A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about plane

the long flight home

View New Zealand - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

Although I slept fairly well, when I looked at the time, it was a little after 4 AM, so this meant that I still had a bit of time left to close my eyes, but all of a sudden I hear Tania shouting that it is time to wake up.

Still completely out of this world because of lack of sleep as well as the medicine I was taking, I jumped out of bed. To me it felt like I just closed my eyes, but apparently I slept better than I thought coz it was already a little after 5 AM, time to wake up indeed!

First I was surprised that I didn’t hear the alarm clock going off, but as soon as I was standing on both my feet while trying to open my eyes properly, Tania mentioned that something went wrong coz her alarm clock didn’t went off.

In other words, it was a bit of luck that she woke up, otherwise we had missed our flight, but on the other hand, who invents these inhuman hours for flying anyway!!!???

We got dressed in speed mode and as soon as we splashed some cold water in our faces to make sure we were quite awake, we grabbed our bags and were on our way to the reception of the hotel to hand in our key cards.

Luckily we weren’t that late and as soon as we found our taxi, I noticed it was raining quite heavily, so it seemed that we chose the right day to fly back home again.

The taxi ride itself took about an hour and although I still feld a little bit sleepy, I couldn’t close my eyes, unlike Tania who seemed to had more trouble with it. But can you blame her, it was still the middle of the night and the wipers of the car going back and forth were certainly no help at all, at a given point I just stopped looking at them because I was a bit afraid to become hypnotised!

As soon as we arrived at the airport, we said goodbye to our friendly but quiet driver and than the search was on to find the right check-in, which on this early hour wasn’t too big of a problem.

They weren’t open yet, but we made sure we got in line behind a few other early birds and about 15 minutes later, we finally saw them arrive and half an hour later we were rid of all of our luggage and the search for a bit of food could finally begin.

Hungry as we were, we didn’t really wanted to opt for fast food in the morning and to be honest, there is not so many to choose from besides burgers and pizza, but at long last, we saw a French bakery and after a bit of looking around the decision was made, an almond croissant and a cup of Earl Grey Tea was going to be our choice of the morning and although it wasn’t the yummiest one I ever ate, it certainly was the most expensive one, boy, they certainly know their prices!

With a bit of food into our system and a bit of time on our hands, we just walked from store to store till it was time to board and this time, believe it or not, our flight was on time.

Unlike our arrival into the country, this time we were seated back in economy again and as soon as I found my designated seat, I wished for that business seat again. It is strange how quick you get used to something like that! :)

During our flight, I had not only the company of my best friend Tania next to me, but also a friendly woman from the UK, who went for business to Asia for the last half year. After take off, she and Tania started talking to eachother while I on the other hand wanted to make the most of this 7 hour flight and tried to finish my blog.

While we were on our trip, I don’t exactly had much time to write every evening and now with all of our adventures still fresh in my mind, it was now or never.

I don’t know how I did it, but during the entire flight I did nothing else but type and type and for a moment I thought I was going to become one of those rabbits with a Duracell battery in its behind! Okay, I know this isn’t exactly a right comparison, but now that I had a bit of inspiration, I might as well make the best of it.

When we finally descended into Dubai, my blog was as good as finished.

I was surprised to notice that those 7 hours went by so very fast and I didn’t even had a quick powernap. Unlike most of the people on the plane, I was quite awake and I was starting to think that maybe they had put something extra into my orange juice!

Not really thirsty but hungry as hell, the both of us went on the lookout for something to eat. Like usual, there was of course lots of fast food thingies and bakeries, but for some reason we didn’t immediately found something to our liking.

After checking out all the eateries, we finally decided to give the "Giraffe stop" a try. They had all kinds of things like sandwiches, soups and sweet things, but once I saw that they also had oatmeal with honey, I was sold and together with a big mug of tea, I was a happy person again.

Since we still had a bit of time to kill at the airport, we decided to do what all tourists do and went from one aisle to the another while stopping a few times at different shops, but after a while even that gets a bit boring and in the end we just went to our designated gate and waited till it was time to leave for Europe again, more specifically Amsterdam.

