Thursday, 10 November 2011 00:57

Finally Arrived in the UK...

Written by  Ken Ku
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Boarding My Flight to Copenhagen Boarding My Flight to Copenhagen Ken Ku

I got up to leave Zürich at six in the morning so that I had plenty of time to take the tram and the train to get to the airport and when I arrived at the train station I missed the train by just a few seconds!  I watched it depart just as I got to the platform and while I was disappointed I knew that I had plenty of time and wouldn't miss my flight.  The next train to the airport would arrive in ten minutes so I found somewhere to sit and waited.  Once I got to the airport I made my way to the check-in desk and was finally on my way to the United Kingdom.

It wasn't as easy as I had imagined it.  I made it to London Heathrow ahead of schedule (via Copenhagen) but when I got to the immigration area that's when everything fell apart.  It was a total nightmare.  I would estimate over several hundred people were queued up to go through immigration and there were only five officers handling this huge line up!  I thought I was in Disneyland!

After waiting almost two hours it was finally my turn to go through.  At that moment the only thing that was on my mind was if my backpack would still be waiting for me by baggage claim.  I should have known that would have been the least of my worries.  The immigrations officer decided that I didn't have enough proof that I would not be an illegal alien of the United Kingdom and decided to detain me for further questioning!

Thankfully I had all the contact information of my friend that I would be staying with here in Manchester and the officer went to do some fact checking.  It certainly was not a fun experience but I did have all the proof he needed, just he didn't want to believe me.  In the end the officer grudgingly accepted the fact that I would not be a drain on the UK society and let me go.  When I checked my passport later, the stamp says that I can stay in the UK for six months!  All that hassle and I'm only staying for a mere five days.  At least I made it through.  On to the next leg of the journey.  I still needed to get from Heathrow to Euston Station to take the train up to Manchester, a two hour train ride away.

The journey to Euston Station was quite uneventful but once I got to Euston Station it was another frustrating experience.  Apparently a bunch of the trains had been either cancelled or delayed due to vandalism at another station earlier and it was jammed full of angry travellers.  I managed to buy a ticket and waited.  When the announcement came on the PA system hordes of people basically RAN towards the platform.  It must be because of my huge bag that I wasn't crowded and I got on the train relatively easily and found a seat.

The normally two hour train ride took three hours though.  It was almost 11PM by the time I finally arrived in Manchester and met up with Joe.  Needless to say, I was wiped out from the entire experience and it certainly was an adventure!  Hopefully I won't have too many of those in the future.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 November 2011 04:13
Ken Ku

Ken Ku

A photographer/printmaker/perpetual wanderer going on a backpacking adventure around the world.  Follow my journey as I discover new places and meet new people!



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