14.06.2013 - 21.06.2013 30 °C
Friday morning and it's our last day, we fly home at stupid o'clock tonight. Our airport taxi pick up is coming for us at 7-30 pm so we are going to make the best of our last day here and spend it on the private beach at Daios Cove, the sunbeds are the comfiest I think I've ever laid on. We have to vacate our room at 12 midday. We could extend our check out to 6-00pm if we wanted but I thought 60 euros was a bit steep! Anyway they will allow us free use of a courtesy room, 5-00pm to 6-00pm with all the same facilities as our room except no private infinity pool, how will we cope? A leisurely breakfast and then the rest of the morning packing. We called for a golf buggy to take our luggage for safe keeping and we settled on the beach for the duration of the afternoon. It's over 30 today phew! After using the courtesy room we head to the taverna for dinner and enjoy an excellent meal, a bit better than eating at the airport or on the plane. We collect our luggage and amazingly for Greece, our taxi is dead on time. We say our goodbyes and are whisked away by our taxi driver. At Heraklion, lest we have forgotten, we are quickly reminded that we are at a Greek airport. There are cars, coaches, luggage trolleys and people everywhere. There are the usual package holiday queues outside under long bus type shelters, snaking the full length of the outside of the airport building. We join the easyjet queue inside to drop our bags and go through passport control. If you thought outside was chaos you should see it on the other side. Queues for toilets, queues for refreshments, queueus for duty free shopping, even queues for a seat - it's mayhem. The air conditioning isn't noticeable and there appear to be two competing alarms sounding, as if doors that shouldn't be opened have been left open somewhere. It's almost as effective a form of torture as water boarding, I imagine. Eventually we are called to our gate and we then experience that impossible marriage of Greek organisation and easyjet speedy boarders! Indignant people holding bits of papers aloft saying 'we're speedy boarders!' Eventually the poor Greek chap has to surrender or suffer more cries of 'speedy boarders' and he allows them to form their own separate queue. The speedy boarders are placated and marginally a little less hot under the collar. More queuing ensues. Then the traps are opened and the speedy boarders are allowed through an open door to form another queue just outside on some steps but, this being Greece, ordinary passengers i.e. Non-speedy boarders are accidentally released at the same time, yours truly included. By the way it's worth pointing out at this stage that Easyjet now allocate seat numbers so we have all known where we are sitting since we self-checked-in online before we set off from the UK! So now there is a queue on the steps just outside the gate doors, yes we've moved approximately 5 meters from inside the building to outside the building, of a mix of resentful speedy boarders still holding their bits of paper aloft and rather smug ordinary passengers who haven't paid a premium price to be able to hold a piece of paper aloft. The airport ground service girl is severely rebuked by a much larger Greek chap when she makes the decision to lift the rope at the bottom of the stairs to allow a stampede of passengers, including non-speedy boarders, to board the awaiting bus. He's a big chap and he steps across calling 'speedy boarders only' at which point the said group of people still waiving their bits if paper, appear from various places up the stairs and in the queue and start fighting their way to the front 'excuse me, I'm a speedy boarder, look I have a piece of paper' At this point I suddenly notice Jo has a double who is a speedy boarder. I catch a glimpse of her, no piece of paper being waved, striding past the big Greek in his dayglow safety vest, and she settles into a seat on the bus. I follow avoiding eye contact, I hold my ordinary boarding pass aloft, I'm not checked and I too board the bus and take my seat. It soon becomes apparent as the bus doors close and we lurch forward on our way to the awaiting aircraft that the bus contains a heady mix of speedy boarders and quick witted ordinary boarders. We pull up along side our plane but the bus doors do not open. We are obviously much too fast speedy boarders as they aren't ready to allow us to speedy board. The bus is packed with boarders of all categories. It's stifling and the speedy boarders now find a new use for their pieces of paper. Rather than indicators of a higher status of airline passenger they now use these documents as personal fanning devices and wave them rapidly to and fro in front of their ever reddening faces. I imagine the newspaper headlines the next day... "A group of Easyjet passengers were found dead packed into a sealed airport bus on the tarmac at Heraklion airport yesterday. The first to suffocate were the speedy boarders" Eventually we are released from captivity and there is a sprint to the awaiting aeroplane steps. Jo and I saunter across the tarmac holding aloft our boarding passes which confirm we are to be seated in 28A and 28B and our empty seats await us. We arrive in Manchester in the rain at exactly the same time as the speedy boarders.