Tuesday, July 10, 2007
July 2nd was my last day in San Sebastian. For lunch I went into the old town and had a few farewell pinchos (tapas), then headed to the coach station. It was an uneventful seventy-five minute ride to Bilbao. From Bilbao City Centre it is another thirty minutes to the airport. I checked in for my flight and all was well.
I had a snack and checked the departures board at about 8:30 PM. My flight had been scheduled to leave at 9:15, but the board said it was running about twenty-five minutes late. I thought that would be no big deal, flights to Stansted are often a little behind schedule. My flight to New York left from Heathrow the next day, and I was booked in a hostel in London for one night.
At about 9:30 the departure board changed and announced that my flight would be leaving at 11:40 PM, two and a half hours late. Now I was concerned, so I went online to check the news. Sure enough, a mysterious package had been found at Stansted, and the airport had been closed for several hours. I checked with the Easyjet service desk at about 10 PM. The airplane that I would be flying on had not yet left London. A good night's sleep was looking less and less likely.
The flight finally left Spain at 2 AM. It is only a two hour flight to London, so when I arrived it was "only" 3 AM.
Of course, Stansted Airport is nowhere near central London, so I had an 80 minute bus ride in front of me. It was sometime after 4 AM when I finally reached my hostel. Of course, it was a hostel, so I was in a room with twelve other people, all already asleep, many snoring. Not exactly fresh as a daisy, I had about 4 hours to sleep before braving the new security measures at Heathrow.