There is nothing like travel apart from travelling itself. You can’t replicate it words or pictures, or even in video apart from experiencing it for yourself. I had planned originally to return to Tenerife last June, before border restrictions meant that wasn’t possible. It was delayed to September, and again that wasn’t possible before moving it to March – the middle of our extended ‘lockdown’. Early October looked like it was going to be possible though, and it turned out to be right – even with easyJet cancelling flights.
Having not travelled for 18 months, the last being to Barcelona in February 2020 just as the scale of the pandemic was starting to emerge, you could say the routine was ‘rusty’, arriving at Luton airport with just an hour to spare before the flight. Shouldn’t have worried though, the process of getting through the airport was incredibly simple with fewer than normal people around, from the front door of the airport to the front door of the aircraft in 15 minutes.
Getting onboard the aircraft was just like any other flight, just that everyone (apart from children) were wearing masks. Yes, that’s a little annoying on a four hour flight, but most people stick to the rules and the easyJet crew were keen to enforce them. The service is very similar – you get two trolly rounds to the Canaries, plus the ‘duty free’, just as you would expect on a flight. The point being everything is reassuringly normal, and even wearing a mask is second nature.
Arriving at Tenerife South airport meant getting a bus to the terminal. Anyone who knows me will know I had busses to the terminal, and its usually 50/50 when arriving in Tenerife. It does mean a shorter walk to passport control though, as the stairs you’re dropped of at feed directly into that area. With three flights arriving at the same time, the queues were surprisingly small and moved quickly. As we have British Passports, we can still use the e-machines, with them being checked and stamped afterwards. Beyond passport control was a desk, checking everyone’s ‘Spanish Health Form’ barcodes.
As I have a Tenerife ‘buspass’, which is effectively the same as an Oyster card in London, I decided to get the bus from the airport to the hotel, something I have never done before. Despite not being used for nearly two years, the credit on there still worked to my amazement, and it was a very simple 30 minute journey. Its not something I would recommend to everyone, as you really have to know where you’re going – but it was interesting to try it none the less.
Arriving at the hotel was a joy – yes, they ask you to wear a mask when you are inside, but it wasn’t a problem. The reception desk checked all the paperwork, which they needed proof that I have been fully vaccinated (or had a test before arriving), as well as the usual passport checks. It took no more than 10 minutes in total.
The process of getting there was fine – I have said ‘reassuringly normal with caveats’, but it doesn’t distract from the experience. Yes, things are a little different, but those small sacrifices you don’t mind taking for the general good of everyone.