We left the apartment early on the 17th of march and drove to Toulouse. We dropped Shaz (the hire car we’d had for the past six months) off near the airport.

We walked around in a few circles at the airport, mildly lost before finding the right area and settling down to wait. We’d gotten in a bit too early as we’d been worried that we’d be late. We occupied ourselves by eating some very interesting flatbreads that Holli and Asha had made the night before. They’d made them with the intentions of using up all the random food we had that we couldn’t take on the plane with us. They contained oats, flour, cheese, oregano and who knows what else. They weren’t actually too bad so long as you didn’t mind gnawing on them.

Going through customs they made me take my shoes off and stand on a weird machine that looked a bit like a pair of scales one foot at a time while they sent my shoes through a different machine. I guess that it might have looked like I was trying to smuggle something in the soles of my shoes because the soles are starting to come off and they’re a bit frayed around the edges. I keep meaning to buy a new pair but I hate shoe shopping and keep putting it off.

I was also mildly concerned about my violin case as carryon as it’s longer than the allowed dimensions. luckily, no one noticed although I did have to wedge it under my chair as it was just slightly too long to fit easily.

I like flying. It’s exhilarating to take off but what I like most is looking out of the window.

Looking down on France after we’d taken off, the land was laid out in squares of fields, spread out over the rolling hills. the terrain looked like a rumpled-up blanket and there were rivers flowing through some of the valleys.

Too soon we were going up through the clouds and all I could see through my window was white mist for a moment before coming out above them. It was very bright and glary above the clouds and the sun was hot coming through the window.

Being above the clouds is like being in a different world, looking down on fluffy white mountains and pink canyons and the occasional thin patch where I could see the land beneath.

After tiring of watching the clouds I curled up under my jacket and listened to some German podcasts, which was useful considering where we were headed. I always like having something to listen to when I’m on a plane. It gives you something to do but also helps to block out the constant droning of the engines.

It was starting to get dark when we finally walked out of Berlin Schönefeld airport. It was much colder than it had been in France with gusts of icy wind and the occasional spattering of rain and hail.

Finally, after two trains and what felt like a long walk during which we got slightly lost again, we made it to our apartment. After a quick feed, we all went straight to bed.