Hi everyone, I am back from the most amazing holiday I have ever had - Iceland is incredible and well worth all the stress I went through getting on the flights! We arrived at a very quiet Heathrow on the 25th and I went straight through check-in and security without any second thoughts. We then sat in a cafe which was right alongside the arrivals runway and I watched so many planes land one after another and I took lots of encouragement from this... mine was just another one of those flights. I had a little wobble as we were called to board but I settled down again once I was in my seat. Then we were in a queue of planes on the runway - there were four planes in a line in front of us and I watched them all take-off from my seat as we moved closer to our slot... I was just so amazed by it all and we were up in the air before I even realised. It was one of the best flights I have ever had, I watched a movie and had a snack and we landed. I was in Iceland and feeling very pleased with myself!
Coming home was not so straightforward... it had been snowing and it was dark at 9 a.m. when our flight departed. I boarded with a few more nerves than before, but then I noticed that the wings were covered in a thick layer of frozen snow and I started to feel really anxious. I knew from Keith that planes are de-iced in these conditions but the doors were closed and the air hostesses were preparing the cabin, I honestly thought we were going with the snow still there and I had my hand on the seatbelt ready to get off! Then my boyfriend nudged me to look out the other window and we could see the plane was being sprayed... what a relief! Then we took-off in the dark and I felt very disorientated... the sun soon came up but I just couldn't settle on the way home, I couldn't concentrate on a film and I couldn't relax my thoughts, it was pretty unpleasant and I was just glad to be back on the ground when we landed. I was disappointed with myself after such a good flight on the way over, but I had faced two of my worst fears which are flying in the dark and icy weather and I have to take some strength from the fact that no matter how difficult I found it, I did it...
... and after a week of glaciers, frozen waterfalls, geisers, sunrise at the blue lagoon, black sand beaches, northern lights, it was worth every minute of discomfort because the experience was just too good to miss.
I can relate wholeheartedly with your flying in the dark problem. I have had two 'bad' flights recently - both were perfect going and the return journey (both of which were evening flights) were horrendous for me. Both had bad turbulence for pretty much the entire flight back (one from Rome and one from Menorca) and I think that the fact that I couldn't see and felt so 'trapped' in this plane with no focus point outside made it 100 times worse.
I'm starting to get to the point where I'm actually assuming its going to be a bad coming back and I desperately need to get out of this mindset :(
I've got about 4 weeks now to get myself in check for my NYC flight so fingers crossed!!!