Editor’s Note: This took place in 2018.
It was my last full day in England. I’d just returned from exploring and I was a bit tired. I was at the end of a trip of a lifetime, I’d just spend the last week covering a Royal Wedding. Everything had been a success. Now it was time to wrap things up and return home.
My flat in Windsor had been a perfect little place (read my review here). The interior was a little dated, but it was clean and the bed was comfortable. Also, despite being a third floor flat, it didn’t get particularly warm, so I never melted (it was only April so the heat was not much of a threat anyway).
One perk of the flat is something that would not be a perk to many other people. It was on a direct line into one of Heathrow’s runways (as the world learned during the coverage of the wedding – Windsor is next to Heathrow). So, there was a plane landing every few minutes. I’m an avgeek. Not a huge one mind you, but I will go out of my way to see a special plane or stop near an airport and admire the ‘big metal’ come in for a landing or taking off.
Windsor is so close to Heathrow, the joke is that tourists ask why the Queen would build her castle there in the flight path (the joke being that the castle has been there for 1,000 years). I’d been admiring planes all week while in Windsor covering the Royal Wedding. It was amusing to watch the pros at the BBC deal with all the airplane noise. My flat was so close to the planes coming in for a landing, that you could almost reach out and touch them.
And they were big. Almost every other plane was a massive Airbus A380 – the double-decker planes that can carry up to 800 people (and the type of plane that brought me to London for that trip). Sadly, a type of plane that is pretty much grounded right now due to COVID-19 as there are not 800 people to fill any given flight right now (BA’s A380’s are in storage) So, having nothing left to do other than to pack, I sat out on the small balcony, a cup of tea in one hand and a laptop in another, watching the planes come in for landing.
Occasionally taking pictures.
Occasionally answering emails.
Occasionally checking FlightRadar24 to see where the plane had just come from.
It was fun and relaxing and loud. A wonderful way to end a trip.
I would almost rent that flat again, just to be able to sit and watch the planes again.