Two Planes and Two Trains

So… here we go again.  After a fairly uncomfortable night in which we both dozed intermittently, we finally checked in for the first leg of our flight, Hong Kong to Shanghai.  We were able to check our cases right through to London Heathrow.  We then found somewhere to have a cup of coffee, then we got freshened up as best we could and made our way to the departure lounge for the 07:40 China Eastern Airlines flight.

What can I say?  Shaun the Sheep.  Top 10 Celebrity Divorce Settlements.  Noodles or rice. Water or orange ‘juice’.  Boring, boring, boring.  Spent the two and a half hour flight playing on my Nintendo DS and dozing.

Eventually we arrived at Shanghai Pudong airport.  We had a good couple of hours to wait here, so we went along to the executive lounge and used our Priority Passes to get in, where we could at least get something decent to eat and have some good coffee.  I enjoyed some croissants and fruit, and relaxed in comfortable chairs in peaceful surroundings.  At 11.00am they brought out the alcohol, including a bottle of Freixenet, hooray.  So we were able to enjoy some decent booze until our flight was called.   🙂

At 12:35pm local time our plane left Chinese soil for the 13 hour flight to London Heathrow.  This time, however, we were on an Airbus 330 which was a bigger, more modern plane with AVOD, so we were actually able to choose our own in-flight entertainment (or watch nothing at all).   The meal was still the inevitable rice-or-noodles concoction, but at least they served wine with it.

After the meal the cabin crew inexplicably announced that we had to put our window shades down and they were going to dim the lights.  This wouldn’t have been a problem, but they insisted on remaining like that for the entire flight!  So, even though it was daytime they made us sit in the dark, the only light coming from the dim reading lights.  The only real respite we had was when we decided to watch one of the movies, War Horse, which is one we’d been wanting to see.  It was a lovely film, a real tear-jerker, and at least it passed a couple of hours in what was an incredibly boring flight spent in the dark.   😦

There’s not really much left for me to write.  We landed on time at Heathrow at 18:50 BST and retrieved our cases; we hoped we wouldn’t be stuck in any queues as we had to get to Kings Cross Station in time for the 9.00 o’clock train back up to Durham.  Luckily we got through immigration quickly, then we were on the Heathrow Express to Paddington.  Then the Tube from Paddington to KX where we arrived at 8.30pm, giving us half an hour to spare.

We went into the “Parcel Yard” for a much-needed pint (aaahhh… good, real English beer at last!) then boarded the train for the last leg of our journey, the three-hour trip back up North.

On arrival at Durham station we got a taxi home, arriving back in the house just after midnight.  Were we glad to see our bed!

Another excellent holiday had come to an end.  Here’s to the next time!   🙂

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