Departure & Arrival

Further to the blog posts I wrote last year here are just a couple more that I’ve just discovered in a diary I wrote at the time:

Despite neither Rich nor I thinking that we would be able to sleep the night before we both had a worry free night and rested well. The bus from Bath to Heathrow was uncrowded, comfortable and made good progress to Heathrow with very little traffic on the roads on such a wet Sunday.

Later on in the day we found out that 16 severe flood warnings had been issued across the UK and we were not surprised having seen the water levels in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Our arrival, check in and procedure through security at Heathrow was surprisingly easy and straightforward. I set off the alarms as usual and had a body search much more thorough than at Bristol airport, a lot more gropey. We did not feel like we were hanging around waiting for too long and security was especially well organised.

After sitting on some run of the mill plastic benches near a big family with young children we decided it was time to have a look around. We were glad that we did as we found a branch of Leon (italian style deli) just round the corner – a much more convivial place to wait with great decor and music.

Sun was just going down when we boarded our Boeing 777 jet. The first sunshine we’d seen all day and then it left but it seemed liked an auspicious moment none the less. And that was the end of it. I found the 11 hour flight incredibly uncomfortable and at some points unbearable. I couldn’t get to sleep, my eyes felt dry and the sound of the engines and air con were deafening. Rich had no such problems and enjoyed and marvelled at the flight. The food was good and we enjoyed a beer and a wine.

I watched just 2 films, Win, Win and About Time. The Paul Giametti film was diverting and whilst I was watching that and the tv I didn’t mind the journey but the screen was bright and I felt that my eyes would not thank me for watching too much. It was only an hour before landing that I discovered they had Portlandia on the TV and I think if I’d discovered that I probably wouldn’t have have been in such a grump. Any way. It’s all over for now. The flight from HK to Taipei was very comfortable and I slept the entire way, waking up for some horrible noodles and a carton of green tea. Should’ve just slept through! They were both gross! HK airport is very swish and made Heathrow look old and tired. The lighting is very natural and although it’s huge it was easy to navigate.

Arrival at Taipei airport was similarly impressive and a nice space. Baggages came through quickly and Gwilym was on the other side of arrivals to meet us with a big smile and friendly face. He’d decided that with our luggage and the wet weather it would be much more comfortable to get a taxi for which we were very greatful for as we were pretty drained after so long on the go. He swiftly piled us into a taxi with some fluent sounding Mandarin and we were on the move.

It was misty and rainy but the journey was speedy and a welcome relief to the time on the aeroplane. 40 minutes later and we were at Gwilym’s new flat in Beitou.

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