Even my friend in the UK did not know that Heathrow Airport has a train running through it. The railroad tracks are used to transfer people from one terminal to another and from gate to gate. The airport transportation centre is larger than some cities in the world.
On our return trip home we had the opportunity to peel back the layers of the structure and view aspects the ordinary passenger is unaware of.
The distance from the terminal we arrived at from Cairo to terminal five where we would depart from for Toronto was too long for me to walk so we requested a wheel chair. Once settled in the business class lounge we were told that someone would pick us up when it was time to board the flight home. The lounge is huge and one can read local newspapers, eat, drink, use the computers and relax. We spent approximately four hours there.
About an hour before departure we heard our name announced and the wheel chair arrived. We had to go from the A section to the C section for our gate. Shortly after leaving the lounge, we boarded a buggy which seated five passengers and the driver. Ordinarily we would have had to walk and take the train to get to our destination.
Once seated in the vehicle we traveled a short distance and stopped. The driver expected two more passengers, in addition to the two of us and one already seated up front. The operator seemed confused and had trouble finding the last two riders. We sat. Finally the people were located. My husband, who believes in being on time, got antsy and worried we would be late for the flight. Let me go he whined. We drove another few feet and the driver asked for one of our boarding passes. He used it to purchase a bottle of duty free water at the shop. Yes, duty free water. Finally we were on our way again.
As I said, normally the train would be used to get to the designated gate but because we rode in the buggy we took a circuitous route.
We drove into service elevators where the driver had to insert keys and push buttons. We entered though one door and exited through the other. We drove down underground tunnels, deserted and dimly lit, which looked like a set design right out of a science fiction movie. The vehicle emitted a beep-beep kind of noise making it sound like a robot. More elevators, another tunnel. It felt as if we were driving to Toronto. We drove through the interior of the airport that paralleled the train. We drove within the walls.
Finally we emerged at the C gate area and the man in front exited the cart. We entered another elevator to arrive at our gate. By this time my tush was numb from the bumpy ride.
I regretted not having filmed the fascinating excursion.
My apologies for the brevity of this submission but I am still suffering from jet lag.
Blogophilia Week 47.5 topic: Peel Back The Layers
(Hard, 2pts): Include the title of a Joan Jett song
(Easy, 1pt): Incorporate railroad tracks