27.11.2015 - 27.11.2015
Last day in Fortaleza during this trip and definitely last day in Brazil this time. It felt great yet sad to leave such nice but big country. The Brazilians are very nice people and even though they know English that well, I was never treated like an idiot for not knowing Portuguese. Before this trip I had studied a few good-to-know phrases and words, which made a different.
At breakfast I asked at the hotel reception if it was okay for me to have the room a few hours more since Rodriguez was picking me up at 5pm for my transfer to the airport. It was not a problem. The climate here in Fortaleza was hot and humid and I knew that back home in Sweden there would be dark and cold upon arrival. So now I had to take advantage of the very last sunshine before my journey home. Today it was +33 °C in the shadow and you didn’t have to make an effort to feel exhausted.
After lunch I rested by the hotel pool, a mini siesta before time for shower and packing down the very last things before traveling home. And in the middle of all this the cleaning lady knocked on the door and wanted to clean. But what now? How was I supposed to explain to her that I was checking out later? I think she understood me eventually and moved on to the next door. Later during check-out I received a hotel bill for R$700! I.e. €180 for the lunches and dinners I had ate in the hotel restaurant during two days. Felt very expensive! But the girl in the reception quickly realized that it was the wrong bill (maybe because I looked the very picture of bewilderment). She printed a new bill for R$170 (about €40) and that was more reasonable.
When Rodriguez with driver came to pick me up he explained that we needed to drive on minor roads to avoid long car queues. As a tourist you trust whatever the locals say, they do know the city best. Rodriguez said it would take about 50 minutes to get to the airport, but I ogled the watch when we arrived at Pinto Martins – Fortaleza International Airport and it had only taken about 35 minutes. Anyway, got in line to the Business Class and could check in fast. Since Condor and SAS belongs to the same airline alliance I could easily check in my bags all the way to Stockholm-Arlanda, which always is the smoothest thing to do and not re-check your bag everywhere. Even though it is an international airport it is small. And from what I’ve learned about airports here in Brazil you should really buy something to eat before you pass through security check, because after that there won’t be any food to buy or just easier meals like sandwiches or candy. This time I didn’t have to worry though since I was flying Business Class and over-fed with food, snacks and beverages.
Boarding was supposed to start at 6pm according to the boarding card, i.e. 2 hours before departure. Well, wouldn’t think so! Since the aircraft hadn’t even landed at the airport at that time. We were able to board at 7.30pm and boarding was barely completed in time for departure at 8.06pm. But when the cabin crew had announced “boarding completed” the aircraft was still at the gate. After a while the pilot announced that we weren’t able to take off due to radar problems at the Airport. The pilot said it could take up to 2 hours. Ha, ha! So funny – not! Now all I wanted was to get home, not be stuck in an aircraft on the ground. But eventually, after half an hour the airplane was pushed out from the gate and taxed to the runway. Finally!