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Bridgewater Fire Department Band

81 Dominion St. Bridgewater. Nova Scotia

Friday August 12th

In a few hours we were already flying north-east into the sunrise over Iceland and were treated to an aerial view of the rugged topography of this northern island-nation.  After clearing customs into the European Union, most of us enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Reykjavik airport cafeteria.  All prices were in Icelandic kronas, so it was not until much later that we worked out that the average cost of our meals was about $20.00 Canadian per person!


In a few hours we were back on an airplane and on our way to Manchester International Airport in England.  The troubles of the previous days had largely subsided by the time of our arrival, and although there was supposedly rioting in Manchester the right before, we saw no evidence of it.  We cleared Customs and Immigration in no time at all (we were unsure if it was because we had already entered the EU through Iceland or simply the sight of thirty people in Canadian fire service uniforms), and were warmly greeting by our friends from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), who helped us load our things on a convoy of fire department vehicles.


Travelling quickly in heavy traffic on what instinctively seemed to be the wrong side of the road has a strange effect on people who haven’t slept for almost thirty-six hours.  Nonetheless, we arrived safely (and even a little early) at the WYFRS Headquarters in Birkenshaw.  After official greetings and a brief reception, BFD Band members were taken home by their billets to have a good night’s sleep.