That's right guys, WE WERE THERE!
The guys from the Brigada Tripeira (Combat Team...) took it upon themselves lo leave everything behind (our wives had to be previously convinced on the matter...) and go on another overseas adventure, this time to London, in order to pay a visit to one of the best modelling and wargaming events in the world: SALUTE 2016.
The BT guys in the Oporto airport.
This first pic says it all, regarding which of us was considered to be the "selfies man": JF
This guy must think he is a supermodel, or something...maybe if he shaved his beard he could have a more handsome look... (or maybe not...)
Here we have CB inside the airplane, looking surprised and wondering why JF kept taking pics at everything he saw...
And here we have JF, again, with the look he used while trying to seduce the flight attendants, in the airplane.
It did not work out, by the way...
Here we have the BT guys exiting the airplane, with CB up front, with the cardboard box he carried all the way to London, with one of his famous dios inside to offer a friend.
He was lucky enough to find a guy who carried his luggage for him, in order to avoid any accident.
Our only means of transportation in London was the subway (a.k.a. underground) which also provided a good place to take a nap, since these were some pretty exhausting days for us, moving from one military museum to another.
You can see JF in the back, looking directly at the camera and wondering if the pic would catch his best side, while Mário is checking out the ceiling for clouds...
Here you can see 3 Tugas, two of them sleeping.
Here we are, all of us...wait, there is one guy missing there.
Oh! it´s Miguel (behind CB), who did not want to appear in this pic, since he had his mouth full.
This was the breakfast room of the hotel we stayed, where all of us gulped a humongous breakfast, in order to stave off hunger for most of the day, since we knew that England is not exactly famous for it's "cuisine"...
Our journey through the museums (the day before the Salute event), started with a visit to the Royal Air Force Museum.
And what a museum this is!
The entrance was "guarded" by this wonderful full-sized Spitfire, a true omen for all the wonderful things that were waiting inside for us!
We braced ourselves before entering the museum, and took a collective pic to calm down.
JF was very angry, since he was selected by Mário to take the pic, and was not able to appear in it.
But JF's revenge did not take long!
He demanded to be photographed next to every airplane in the exhibition rooms!
And here you can see him in front of this wonderful Me 262 German WWII jet.
All of us stared in awe at the exhibits!
This is a truly outstanding museum (and with free entrance).
We were also surprised by the quality of the space, historical accuracy and the diversity of the exhibits: a modeler/wargamer dream come true!
Here you can see Rui checking out a Harrier GR3.
Me first, Me first!!!
Here you can see JMM, Rui and myself trying to board this fighter jet and experience the pilot's seat.
We were disapointed by the fact that this was not allowed...
When we saw this wonderful Stuka, we already knew that it would not be possible to board it.
Here you can see one of the best exhibits in the museum: the Short Sunderland flying boat!
It was really amazing to check out up close, and inside, this "monster", that truly seems more like a boat than an airplane!
In the end of the visit, we "visited" the museum restaurant, to calm down our hunger (a good breakfast only takes you so far...).
Well, the restaurant was really nice, with a lot of nice people...but the food was really up to the reputation of the British "cuisine"...and I will say no more...
Our next stop (after some more sleeping in the subway...), was the British Imperial War Museum.
We were very well greeted at the entrance by this T34 Russian tank.
"Well, this is a good start!", we said to each other
For a reason unknown to us at the time, Rui tried to take a bite at this bomb...
We found out later the explanation: he was just plain hungry...
Enough museums, someone said! But to no avail. JMM dragged us for miles, to visit the Belfast.
Luckily it was already closed...and so was our physical disposition to walk another step.
Back to the hotel, for a good night sleep, since we had a very busy day ahead.
And there it was: the entrance to SALUTE!
Next day we got up bright and early, to try and find a good spot in the queue.
But before we entered, we had to take another selfie, that resulted in 2 fingers protruding from JF's head...
Who did that! Who did that!
The mystery remains unsolved to this day...
But JF remained undaunted, in his quest for selfies...
And the long time we spent in the queue, inclined JF to take more selfies than we cared to count...
And here you can check out what CB brought in his mysterious cardboard box: a gift to his friend Dave, from Pendraken!
Dave looked a very happy man...
When JF got tired of taking selfies, he asked for someone to take some pics for him...
And here he is, with some Stormtroopers from Star Wars.
Salute had seemingly never ending focus of interests, for us to check out.
We started by buying all the wargaming and modelling stuff we could (until the money ended...), and then we went around the wargames tables.
And here are some of the things we saw!
Enough is enough!
When all the money was spent, we had no other option but to return home...
Here we are the following day, taking a transport ot the airport.
Ah! And here we have JF taking another selfie!
Sorry JF, there were no attendants in the bus this time, to check out your wonderful beard...
And this was goodbye to London!
All of us had a good time in this trip, and it was great to hang out for a few days and enjoy our hobby together. We live far away from each other, and our professional and family commitments sometimes do not allow us as much time as we would like, to share our common interests.
A special appreciation is due to our good friend JF, who made the hotel reservations, bought the necessary tickets and practically organized the entire trip alone.
We paid him with a pint of good ale, in a London pub...