I left home at around lunchtime on 5th November 2016, I was transported to Leeds train station by my lovely friend Sadie and her son Finlay. I booked a train to get me to the airport massively early just in case there were dust particles or something equally disruptive on the tracks put there by an evil travel god with the sole aim of ruining my holiday. Yes, I am that paranoid about being late. I hate being late. Being late is my OCD thing. I will be 2 hours early to make sure I am not late. You get the idea ?
In the car with Finlay, obviously Sadie too, she was driving.
Anyway, I booked my train so far in advance that a first class ticket cost me the same as a standard ticket. I have only ever travelled first class on a train from Prague to Brno, we got free water and a newspaper (we declined this because we don’t read Czech) and a compartment in a carriage (just like Harry Potter). I expected superior quality on a British train. Really ? I should have known better. I got tea and biscuits. The seats were pretty much the same as the ones I have experienced in standard class. I would go first class again but only if I got the same deal and it cost the same as I would expect to pay for standard.
I arrived at Manchester Airport 3 hours before my check in desk opened (yes, I am that paranoid). So I took myself and my (rather large) suitcase to the Emirates desk. Luckily for me they had a lovely sofa so I parked my bum and started to read one of my books bought for this purpose. Soon after a couple had the same idea, my book was so much less interesting than their bickering. I did learn a few things by earwigging though.
Eventually, the desk opened and I joined the queue, a very long queue. I think that the online check in queue was longer than the other queue. Maybe I won’t bother with online check in next time. Then I headed to the security desk. As any honest, law abiding person will tell you, this is very traumatic. Who knows what evil criminals might have hidden in your hand luggage when you blinked ? Anyway, I made it through ok.
Next stop, airport lounge. I paid extra for the privilege and although I probably didn’t eat or drink enough to offset the cost, I definitely saved enough by not “boredom shopping” in duty free. I also had the added advantage of comfy seats and relative quietness. Apart from the bickering couple who continued to bicker on the table next to me.
An example of some of the food and drink from the lounge.
The time until my flight passed quite quickly. I was travelling for 30 hours in total. Only 1 hour delay due to a technical issue in Dubai. I managed a minimal amount of sleep but my experience of working nights has allowed me to cope with no sleep for days at a time. I also learned that a rucksack as hand luggage makes a great footrest. And also, I’m not very tolerant of strangers. I spent a lot of time being irritated by the people around me.
A beautiful sunrise from the sky.Somewhere in Australia (I think).
After a pretty uneventful journey and I arrived safely in Auckland on Monday afternoon.