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Published: October 16th 2015
Well, we almost had a false start! Despite allowing what we thought was ample time to get to the train station, what we hadn't factored in was long traffic jams on approach to the city centre (probably normal on a Saturday) or the zillions of people spilling out of the train station impeding our entry. This is probably only normal on a Races Day, which it just so happened to be. Hmmm, maybe we should have done some research on the domestic aspects of our trip ...
Nevertheless we made it onto the train with moments to spare and had an uneventful trip to Kings Cross where we caught the Tube to Victoria. Managing suitcases on an escalator could have life threatening consequences but it is preferable to having to manhandle them up the stairs as we had to do to exit the Tube at Victoria where we could find no escalators or lifts. C'mon London, get your act together - this is a major transit hub. A short walk took us to Victoria Coach Station where we caught the bus to Heathrow. It was a pleasant enough journey (saw all the Chelsea £millions+ properties/Belgravia/Chelsea Pensioners Hospital, etc) but it
was ultimately quite unnecessary as we were greeted by a huge sign proudly proclaiming that there is now an UNDERGROUND at Heathrow!! This didn't exist in Steve's youth spent growing up in London and unfortunately it was Steve's forty-years-out-of-date knowledge of the Tube network that we used to get us to the airport. Ho hum. We should definitely have done more research .....
The first leg of our flight was from Heathrow to Dubai, to transit. We flew Qantas and got one of those new double decker Airbus 380 planes. Now, I don't want to be nerdy in a plane-spotting kind of way, but what a lovely plane! It had loads of legroom, comfortable seats and a spacious cabin. Take-off was quiet and smooth, with none of that 'rumble' as you trundle down the runway. There was no feeling of thrust as the plane gathered speed for lift off, which was a bit worrying, but, hey, I've decided I can live without that if the aerodynamics still work. And they did seem to because we made it to Dubai 6 hours plus later, where a pilot called 'The Computer' put us safely on the ground.
I can't really
comment on Dubai as we were only there to transit. I can tell you that from the air it looks dusty and arid as you might expect from a desert city. I can say this with some degree of expert knowledge as we spent 45 minutes circling above the airport before Captain Computer could take us down and I just hoped he could see all the other planes stacked up there with us as well as I could because there were a lot of them and they were very close. Another Airbus 380 (this time operated by Emirates) took us the remaining 3120 miles to Bangkok. The plane was just as good (perhaps even better if you need sockets to charge your electrics and on-board internet) but if, like us, you just want something to cover the miles for you, it fit the bill perfectly.
A quick exit through Bangkok Airport, a less quick taxi ride to the hotel and She Who Can't Sleep In Moving Transport was very pleased to flop into a bed 27.5 hours after leaving home.
PS Have just got access to reliable WiFi so some catching up to do! Later .....
Also, cable with micro adaptor carefully planned for and sourced is sitting on the shelf at home, waiting for a purpose in life. Photos to follow, hopefully.
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