Friday, August 27, 2010

Europe Trip 2010 Part 2 - Departure

South Australiawe were to fly on MAS from adelaide to heathrow, with a 2 hour transit at KLIA. we deliberately chose to fly MAS so that we can have that short stop.. maybe have some KFC while waiting. but 2 hours was not a lot of time, so we were a little worried that we won't have time for that KFC. i know KFC isn't something special, but to us, living where their KFC isn't halal, and to watch their commercial every day, we kinda miss all those unhealthy fast food.

so our very long journey began early in the morning. planned to hop on the train from Gawler to Elizabeth, then get on the bus to the airport, but there were some things to take care of and we were running a little late. so we asked a friend to drive us to Elizabeth. the good thing about it was that the drive only took 20 minutes but if we took the train it probably will take 45 minutes.

anyway, off we went, with one big bag and one carry-on bag each. the big luggages are both half full at this point. this was one mistake (not too big a mistake tho) for us travelling to Paris and London.. big bags will slow you down and a real hassle if you plan to hop on the their train. so next time we'll go there (hopefully) i'll try to pack even less things

our flight from Adelaide airport was on time. checked in at the kiosk to skip the long queue, and only had to stand in a short 'Bag Drop' line. quick and easy and there was no problem at all. :D

the 3.00pm flight to KL took around 7hours. that is a long time to sit in a plane.. but MAS planes have those in-flight entertainment thing, i think they call it 'Select'.

the 'Select' in-flight entertainment has movies, tv shows, music and games on it. it has a 6.5inch screen that is not too clear but works all right. some of the movies had subtitles rendered into the video with a raw a little too big fonts that sometimes are a little annoying (considering the small screen).. but it isn't too of the movies i saw was Slumdog Millionaire. it already had subtitles of their own so it does look better, however, those subtitles are probably meant for at least a TV display. so at some parts, the subs were so small that i have no idea what they were saying.

the food was actually pretty good. i had lamb korma with basmati rice which was a great because it's something malaysian. it comes with a dinner roll, salad, crackers and cheese, and a tiny drinking water. at least the main dish is still something malaysian :D

Kuala Lumpur International Airport
we arrived at KLIA on time, at the main building. we quickly made our way to the 'Arrivals' to meet friends waiting there and have our KFC. this was a transit stop, so we did not have to wait for our bags nor check-in again. so we chatted, laughed, and about 30 minutes before our 11.40pm flight to London Heathrow, we realized that our flight got delayed to depart at 1.10am. if we'd checked earlier, we could've taken our time.

in the end, we finally took off at 1.35am, we finally flew out to London. this time it is a much longer flight, a 12 hour (ish) flight. they served dinner (or was it supper.. maybe a very early, heavy, lunch @_@) and i had beef lasagna which was not too bad but i was kinda still not hungry but i forced myself to eat anyway.. it was probably around 3am in KL i think. i noticed the food was packed differently from the ones we got during all our flights to and from Australia. different caterers i guess.. and i think the food in Australia bound MAS flights are a lot better.

after that meal i was so stuffed that i couldn't sleep. and when i decided to watch a movie, there was this problem with the in-flight entertainment system of the plane that they had to shut it down for 30 mins. i tried to sleep anyway but even after the Select rebooted i was still wide awake, but extremely fatigued. it was dreadful. so i randomly selected a movie that i have already seen, and probably 15mins in, i was already asleep. when i woke up, washed up a bit and started watching movies again. so the grand total of movies i saw in both flights was 9 movies.. all of them i have never seen before!

London Heathrow
we arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 at around 6.30am. the terminal looked rather shabby i think.. and gloomy. maybe it was the early morning. we had to wait for a bit until we got our luggages and then had to stand in a very long line at the customs and immigrations. that was not fun, waiting in line after travelling for over 20 hours (including transit and all the bus ride from home).

thankfully everything was smooth there and the next thing we had to do was find our way to Terminal 5. it was not too hard, just that for someone arriving there for the first time, we did were a little confused at first. all we had to do was get on this inter-terminal train (which i think is free) to Heathrow Central Railway Station (which is for terminals 1,2&3). then wait on the same platform for the train to Terminal 5.

we got to Terminal 5 rather early, checked in for our 11.50am flight to Newcastle. T5 is not a big enough airport for the amount of travellers there. and to check-in, we must use the 'check-in kiosk' and then head to the many bag drop counter. anyhow, waiting for our flight, we ate some sausage buns we brought from KL, then we realized there was no rubbish bins to throw the wrappers away. i find that interesting. we walked around the terminal to have a look at the shops. we did not buy anything.

finally we arrived in Newcastle at around 1.15pm. we were exhausted, rather hungry but too tired to feel hunger. we took the cab from the airport to my brother's house not too far away. the cab driver asked 'where to' so i said the address. then he said something more than 4 words long.. and i couldn't understand a word he said. maybe i was too tired.. or maybe he had an accent i have never heard before. maybe it was both

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