Friday, 23 November 2012

The Crossing of the Atlantic

One of my wishes has always been to travel across the Atlantic Ocean into the European continent. It was possible for me to do so earlier this year thanks to some money I managed to save and to my graduation present on behalf of my father.

I did my planning as meticulously as ever, scheduling every flight, check in and out from hotels and train travels with great precision, to the point of ruining my journey if by some reason I happened to lose a flight.

The day eventually came and I left my home at 6:00 am 18th of September, I arrived at the airport just in time to check in and I was soon enough on my way to the city of Cancun.

I should mention that I know quite a lot about aviation. I boarded the Airbus A320, fortunately for me my entire row was empty so I could change seats if I pleased. I moved to the seat near the window and I could see the wing from the back. The captain started pushback procedures by switching off the A/C and turning on the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) in order to have electricity to turn on the engines. As the airplane was being pushed back to taxiing position the captain turned on both engines one by one and started to test navigation instruments, rudder, ailerons and spoilers. Soon after that we started taxiing through taxiway B, then we made a turn to taxiway A and we had a straight pass to the runway number 28 without stopping at the holding bars.

We took off and the airplane elevated to a 35° from the horizon, making us ascend at approximately 1,500 feet per minute, we then turned right and from our destination and how the captain was flying I could tell that we were following the UJ12 airway and from the altitude of the clouds I could tell we were flying at an altitude of 33 or 35 thousand feet, it could not be 32, 34 or 36 thousand because we were flying to the east, and ICAO established that when flying east, an airplane must fly at odd altitudes, and when flying west, even altitudes.

After a little more than two hours we started to descend towards the airport in Cancun, we finally landed and  I started looking for the other company's check in desks in order to leave my luggage and find something to eat.

There was a small group of teenagers/young adults in the line before me. they were 3 people, two men and one woman, by the looks of it they were going to visit a female friend in France, all of them from Mexico City, including the person in France, which I assume was studying in France for more least a year now and all of them must have been very close friends and at least one of them was in a relationship with the girl in France. They, or at least their parents must have lots of money, because that was not their first time going to visit their friend and they traveled from Mexico to Cancun by Aeromexico and they stayed a couple of days there before departing to Europe.

I knew they spent two days in Cancun because their luggage still had the stripes that Aeromexico's check in desk in Mexico city pasted. They had arrived Cancun two days ago, the ticket also said "MEX - CUN" which meant they were flying from Mexico City. One of the guys was carrying a transparent bag with a wrapped present in it, which obviously had to be meant for his girlfriend, the girl in France. By the size and of the present I assumed it had to contain chocolates and some sort of jewelry... who buys Mexican chocolates to a Mexican girl who has access to french chocolate without including some sort of additional gift like jewelry. But that is just speculation, since I never had the chance to verify my thoughts.

5 minutes after my analysis it was my time for check in, I did everything without a mistake and then I headed for the duty-free section of the airport to look for something to eat. I found two very tempting options, Bubba Gump Shrimp or Johnny Rocket's Hamburgers. The decision was quite easy for me... I could try a new restaurant that sells sea food, or I could eat at a restaurant I know and sells good hamburgers with meat of an animal that can actually bleed. So I had one of those delicious Smokehouse Double Burger with a Strawberry Milkshake.

Then, after I had my meal I was left with nothing to do but wait one hour until my flight departs.


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