Back into action, Up to the top – Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Back into action, Back to the Back Up to the Top – To Chicago with American Airlines, American Eagle and British Airways


Part 9: Homeward Bound

After arriving at B dock, it was back to followings the signs to the T5 main terminal shuttle and then to UK Immigration.

Heading off the plane.

Walking through B Dock

Arriving at the UK Border, the queues seemed to be substantial, so I went through the Biometric Passport lanes. With that formality dealt with, it was down to baggage claim. My rucksack had made it out successfully and was doing its first circuit around the luggage belt, whilst my ski bag was about 5 minutes behind it.

My trash assembled

Baggage Claim

All loaded up, I headed to UK Customs and cleared the customs zone, leading me to the public section of the airport.

Now, was the next challenge – finding the Heathrow Express/Connect stops. After going the wrong way, I finally found the entrance and purchased a Connect ticket (as a Heathrow Express ticket costs the best part of £20 now… whilst a Heathrow Connect ticket is still £9.50).

After lugging my luggage aboard for the one-stop to Heathrow Central, it was a short wait for a Heathrow Connect train to take me to London Paddington. As usual, the connect service was its usual reasonable speed self, and dropped me off at Platform 10 at Paddington station. From there it was up to the Taxi rank for the short ride to Marylebone station where a train was preparing to go. Of course, it was in the far end of Marylebone – thankfully I had time by the bucketload to get a ticket, take the bags to the train and dump myself at a table seat.

The Chiltern Railways service did what it says on the tin – got me from Marylebone, through the Chiltern Hills, fast through to Banbury, then stopping at Leamington Spa, Warwick Parkway, Solihull and finally Birmingham Moor Street.

Everything loaded up. One day I’ll learn to travel light… nah.

Whilst travelling

I also did something odd – I partook of the trolley service. Not that I was hungry, but I was still pretty thirsty. £1.60 for a 500ml bottle of Diet coke isn’t great, but I wasn’t in a position to object when you’ve missed your chance to get a cheaper drink at the train station.

A grand total 1 hour and 40 minutes later, it was time to load the luggage on my back and shoulders as the train reached Birmingham Moor Street.

Once out of the train, it was through the barriers into a grey Birmingham afternoon. Outside, taxis were waiting, and I grabbed one for the short journey to the flat.

And soon enough, I was at my front door – another adventure over and a lot of new experiences.

Next up – The Wrap Up. Colour me…