Guest post by Alison Bailey
Just occasionally life throws up a true once in a lifetime opportunity; on June 29th 2014, the inaugural Flybe flight from Birmingham to Reykjavík was such an experience. I’d been offered a seat, giving me the chance to see a little of Iceland. I was to spend three days there, and was really looking forward to exploring the North Atlantic adventure playground for the first time.
Arriving at Birmingham International Airport in plenty of time, having never flown from there before I was pleasantly surprised. I understand that, for the seasoned traveller, the airport is simply a means to an end, however Birmingham is a pleasure to travel through, and actually lends itself to the experience. The airport has a single terminal, with well laid out facilities, good signposting, parking is easy, and everything is close by. Simply a good start to any trip.
As the sun began to set in Birmingham we boarded our plane bound for Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavík, some 2 ½ hours away, we even took off on time.
An unusual aspect of the timing of this flight is that due to the direction of travel, the plane travels into the light. Leaving Birmingham at 9.30pm it was nearly dark, but as we progressed, it actually got lighter, arriving in Iceland to find almost full daylight.
We were ceremonially welcomed to the airport by waiting fire trucks, which sprayed our plane with an arch of water.
Thanks to our flight crew for a very pleasant flight. Flybe, known as a no frills, budget airline, but the standard of service was well up to expected standards, and levels of comfort. We were even treated to a glass of champagne after take-off, but as it was the inaugural flight, don’t expect it on future journeys.
We were formally welcomed by the UK Ambassador to Iceland, His Excellency Mr Stuart Gill, again it’s unlikely he’ll be a regular in arrivals.
We were also joined on the flight by Fred Kochak, Flybe’s routes director who told us that the airline was the first to offer flights between these two cities. He certainly seemed delighted by the enthusiastic welcome that Flybe received in the city. I later asked Fred, over a glass of wine “Why Reykjavik?” to which he replied “It’s such a cool place!” Indeed Fred, after three days exploring, and discovering it’s many attractions, it’s hard to argue with that summation.
About Alison Bailey
I started as a photographer at the tender age of three when my Dad gave me my first camera, a Kodak Brownie. I crawled around ‘taking pictures’ of everything, even though there wasn’t any film, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since.
I’ve worked as a Lab Technician specialising in Pathology to the promised land of Olympus cameras, and even a spell in law enforcement. I’ve returned to my first love now however, specialising in wedding photography. I predominantly use digital today, but the traditionalist in me still loves film, and the skills required to develop it.
* All photography by Alison Bailey, © Copyright of BaileyPhotography 2014