Final countdown – again!

The anticipation of the impending end of our journey and vacation began to settle in, subtly at first, even when there were still many days left. Perhaps it was the culmination of the long voyage or maybe it was simply the reluctance to return to the snow, cold, darkness, and the inevitable return to work. The allure of staying enveloped in the warmth, surrounded by the exquisite setting and the delightful hospitality of the staff was immensely appealing.

After our city excursion on Friday, we resolved to spend the remaining time at the hotel, lounging by the pool and indulging in the soothing embrace of the ocean. Grand Anse, with its sprawling 2-mile stretch of pristine sands, stood as one of the Caribbean’s most majestic and awe-inspiring beaches. We made it a habit to conclude each day with a dip in the ocean against the backdrop of a breathtaking sunset.

As the curtain drew to a close on our time there, we savored our final dinners at the hotel’s restaurant. The cuisine, predominantly offered in buffet style, consistently delighted our taste buds. Twice a week, we were treated to a sumptuous grill buffet featuring a delectable array of steaks, grilled chicken, fish, and shrimp.

The day of our departure arrived, and we sauntered to the breakfast area, savoring each moment. With a checkout time of 1:00 PM, there was no rush as we had packed the night before. We took one last stroll along the beach, relishing in the tranquility of the moment and bidding farewell to the sun-kissed shores.

The taxi arrived promptly at the airport, and we were among the first to check-in. Thanks to our earlier flight from Miami, we secured favorable seating arrangements, relieving any pre-flight jitters. It was a relief to be ahead of schedule, avoiding the hustle and bustle of long queues. I took the opportunity to purchase three T-shirts adorned with Grenada’s vibrant colors as mementos of our unforgettable trip.

The flight to Miami spanned just over three hours, affording us a comfortable three-hour layover. It was a fortunate respite, given the daunting queues at both passport control and subsequent security screenings within the airport premises. Following a brief train ride, we arrived promptly at the terminal where the A380 awaited to ferry us to Heathrow. Almost immediately upon boarding, we found ourselves with the entire middle row to ourselves, a welcome bonus.

Sleep came in fits and starts, disrupted by occasional turbulence as we neared our destination. Nevertheless, the journey proceeded relatively smoothly, facilitated by the remarkable amenities of the double-decker aircraft. Our premium class experience was further enhanced by impeccable service, delightful staff, and delectable cuisine served with real cutlery and glassware, marking yet another highlight of our voyage.

Heathrow greeted us with the same familiar routines as Miami—passport control, security checks—a somewhat tiresome affair after being awake for over 30 hours and enduring two flights. With a three-hour layover until our next flight, we opted to walk between terminals, seizing the opportunity to rest briefly amidst the anticipation.

Little did we know of the unexpected twist awaiting us. Nearly halfway into our journey to Arlanda, the captain announced a medical emergency onboard, necessitating a return to Heathrow. What was supposed to be a two-hour flight ended up stretching over six hours, leaving us stranded without internet access to rearrange our travel plans. Subsequently, we received an email from BA advising us to expedite our check-in due to storm conditions, adding to the chaos in the air.

Upon finally reaching our destination, the queue at passport control was inevitable, given the recent exit of the UK from the EU. Opting for a quick meal at a fast-food joint and a night’s rest at the Clarion Hotel, we had missed the last train to Sundsvall. Exhausted, we fell into a deep slumber, relishing the respite. Come morning, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast before catching the 12:40 train that would carry us homeward.

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