Alpbach bound

Jan 10th, 2009 | By | Category: Personal Columns

It will be all right; I’ve done it before, it will be all right.

The man with the nice voice is going to take his huge steel machine down a rocky mountain valley and he is going to park it safely in the driveway.

Memories of two years ago, the first time I made the journey are still vivid.

“You know we have to fly down a valley between mountains to land at Innsbruck?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah”, I said, and went back to reading my newspaper (and there are pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, I thought).

The pilot announced that we were beginning our descent, “Cabin crew, ten minutes to landing”. The Alps looked wonderful in bright winter sunshine. Innsbruck drew closer.

“Now look”, said Leslie. I looked out of the window to the left; there were mountains to the side of us. I looked across the aisle to the window at the other side; there were mountains out that window as well.

We were in a jet airliner going at a great speed that was going down a mountain valley. Aren’t airports supposed to be in wide, open spaces? Whose idea was it to put an airport here anyway? I feigned complete calmness and tranquillity, but there were other passengers as clearly surprised as I was, when we landed they started to clap the pilot!

At 1005 Irish time we will take off from Dublin Airport and at 1330 Austrian time we will pull up at the little airport at Innsbruck.  The flight will be with the friendliest cabin staff I have ever met, and there will be a smile of greeting from the airport staff.  If the sun is shining and the sky is blue, the views will be brilliant.  Soon after landing, we will be whisked off down the autobahn to the loveliest village and people in all of Austria.

It will be all right; it will.

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  1. Oh Ian, you have no idea how I share your fear of flying but if you want to do the things you do . . .it’s a means to an end. I’m sure you’ll be just fine . .console yourself with the fact that it’s not a 24 hour trip in a tin can to Oz and have a wonderful ski holiday . . kudos to you for being able to do more than snow plow into the four wheel drive in the car park, yep . .I’ve done that!

  2. I am sure that by now you have landed.

    Enjoy and have fun.

  3. The Greeks and the Italians always clap the pilot. Not sure why you’ve got to come down come what may. At least you didn’t have Didier the French Easyjet pilot who often did the Bristol Belfast run. He seemed to think the runway was much shorter than it was and we descended steeply and hit the ground with a bang. I did eventually come to expect it but when we skidded sideways in the snow one day I was a little disconcerted. Enjoy the break.

  4. Ouch was that the right words to use Paula????

    Yes Ian enjoy the skiing.

  5. Hope your flight got away on time, Ian

    My son was flying Dublin-Geneva this afternoon to ski in French Alps and heard that some flights this am were badly delayed 🙁

    It was all right; it was!

  6. As they say – Taking off is optional, Landing is mandatory

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