If anyone has ever taken the Underground in London if you take nothing away from it you always remember to “Mind the gap”. Apparently the Brits are clumsy when exiting the train onto the platform because at EVERY stop “Mind the Gap” is announced and the ironic thing is…there is no gap. Mike and I woke up at 3:30 and caught the shuttle bus to Heathrow Terminal 3 where we were told by the concierge to take the Underground to terminal 4. Apparently terminal 4 is on the other side of the airport. We arrived at terminal 3 only to find the station does not open until 5am or so. No minding the gap for us. We were put into panic mode because KLM closes the check-in counter 30minutes before take-off. We found a taxi to take us to terminal 4. The driver gave us some pretty stern advice…”The trip to terminal 3 to terminal 4 would be £22 pounds that’s $38.00 about the cost of a trip from Chicago to O’Hare and the distance of about 3 miles. WOW that’s roughly $12 a mile.
We made it to the terminal and there were roughly 200 people in line at 5:00am, the gate supposedly closes 30 min. before so we went into our second panic mode of the day. Once our nerves settle we actually found out that the bag check in didn’t open until 5am and all of the people in front and the now 80 peopele behind us were on KLM flight 1000 leaving at 6:30
The food and service on the KLM flights were amazing. Free wine coffee…much better than the American airlines. One flight was from London to Amsterdam, another from Amsterdam to Nairobi, Kenya. We had a two hour layover in Kenya where we found some other OLPCers. After some confusion on the tarmac (four planes which all look the same and we were pointed in a general direction) we found the plane. Ironically two people “were missing from the gate to the plane” so for security reasons their luggage had to be removed from the plane.
Our arrival in Kigali was met with an abrubt landing. The runway is smaller than most and could barely handle a Boeing 737. I stepped off the plane and got in the bus which took us literally a quarter mile from the plane to customs.
We met with the OLPC members and they took us to our hotel Chez Rose.