Monday the 1st April, 2013, 3:30pm. Today is the day we begin our journey towards the Czech Republic. We arrive in stages, some more on time than others, at Carlisle train station, in order to catch a TransPennine to Edinburgh. All of us are (eventually) present, minus Emily whom we are meeting at Edinburgh Airport. The train is late, to the good fortune of those of us running a little behind, and we begin the process of cramming fourteen people and twenty-eight items of luggage into a carriage that is evidently not designed to accommodate such an influx. However, after a few minutes of jostling and heaving the bags are away, we’re seated, and on our way to Edinburgh.
The shining sun seems to signal good things. To me it signals an hour and a half of blinding agony, but that’s neither here nor there. An hour and a half of cards at the table we managed to nab brings us all safe and sound to the beautiful capital city of Scotland. We locate the bus that will take us to the airport. We sit at the back, because we’re cool. After half an hour of trying to stay on what were surprisingly slippery seats and marvelling at the stunning architecture we all pile out and drag our luggage into the Arrivals area.
While waiting for Emily to materialise we raid W H Smiths and Costa, loading up on hot chocolate and sweets. I buy a giant custard cream because (a) it’s a giant custard cream and (b) I think the excitement of travelling has gone to my head. We loiter around the airport while clever leader people make arrangements for taxis to take us to the travelodge. It turns out that hard case suitcases are really fun to spin around on. When the taxis arrive we try unsuccessfully to fit everyone in, but it just isn’t happening, so Isaiah and myself are volunteered to wait behind with the remaining luggage while the others are delivered to the hotel.
Not too much later and we are all together again. We are given our room keys, dump our luggage, and have a team meeting and prayer time over chips and drinks – it’s around 9 o’clock at this point. We chill out in the restaurant for a bit longer before heading up to bed in preparation for what is to be a horrendously early start.