Boarding went once again very smoothly and instead of a friendly woman sitting next to me, I now had a weird but yet at the same time, kind of an interesting older gentleman next to me, but while I was so interested in finishing my blog, I didn’t spend time in asking why it took him hours to read his booklet on how to use a watch … am I glad I don’t own one! :)

3 hours into the flight I finally finished it and as a reward, I treated myself with a few interesting movies. The first one I saw was “The Hundred foot journey”. It was hilarious and told the story of an Indian family who moved to France to open a restaurant in a very small town. I really liked this one and it had been quite a long time since I saw such a good one, I can really recommend it!

After skipping dinner, I saw another movie and this time I had chosen the Australian movie „Tracks” which tells the true story of a young woman who crossed the Australian desert. She started her travels in Alice Springs and walked all the way on foot to the Indian Ocean together with her trusty dog and a few camels. All I can say about this movie is that it is a true tearjerker and if I thought that my first choice was a good one, this one was sublime! It really was a good movie!

Time was flying once again coz by the end of my second movie, there wasn’t even time anymore to see another one. With only half an hour to go, we were as good as home again. I tried to close my eyes for a while, but it just wasn’t working. I was not tired at all, which was kind of strange coz I was already up for more than 20 hours now.

Upon our arrival into Amsterdam, it seemed to take forever to get out of the plane and even longer to wait for our bags, but in the end they arrived and that was the most important thing.

As soon as we went through „arrivals”, it took a bit of searching to find my brother and mum but once we noticed them at the other side of the hall, we could finally say hello to each other again after more than a month. Although I love to travel, in a way i was glad to see them back again as well. I just can’t help it, that’s what you get when you are a family person I suppose!?

Not eaten very much during the flight, me and Tania wanted to „celebrate” the end of our adventure with a typical dish of the Netherlands called a „kroket”. It took us a bit of searching because it was already quite late to find something to eat, but we managed and a few minutes later, after our order, we could finally set our teeth into some greasy junkfood.

The perfect ending to an already memorable trip!

With this bit of delicious junk food into our stomachs, it was more than time to drive back to our homes. After driving a bit more than 2 hours we arrived in Schelle, the hometown of Tania and after a quick hello and goodbye to her parents, we were on the road again, only to arrive at our place about half an hour later. It felt so good to be back home again, but on the other hand, a small part of me was also sad that this trip was over.

Not really tired yet, I talked to my mum for a few hours and after a very hot bath in the wee early hours, I finally closed my eyes at 3 AM while dreaming of more exciting travels to come!

Posted by Ils1976 06:27 Archived in Belgium Tagged people sky home airport shopping city clouds friends plane asia movies Comments (4)

a sad goodbye

View New Zealand - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

Our last day here in Sydney was another early one, which obviously wasn’t that big of a surprise. We still wanted to go for one last morning run and since we were leaving late in the afternoon, it was better to get up early and enjoy the magnificent views of the early sunshine at the harbour for one last time and still have lots of time to do other stuff.

Although we left the hotel for a run at the same hour as a few days ago, there were more people up and about, but I guess that had something to do with the beginning of the week, after all, it was already tuesday. Some peole still needed to go to work!

When on holiday, you easily forget which day it is, so sometimes it is lucky that we have a bit of media with us that can tell us the exact date and day, otherwise I would be completely clueless about everything.

Once again we had a nice run and while I was waiting for Tania to come back, I suddenly realized that I loved Sydney so much that I wouldn’t mind one bit staying here for the rest of my life. Of course, when you visit a country during a holiday you can see only the beauty but still, even with daily hassle, I wouldn’t mind living here, so maybe I should apply for a green card, wouldn’t that be a nice idea!?

Wishful thinking I suppose and as soon as I met up with Tania after her run, we walked into "the Rocks" to have some breakfast at a cool looking bakery which sells whole meal scones and together with a self-made lemon ice tea, it is a nice enough start of the day. Bring it on I would say, but not without a shower first!

