Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Journey Here....Perth to Copenhagen

Well it's time to describe my journey here to Ronneby. Since it took 54 hours, I'll split this up into two parts. This post will cover from Perth to Copenhagen. The remainder of the journey will be covered in another post.
I was scheduled to leave at 4:30pm on Friday 30th June from Perth. Upon arrival at the airport at 2:30pm, the departure time had been put back to 7:30pm. Whilst queuing to have my baggage checked in, I learned that the ETD was now 8:30pm. Not good news. Fortunately, the kind man at the desk gave me a dinner voucher worth $15. Also, K and D had been kind enough to see me off, so we passed some of the time at the bar. After that, the departure time had been pushed back to 9:30pm - 5 hours late. This was bad news for me because it meant that I would miss my connecting flights. The reason given was apparently there had been a medical emergency on the flight from KL and they had had to make an unexpected landing at Jakarta. I hoped it was not due to food poisoning from the aeroplane food! Eventually it was time to walk through the departures gate (of doom). 'The Hardest Part' by Coldplay had been playing recently. After a teary goodbye to my parents, there was a further long wait at the boarding gate. The flight was uneventful and I was able to watch some repeats of comedy programs like Frasier, Friends, etc. There were even songs available to listen to. I could not bring myself to listen to 'The Hardest Part' however because it reminded me of home. I managed to sleep a tiny bit. We arrived at KL at around 3am. Here is an obscured view of the plane.

I was then told I would be flying via Heathrow in London, rather than Amsterdam. I hadn't been to London either, so it was still a new city for me. We were then lodged in the airport hotel. G tells me that this is a quite expensive hotel, so I was glad I did not have to pay for it. I got to bed about 4:15am and then got up at 6:45am...not much sleep! For some reason I had not been given a breakfast voucher like most other people. I decided that I would wait it out until the meal on the plane. The flight was scheduled to leave at 9am, so I didn't think it would be too long. I tried the drinking water as I did not want to dehydrate in the hot conditions. Unfortunately the drinking water in KL did not taste good. The plane was a 747 and it was the first time I had been on one. Here is a photo taken at KL airport in the morning, but I don't think it was the plane that I was on.

I was starting to get hungry. The plane was delayed an hour and a half. Something about the air conditioning not working. I could tell that, too - the plane was starting to smell. I think I managed to get in a quick nap on a very long flight. I remember watching a few movies - Last Holiday, Pink Panther, Failure to Launch and most of Madagascar. We arrived at Heathrow at 4:30pm. I had 20 minutes before my flight to Copenhagen departed, and I had no idea from which gate! Heathrow is such a big airport and it was purely by luck that I found the right terminal. The man at the desk told me I had to RUN in order to make the flight. Fortunately, this flight was also being delayed slightly, so I made it in time. I even stopped to take this photo! (yes I know it's an extremely boring photo, but that's about all I could see at the gate just before boarding)

I had also been put in econoflex class (between business and economy). Almost all of the food had been eaten on the previous flight, so only business and econoflex passengers were served food (yay!) The flight was quite short and at a very low altitude. The view over the Netherlands and Denmark was amazing as I could see lots of small islands and houses on them. I had arrived in Copenhagen.

After waiting at the baggage conveyor belt for quite a while, I realised my luggage had not made the journey with me. Luckily I had a change of clothes with me. Also fortunately, I knew about the Zleep Hotel which is one train station away (Tårnby) from the airport, as I had stayed there in 2004 on my previous European trip for ISITA. It was fairly expensive, but I was able to pay using the money I had changed at CPH airport. I was also able to contact G to let him know that I would be arriving Sunday instead of Saturday. I waited around for the train station to open and then purchased a ticket for Malmö. The rest of the journey will be in my next post.