Thursday, June 30, 2011

On to Bulgria!

My Easyjet flight was to leave Gatwick at 0640; I had to get to the North Terminal, check my bag, and go thru security.  I expected this would be easy at 0400, but I was wrong.  When I got to the Easyjet check in line, there must have been 500 people in line!  Seems like there was a threatened public worker strike today, and everyone wanted to be the slowdown so they got to the airport early.  After waiting in line for awhile, Easyjet opened another dozen windows and the line began to shrink noticeable.  Within 40 minutes, I was thru and on my way to security. 

Security was a piece of cake; I practically walked right thru.  It was just a hassle taking the netbook, laptop, and K3 out of the carry-on baggage and then restowing it all.  Then on to breakfast and an hour or so of sitting.

I had forgotten that Easyjet doesn't have assigned seating (oh, so THAT'S why there was no seat on the boarding pass!), and they don't release the gate assignment until 0600 for a 0640 flight.  I got busy doing the morning Sudoku, and looked up to see it was already 0609 and the gate had been assigned for 10 minutes!  In a panic, I scooted to the far ends of the North Terminal (gate 105) and was one of the last dozen people to board the plane.  Needless to say, I was in a middle seat sandwiched between two large Bulgarians, neither of whom seemed to know much English.  Such is life.

We arrived in Sofia right on time, at Terminal number 1.  That was fine, except my ride was expecting me at Terminal 2, the new terminal.  While I was prepared to wait awhile as I had been told that two other ops were arriving after 1pm and the ride was going to bring all 3 of us down to Pirin, I was just about ready to call when he showed.  We hopped in the car and 100 miles later unloaded at the Pirin Golf Course and Resort.

Hey, this place is nice!  I have my own little condo, with television, phone, washing machine (!), and fridge.  After tidying up, I ventured out and found Krassy K1LZ.  He told me to be at the Clubhouse at 8pm for dinner, so having sat all day I decided to walk the 2/3 mile to get there.  The evening was beautiful; when I arrived there, I helped get the antenna installed and feedline run, and made the first QSO using LZ/W1UE with JY5HX.  I was all excited with working the JY, until I realized I was in the same CQ zone as he was!  JY isn't Dx from LZ.

Dinner was good, followed by a few beers. Its now just past midnight here, and my body is beginning to feel it.  Time to turn in and get ready for tomorrow.

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