Almost Home

As I type I’m here at Heathrow waiting for my flight on Air Canada home. Or at least to Halifax, which will be almost home.

When I learned how close Cannes was to Nice yesterday I scuttled my plans to spend the day in Nice and spent the day in Cannes instead. It’s a very pleasant city, similar in esprit to Montpelier (or maybe it’s just like all French cities — my experience is limited here!).

After visiting an Internet café to solve a temporary crisis in the Plazes-o-sphere (you can’t use Plazes by SMS when you enter a new country, it seems, until you use Plazer to establish your new nationality), I had a pain au chocolate, did some shopping, and then, because it’s the kind of thing I do, went to the movies. There was simply too much to the appeal of being able to say “oh yes, I saw that in Cannes” when conversation about The Departed comes up (it’s called Les Infiltrés in France).

The length of the movie (it’s over 2 hours) meant I had to make a quicker dash than expected back to the Nice airport (it’s only about 24km), something made slightly more challenging by the 10,000 other people trying to get out of Cannes after a day of holiday shopping.

But I made it, with plenty of time to spare. No problems returning my car to Alamo (the whole renting-at-Alamo through easyCar experience went very well), the automated British Airways check-in took 15 seconds, and I was the only one going through security. Even the fact that our flight was delayed by 45 minutes worked out, as somehow they “made it all up in the air” and we arrived only 5 minutes late.

The Ibis Hotel at Heathrow was predictably dreadful — dirty, ugly, smoky and with bathroom drains that didn’t. But I was only there overnight, and the bed was comfortable enough. The “Heathrow Security Experience” was, also predictably, awe-inspiring, with lines as long as the eye could see. They’re getting good at it, though, and I was in and through in about 30 minutes.

If all goes according to plan I’ll be back on Canadian soil at 2:00 p.m. today. My only decision now is to whether to check “yes” on the customs form where it says “have you been on a farm in the last 14 days.” Is an olive grove a farm?