Being here in Sydney, we had a goal of all the things we wanted to do during our 4 days stay and the last one on the list was visiting the Imax theatre. Although they predicted rain and thunderstorms, it was still a very hot morning and it is actually a bit of a shame to spend time inside a theatre with such lovely weather outside, but if we wanted to see it, this was as good as time ever.

The movie which was on display at that particular moment was called „the hidden universe" and although it was interesting to learn more about stars and planets, I must admit that by the end of the 45 minutes during movie, I almost fell asleep. This had nothing to do with it being a bad movie, I guess I suddenly got so tired of doing so many exciting things over the last couple of days that my body just needed some more rest, either that or the fact of being in a dark room had something to do with it!

By the time we got outside again it was really hot and since we’ve got one ice cream free when you buy one, we decided to go and get one, we love freebies, or almost freebies that is!!!

After one last walk through Darling Harbour and China Town, we slowly made our way back to our hotel, making sure we passed along many shopping streets and souvenir shops to spend our last foreign currency and with tears in our eyes, about a few hours later we had to say goodbye to our beloved Sydney and were on our way towards the airport for our flight towards Melbourne.

Checking-in and getting through customs was really a breeze as was boarding the plane, but than again, it was only a 1 hour 35 minutes flight. Before you knew it, we were already landing again. Somehow I wish that all the flights were like this one, but I guess that would be just too easy.

As we arrived in Melbourne we still had lots of time on our hands and the first thing we did was grabbing something to eat. After walking for a while that seemed harder than we initially thought because due to our late arrival into the airport and in the end we just went for a small margarita pizza close to our gate.

We still had a couple of hours to kill, but since the shops were all closing or already closed, the only thing we could do was updating our blog a litlle as well as walking through the same gate a couple of times. Back and forth, back and forth ... till we got tired of it!

Since that wasn’t so appealing coz I guess we looked a bit like a few caged animals in a zoo, we went for the next best thing, which were basically the massage seats near our gate.

With still some small change in our pockets, we gave it a go and to my surprise it was really good as well. Too good maybe because after sitting there for a while I suddenly got so tired that I just fell asleep. I was just so damn tired but then again, it was already after midnight and we still had a few hours to go before our flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Posted by Ils1976 05:43 Archived in Australia Tagged airport city friends plane movies oceania Comments (2)

land of the long white cloud be prepared coz here we come!

View New Zealand - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

It was early in the morning when we arrived into the country I love so much. Although I had a bit of sleep, I still felt really tired, but once we got out of the plane, I found my spirit again.

We had a bit of time to kill in the airport, so the first thing on our mind was to have a bit of food into our system and so went on the search for a "brekkie" which to be honest was not that difficult with all the choices in front of us. A hot cup of tea was all I really needed and together with a toast and something sweet afterwards I was more than ready to tackle the many shops we could visit during our short stay here in the airport.

Time went by very quickly and while we headed to our designated gate, we noticed more and more Maori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, walking in our direction. It was sure, this clearly meant we were on our way towards our next adventure and I liked the idea more and more.

Although the flight on itself wasn't that long, a little more than 3 hours, I somehow managed to drift off to sleep more than once. To be honest, I even missed our touchdown as Tania had to wake me up.

Happy to be in the land of the long white cloud, we couldn't wait to get out of the plane, but for some reason it seem to take forever. Lots of people brought their luggage into the cabin of the plane, but boy, they don't pack light, that's for sure.

As soon as we picked up our luggage we went to the arrival gate and waited for our Belgian host to pick us up. One of Tania's uncles has a best friend living here in Auckland and today his wife was going to pick us up. Since she was still on her way and we got a bit hungry, we went for something small from the Golden Arches. Not that we love to eat at this place, but since it was the only thing available, we just went for it and with a bit of food into our system we were good to go.

It seemed perfect timing coz as soon as we were finished, Katrien appeared and with her, her lovely smile as well. It was nice to see a friendly face after a semi long flight and we quickly put our luggage into her car and on our way we were.

