Here’s Sue’s take on Saturday’s journey:
“Waking to a white world at 5.15am we thought we were in for a tough day travelling to Ottawa, particularly after yesterday's chaos at Manchester airport. The taxi, booked for 5.45, arrived at 6.15, due to slow road conditions. Our seats, booked on the 8.50 shuttle to Heathrow, were changed to the 7.55 shuttle, which was already there. All good we thought. Boarding saw us on the plane at 7.45 and ready to go. The pilot had other information (thick snow on the wings was a bit of a give away!) and soon explained that we needed de-icing before leaving, and that we were in the queue for the one de-icing vehicle. We eventually took off at 9.45 for the 35-minute flight, fairly confident that we'd make our 12.05 connection to Ottawa.
Others weren't so lucky, and the 8.50 flight was cancelled.
A lengthy journey between terminals 5 and 2 on a bus, lifts, escalators and travelators got us to the gate at 11.30, just as an announcement was made that the plane had a water leak and there would be at least a 1.5 hour delay! We finally took off in a replacement plane at 2.05pm and were transported 'over the pond' (and the beautiful, snowy southern tip of Greenland) in 8 hours, arriving in Ottawa just as the sun was setting, at 5pm. Unfortunately, our wait at the luggage carousel was unproductive - our luggage was still at Heathrow (despite over 3 hours having been available during which to transfer it). Clutching our consolation Air Canada toilet bags, we jumped into the waiting car, disappointed that skiing would be postponed until at least Sunday. Helen did make us feel better by telling us that, with wind chill, the temperature on Saturday was forecast to be minus 34C, perhaps a little too cold for skiing anyway!
So, we're now at Ken and Helen’s home in Ottawa, refreshed from a good night's sleep, considering what to do today....”
Amazingly, we had slept until 7.45, despite the five hour time difference that makes that 12.45 in Timperley. It was a lovely sunny day, but cold outside. Ken left for a 40 km training ski (he’s doing the Canadian Ski Marathon next weekend) from P7 to the Fire Tower beyond McKinstry cabin, leaving me, Sue and Helen to enjoy a lazy morning before tripping into town to the art gallery, where Sue and Helen are pictured above underneath the Maman near the gallery’s entrance.
The gallery is housed in a magnificent building, with views up to the Parliament buildings.
From level two you look down on this quadrangle which looks as if it might have been designed by Escher.
The gallery’s current special attraction is an M C Escher exhibition. Brilliant.
Here’s one of Escher’s most famous works, Relativity (1953), a poster of which I remember being displayed in our house for many years. It was good to see the original on display,albeit it seemed smaller than our poster.
There’s much else to see in the gallery, and a good cafe for lunch, so we managed to spend our day with no luggage satisfactorily productively, before driving home past thousands of skaters on the Rideau Canal.
However, whilst our luggage arrived in Ottawa at around 3pm, and we are only ten minutes from the airport, Air Canada say they have given it to delivery agents and have no idea when that delivery will be made. Until the luggage arrives, we have no means of transferring photos to this computer, so this and the previous posting will be sent after it eventually arrives.
Meanwhile, I suppose I should start composing my letters of complaint to both British Airways and Air Canada.