Sunday, September 4, 2016

Travelling to Europe

I'm now back in the Netherlands. My daughter is graduating with her PhD so I'm here to celebrate with her. It was a long journey to get here ...

Bijschrift toevoegen

We arrived at Auckland airport three hours before the flight thinking we would be there early and get checked in rapidly, only to find everyone else on our flight had done the same thing. After waiting in the lengthy queues for 10 minutes I went up to the service desk and explained both Nikki and I were deaf. Thus we skipped an hours wait, got checked in quickly and left everyone else wondering why we were special!

Up to the bar where Geoff shouted us a meal and drink in celebration of losing his wife for a month!

Then it was through security, grabbed our duty free and we pre-boarded before everyone else. Plane left on time.

We had good seats two rows behind business class. But seats were not that comfortable. Although we both dozed neither of us slept well. Nikki had the window seat.

Arrived in Shanghai at 5:22am. Airport was empty. We transferred to International transit no problem but going through Nikki and I were branded with red stickers with our flight number. We felt 'special! Although we had not left transit area we had to go through security again, I had to remove shoes and we had to throw away our water bottles. Madness. We were also given a card of 'warm tips'!

We wandered up and down Shanghai airport, but at this stage nothing was open and barely a soul about. Had breakfast. Coffee is the equivalent of 10.00 NZD so we just ate then went to Starbucks. I managed to spend my 100 yen in less than an hour! We tried to get wifi but was rudely told to go to information desk. No one was there! They were right next to each other. I waited about in minutes but no one turned up. Oh well, who needs the Internet!

We found some comfy seats and had turns to stretch out and sleep while waiting for our connecting flight to Amsterdam. Time moved very slowly. Airport got very busy, lots of loudhailers blaring. It was so loud I went deaf! People everywhere. Comfortable beds at this stage would have been nice!

Outside was hot (29C) humid and very very smoggy. Air quality terrible.  The sun had a hard time shining through.

We tried to pre-board our flight to Amsterdam from Shanghai but the Chinese did not understand us, but we managed to get in front and we're in the first lot to get on plane. However I was pushed several at at at times while walking up steps to plane. I Mentioned this to hostess. Then my movie screen was broken, and after showing this to hostess it was Explained to us That business class was full, we were moved to However bulkhead seats-which were very comfortable.

We flew over China, Mongolia and the Western Siberian Plains. Was fascinating looking down seeing Such solid empty country. Brings out the explorer in me !!

Arrived in the Netherlands on time. Straight through, we were out within half an hour. Luggage arrived safely. Trained to Anne and Michel's new apartment. Anne had made a lovely meal for us.

Our day had been Approximately 24 hours long, and we had had two breakfasts, a lunch and two dinners. But we are here !!! 

I'm up and about raring to go. No idea what time it is but everyone is still fast asleep!

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