Driving on the Auckland streets, we noticed that it looked very European and this was quite a surprise, it was actually like coming home but with much better weather. This seemed like a dream come true.

Luckily we didn't had to drive very long and as soon as we arrived at our home base for tonight, we put our luggage into our room and went on discovery of the area. Katrien guided us on this very long, but pleasant walk and although it were just streets we walked through, I must admit I really like the small town atmosphere they were living in.

As we arrived back, we met up with Danny as well, the best friend of Tania's uncle and although I never met the guy, you can't but love him. Like Katrien, he had a big smile on his face and he was glad to hear something of his friend again. Although they chat a lot, you saw the smiles on their faces as we showed them all the gifts we brought them from the homefront. Even Kilian, was over the moon with his comic books.


Surprised as they were with their gifts, we were spoiled as well coz the boys turned out very good BBQ masters. They really made us feel welcome and I had never seen so much food either. Together with some delicious liquids we ended our first day here with a smile on our faces as well. Feeling a little bit tipsy, I called it a night a little after midnight.

Posted by Ils1976 11:17 Archived in Australia Tagged people airport walk plane oceania Comments (2)

still on the move

View New Zealand - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

It’s 1 AM in the morning when we finally reach the transit zone of the airport and although not much is open at that moment, we do manage to find a Burger King and if you are hungry, you can’t pass on such an opportunity so, we ordered some fries with chicken thingies.

With our tummies filled, we slowly walked back towards the boarding gate and about an hour later we could finally board on our Boeiing 777 and let me tell you one thing, Airbus is the best, Boeiing sucks majorly. I personally think that Mr. Boeiing should go and have a look at the competation coz his airplanes aren’t the best around. Although the interior is still the same, we quickly found out that we had ample space and unlike the previous flight, this one was completely packed, no seats were left untouched so to speak.

Me and Tania made the best of it and as soon as we got our drinks (which took a while I might add), I selected a music list which could get me through this 8 hour flight and I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

I was surprised that I actually dozed off from time to time, but as I woke up again, we still had 3 hours to go. It seems this flight was going to take forever, back to the music it is.

Luckily however, time went by and about 3 hours later, we safely landed into Singapore, the Lion City.

Getting through customs is not all that difficult and goes rather swiftly, the same can be said for getting our luggage, but taking the subway is a totally different story. How difficult can it be, you can ask yourself!?

Till now we never had troubles and last time we visited Singapore we took a taxi, now I know why!!!!

Finding the MRT wasn't too big of a problem, but getting a ticket, now that is something entirely different. First you have to take a ticket from a ticket machine which doesn’t except a credit card. This means you have to find cash money. Not all that difficult of course, but than when you finally find an ATM, you receive only large notes and when you want your ticket, make sure you have small change coz they don’t except anything else! If this isn’t nerve-racking, I don’t know what is. Luckily we found someone who could change some money and after more than half an hour walking from one place to another, we finally hold our single ticket in our hand, live can be sweet sometimes!

We still needed to wait for a couple of minutes and of we went, towards Clarks Quay, where our hotel is situated. I must say that I was surprised to see the distance between the airport and the centre of town, we even needed to change lines a few times but in the end we made it to our hotel about an hour later. I guess taking a taxi would have been a lot easier, but that’s something for later this week!

Thanks to our friendly receptionist, we even got an upgrade (basically just a standard room WITH window) and thanks to his fast service, we could drop off our bags immediately and a little after 5 PM we were back on the streets again, ready to discover the Lion City for the second time around.

Sadly enough it started to rain but it's not like the both of us were made out of sugar (some saying we have in Belgium), so we took our chances and started walking all the way towards the Marina Bay area.

It still keeps to amaze me how big those skyscrapers look like and the darker it becomes, the more I love to gaze at them. Simply one word comes to my mind … amazing!

It is almost 10 PM when we finally arrive back at hour hotel and after walking for such a long time the only thing I want to do is sleep and that is just the thing I am going to do!

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Posted by Ils1976 05:15 Archived in Singapore Tagged night singapore lights airport walk plane asia Comments (2)

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