chairs with possibility of laying down, heaven! We sat for an hour before it was time for us to move towards our gate and towards the second leg of our journey towards Montreal, Canada.    

This time it was an Boeing 777-300ER, and also this time we were sitting over the wings, but now on row 25. This aircraft had in-flight entertainment and seemed quite a bit comfier than the last plane. Seemed like it would be a nice trip over the Atlantic. Take off time was 1.40 p.m. and the flight time was 7 hours 20 minutes, but we’d be going “back” in time, 6 hours, since Montreal is 6 time zones after Paris.

My in-flight entertainment system was malfunctioning so I was slightly annoyed since I was really looking forward to watching a couple movies and just forgetting about the flight time because sometimes I get really really bored and I just need to let my brain have some down time. But no such luck. Lunch was served and to our amazement the food was good and there was lots of it. Also each an every person was given a bottle of red wine, Reserve de La Baume (Cabernet-Syrah) and a bottle of port Porto Cruz. Most airlines give you a glas if you ask for it, but here they just gave everyone a bottle and hoped for the best.

Starter was a duck paté with a cucumber and mayo salad. Entré was a filet of chicken with tomato sauce served with quinoa and grilled vegetables. Also 2 baguette rolls with butter. Dessert was a raspberry and chocolate tarté. Then there was Bel Paese Crema cheese with olive crackers. And lastly, there was a piece of chocolate.

We tried to sleep some on the flight since we didn’t really get that much sleep last night. But it was quite difficult since it was quite warm in the plane and we were sitting on the left hand side or the sun side, which made it quite warm.

Since my In-flight entertainment was busted I shared with Andy and we watched The Green Hornet together. It was quite an amusing movie, but unfortunetly we got cut of 20 minutes from the end of the movie, so we don’t really know how this superhero movie ended.

We flew over Scotland but not over Island, but a bit south of Greenland. Then we flew in through New Foundland and over the Bay of Quebec and towards Montreal. The weather according to the pilot was going to be misty and cloudy in Montreal, but when we flew over it was sunny and warm, around 25 C.

In the last hour they served a little snack. An Actimel drink yogurt, some bread, crackers and cream cheese and orange juice. It’s a nice touch with the Actimel, good for the stomach and soothing. I like things like that, as if someone at the airlines really thought it through…

We landed around 3 p.m. and rushed towards the immigration, since we know from last time that it can be quite a long queue. Three aircraft’s landed at the same time and usually they are quite large, with 300 passengers or more. Therefore it isn’t really surprising that 1000 people are trying to get through immigration at the same time. It took us about 45 minutes in the queue, and low and behold they let us in this time as well =) Thank you Canadian immigration! =) Our luggage had arrived on the luggage belt and it was just to pass though customs and we were out of the airport. My In-laws were waiting for us outside and after hearty hello’s we made our way to the car and then back home, to our home away from home for most of the next 3 weeks.

The In-law had their good bye party planned for later in the evening, where they were to be thanked for their 3 years of service. And that meant that we had to fend for ourselves for the evening and the night. Which was just as well because we were knackered. There wasn’t a bone in my body that didn’t want to crawl into bed and just sleep till the morning. When we got to the house, it was around 5 p.m. which is 11 p.m. Swedish time and we were getting tired, but also because of the trip. So after the In-laws left the house we ordered some Domino’s pizza and watched some TV and ate. At around 8 p.m. we couldn’t keep our eyes open so we called it a night and slept like dead.

All is good and well and baby, We’re in CANADA!

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