On Friday I took the train down to Manchester, caught up with my good friend from my National Youth Choir of Great Britain days Danny Curtis and the following morning at pointlessly-early-o’clock (I got up at 04:15 BST) we caught a KLM flight to Luxembourg via Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
We were en route to Luxembourg to celebrate our former NYCGB colleague Jonny Grocock’s 40th birthday and the baptism of his daughter at the Anglican Church of Luxembourg.
Having done my homework online before we flew out I knew that we needed to get the number 16 bus from Luxembourg airport into the city of Luxembourg, alighting at Royal Boulevard, and that it would cost a very reasonable €1.50 (approx. £1.30).
We arrived in Luxembourg around 11:00, and thanks to Google Maps and my GPS-enabled mobile phone (HTC HD2) we were able to find the Anglican Church of Luxembourg very easily.
Venue found we went in search of lunch.
And demonstrating just how cosmopolitan and European we are we ended up at McDonalds Place d’Armes. My first McDonalds in about six or seven years.
We returned to the Anglican Church of Luxembourg in time and Jonny’s daughter was duly baptised … by the wife of one of my former tutors at TISEC (theological college), as it turned out.
And we then retired to the Mercure Kikuoka Golf Club for drinks, dinner and … of course, karaoke.
What fun! Danny, Jonny and his brother Richard and I enjoyed renditions of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and a song by Take That!
…and back again
Getting up pointlessly-early was becoming a habit. We closed our eyes around 23:30 (CET) and my alarm made me literally leap out of bed at 03:15 CET / 02:15 BST.
Having been in Luxembourg for only about 20 hours we caught the 06:20 plane back to Schiphol and then back to Manchester.
I then caught trains back to Cupar in Fife, via changes at York and Edinburgh. And despite having seats booked on the Manchester-York and York-Edinburgh trains I had to stand all the way back because the trains were either too overcrowded and I couldn’t actually reach my seat or because someone was already sitting in my seat.
The first seat was occupied by a man holding a baby and I didn’t have the heart to turf him out of it. The second seat was at first unreachable but by the time the carriage had cleared sufficiently the temperature in the carriage was so unbearable that it was preferable to stand in the area between carriages next to an open window.
All in all that was a great weekend with three great friends. Such a shame it couldn’t have been longer.