mardi 27 mai 2008

Airport parking

Now, you may think "aha, holiday season is upon us - that crafty TBNIL is hoping that people looking to park their car at Stansted will happen upon his blog". Well maybe. But to be honest I'm not really after the kind of people who park their car at Stansted.

I've been thinking in the car (it was a long drive) about airport car parks.

When I lived in the UK and used to fly from Birmingham a lot, I had a system going with the long stay car park. If I was going to France I'd park in row F, to Holland in row H and so on. This worked, but only if I was there at the crack of sparrows. Any later than 8am and I'd have to park in P for Paris instead of F for France. It got to the point where some days I'd be so late that I was parking in V for Victory at Waterloo.

I hate how the short stay at Birmingham has become the 'drop off zone' - this is what the French call the 'depose minute'.

At Brussels airport, they call this the 'Kiss and Fly' lane - how very cool is that? And the Belgians thought that one up on their own too. Well done Brussels.

But less cute and more confusing, Brussels airport also has the 'Front Park' but no 'Back Park'. Odd.

At Lyon, I like to park in the Parking P.O. which always makes me think of Piss Off and brings a smile to my early morning cheeks.

Schiphol brings us the delights of the parking zones with pictures, rather than numbers. And the pictures are all of Dutch things - clogs, windmills, fresian cows, tulips. I always like to park in the 'dyke' section. Just to be controversial.

At East Midlands, the short stay used to be the same price as the long stay. Until Easy Jet arrived there and the prices for everything went up - just as the cost of flights went down.

At Charleroi airport, I crashed my car into the only other car in the car park (black ice, not my fault). I went to tell the car park manager and it turned out to be his car. Not a great conversation, that one.

And I once got a Ford Transit stuck - as in wedged between floors - in the car park at CDG. But that's a long story and painful to return to.

Anyway, I just got my car from the car park at Geneva Airport - another airport that likes to use pictures rather than numbers.

I was on the sixth floor below ground, between Pig and Bobble Hat.

Yes, I was parked in 'Pearl Necklace'.

How very Geneva.

26 commentaires:

Tina a dit…

Oh I love the idea of a Kiss & Fly lane! That's so sweet! But I can't help thinking that a Pearl Necklace is infinitely more memorable?

Best of luck with the move. Monochrome. Just too cool for school...

Lewis a dit…

Well, a better and far more creative idea: Come here and check out our parking garage. "1" for first floor "2" for second floor "3" for third floor....and so on. It's at the peak of innovation!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Tina, who amongst us would ever forget our first 'pearl necklace'....;-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hey Lewis, I'm guessing you've seen some airport car parks in your time (that reads badly, it isn't meant as a slur on your character...!).

1, 2 and 3 sound perfectly acceptable to me. And maybe easier to remember than 'bobble hat'.....

hooverfactory a dit…

Kiss and Ride lanes have been in place at bus and train stations in the States since the 50's or so - not sure the Belgians can get sole credit for that one.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hoover Factory - damn those pesky Belgians.

They led me into that classic Belgian trap - making me think they invented something when they didn't.

I'll have a word with them next time I'm over there...

Will a dit…

Pearl Necklace--yes how Geneva, and how delightfully gay!

Daryl a dit…

How perfect! Single strand .. cultured not baroque...

;-Daryl

aims a dit…

Well I was thinking of a pearl necklace for other reasons...more sexual than baroque Daryl. I'll leave those images up to you TBNIL.

Darling - who but you could write such a delightful and funny story about car parks. I'm in awe!

And now that you are all fluffed up and feeling good about yourself from that lovely compliment - do tell us about being stuck between floors. Come on - you must tell!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hello Will - yes indeed. Very Geneva...

Hi Daryl - I agree, single strand, cultured...we don't want to end up looking like Camilla Parker Bowles do we?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims. I can't believe that you are insinuating that 'pearl necklace' is nothing but a crude innuendo on my part!

I only park there because it makes me titter (sixth floor down not that handy otherwise).

I do like a good double entendre.

Lane a dit…

Just catching up.

Congratulations on your new apartment. That must be a relief!

And the date from the train! Surely you must be seeing him again??

And now I read of airport carparks as only you can describe them. I feel more exotic just reading your posts:-)

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

I don't have that much experience with airport parking. I've still got a free student-public-transport pass that allows me to travel for free or at a reduced price by train and bus, so I always get to the airport that way.

About parking in Geneva, I love the parking du Mont Blanc. It has arrows pointing in the direction of free places, little lights above the parking spots indicating which one is free, and little pieces of paper so you can write down exactly where your car is. So organised!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hi Lane, lovely to see you here, as ever. It's been a funny old week, and the pearl necklace car park suited my mood!

Marjolein, the Mont Blanc parking gets my vote too - easy to find a space, easy to find the way in and out - and colour-coded floors too.

And it's obviously a swiss car park - the lifts don't smell of piss.

Breezy a dit…

When we parked Frogmella in the underground car park in Limoges the floor was cleaner and more shiney than her and they had classical music playing. You could almost see all the other posh cars inching away. We half expected to be asked to leave.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Breezy, some of these places would be perfect picnic spots.

Bless Frogmella, I hope she doesn't get a complex.

Medbh a dit…

Maybe that's why I always get lost.
I never have a parking system although here I always just take a cab to the airport because I am scared shitless to drive on the highway here. It's bedlam.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Medbh, I agree - those roads can be crazy. The problem with driving is all the other fools on the road - if I was the only car around it'd be much much easier!

Swearing Mother a dit…

Kiss and Fly, so much nicer than Piss Off and Park, don't you think?

So romantic.

Ben a dit…

Pictures would certainly not translate well in terms of iconic British images. Immediately, off the top of my head, the best I could come up were the Fish and Chips zone, The Queen zone, the Roast Beef zone and the English Football Hooligan zone. Or alternatively we could just use images of Victoria bloody Beckham in various different "fabulous" outfits:

"I'm sure I parked in the Prada pashmina zone..."

Will a dit…

Ben, for the more traditional among you there could be the Bubble and Squeak Zone and the Steak and Kidney Pie Zone. Because of my English grandmother, I grew up on that last one!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

SM - I like the idea of piss off and park. It seems to suit you very well!

Ben - maybe the fake burberry cap zone and the dodgy lacoste shell suit zone.....

Although, I could be tempted to park in the queen zone...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Will, maybe the traditionalists would prefer something like the 'no, honestly, after you, you go first, no really I insist' zone. Now that'd be very British.

Especially if it came with a free apology....

CawfeeGuy a dit…

Pearl Necklace? you're SHITTING me!
ROFLMAO please tell me that has the same meaning outside the US...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

cawfeeguy, oh yes. it means EXACTLY the same thing.

Why do you think I parked there?

Hope dies hard in these parts...

softinthehead a dit…

Loved the post, but more importantly had to comment as I was experiencing serious comment envy.:)