I remember moaning about how pedestrian-unfriendly Telford was, but I owe that town an apology because in terms of pedestrian un-navigability, Telford can’t hold a candle to Gatwick Airport. Before you ask, no, I’m not flying anywhere, simply staying overnight in a convenient location; I’ve already driven for 5 hours today and another 230 some odd miles home today isn’t going to happen.
Anyhow, surely it’s possible to run out of the airport complex into the nearby housing estates I thought. Well, I thought wrong. The problem is that the whole place is designed to move large volumes, vehicular traffic in and out of the various car parks and pick-up/set-down areas. Next time you drive or are driven into a major airport, look around and you will see what I mean.
Doing it in the dark doesn’t help and I am very glad to have my trusty head torch! There are footpaths (some even signed as public footpaths), but it seems that the owners of the airport are hell-bent on only doing the minimum possible to keep them passable (or even the minimum passable to keep them possible). You have to have faith though to believe that if there is a footpath, it must actually lead somewhere!
After you take a tokenly paved path under a flyover and then navigate a tunnel under a motorway, you find yourself in the deep dark wood (this is where the head torch comes in). In the light it’s probably a rather nice park because it has a river and a lake. Apart from being dark, it’s quite a good path. Then you emerge into the much sought after housing estate compete with lovey lit-up Christmas decorations!
Getting back was easier since I did have the forethought to glance behind on the way out to remember the route back.
What’s the lesson for today then? Firstly, when exploring a new area after dark take a head torch and wherever you are, carry a phone with with a satnav and Google Maps so you know where you are in the Maze and can see where you are going in the dark!
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 23:1-3 NIVUK