Just to complete the story, we flew into London Gatwick early, and to our amazement and huge relief, the three bags we had waved goodbye to at Beijing over 24 hours ago promptly arrived on the carousel. Couldn’t fault Aeroflot, they left and arrived on time, provided edible food (with a choice) and didn’t lose our luggage. The flight was only one third full if that, perhaps the political situation has had an effect, we flew back at the exact time the 23 Russian diplomats were leaving the UK!
Our house was spotlessly clean, and the cats delighted to see us, lots of purring and rubbing. Now to tackle all the unpacking, washing and ironing, which is one of the worst bits of going away, isn’t it?
Our next time away will be a relaxing two weeks in France at the end of June. Thank you all for sharing our adventure with us, let us know your thoughts?
Roz and Rog
We were in Moscow last September, now we are back, but with no visa are overnighting in Edward Snowden’s old transit hotel haunt. It’s fine, beds and shower are okay,the ‘window’ is frosted glass, so we can’t see anything, but never mind.
We know it has been snowing heavily, but the runways are clear
We are using up lounge passes for food. Flight is at 1.50 pm, so this morning just chilling out in the terminal. Not sure if there are any souvenirs worth buying, but at least we have the time to look!
It is now 8.07, and we have been sitting in the car outside our hotel for over half an hour, traffic just not moving. Our flight goes at 11.50, fingers crossed we make it!
Update, the police arrived and sorted it out, we got there in good time. At check-in the staff insisted I had a lighter in my case, and went through everything, but naturally did not find one, I have never smoked!
At the second security check the cables were hauled out of my hand luggage and inspected, along with a highly dodgy small tube of toothpaste. We both then had a very thorough pat down, before making it through airside and a chance to relax in the very quiet lounge.
One and a half hour’s drive from Beijing, we got here! More photos posted on the Beijing page.
Due to a late flight, and the gargantuan size of Beijing’s airport, it was not until 6.00 am that we arrived at our hotel. Soon after take off the cabin crew switched the toilet sign to occupied, pulled across the curtain, and went to sleep! I just hope the Captain kept an eye open. We did hit one severe turbulence bump, which caused a couple of screams, but otherwise uneventful.
Lili was there to meet us at the airport, and first seized Roger’s bag and insisted on putting it on a separate trolley. Then she told me I had to get changed as it was cold outside. It was a bit of a struggle to convince her I had no wish to get changed in the open terminal, and all we wanted was our hotel for some sleep. She fired off a barrage of information at us, trying to teach us a few phrases of Mandarin, and all about the different religions in China, but after about half an hour she gave up, and we had ten minutes to collect our thoughts before arriving at the hotel.
With Priceline I had booked a deluxe king room with access to the executive lounge, thinking we could have breakfast there instead of the very high prices in the main restaurant. But we were only shown into a normal room (huge enough!), and so had to fork out nearly £20 each for a buffet breakfast/lunch.
We have internet access in this room, but only on a laptop, and only so far as I can see, to this WordPress site, which happened to be open on my laptop. I don’t know how long this will last, so if it all goes quiet, the firewall has blocked this one as well, the reason for this hasty post! No BBC updates for Roger on sport! So far have tried every form of Google in every browser, obviously Twitter and Whatsapp are blocked, my phone won’t connect at all, and this is a big international hotel!
So the plan was a 6.00 pm pickup for our airport transfer. Rog found a decent creperie for lunch. As we came out I felt a touch on my arm, ‘madam, I don’t want money, can you buy milk for my baby at the Minimart?’ She had a baby in a sling and a toddler with her. I went with her into the nearby shop and bought a large tin, it all happened so quickly, I was staggered at the price of $25 marked on the shelf, but couldn’t really back out by now, and paid the cashier. The girl thanked me, took the tin and disappeared.
Was it a scam? Yes of course it was, as I quickly found out when checking. Apparently the shop is in it too, the girl takes it back and shop and girl share the inflated price. The baby probably doesn’t even belong to her. I am furious with myself for supporting this scam, and feel sorry for the toddler who slipped her hand so trustingly into mine (as no doubt she was trained to do). I am not usually so gullible, must be the heat and weariness!
We found the Mr Foot Massage shop recommend by Tripadvisor, and treated ourselves to a wonderfully relaxing hour, Rog having his back and shoulders done too.
Back to the hotel, relaxing with a chilled drink by the pool when an email pops in from our Chinese travel agent, she can’t find our flight! Eventually we find out ourselves that Cambodia Angkor Air have changed the flight time, and we are now due to land at 4.00 am, with a full day’s sightseeing ahead! Oh joy! So right now still at our hotel, with nowhere to freshen up having checked out this morning! Oh well, worse things happen at sea!
Very sorry about the loss of pictures for Angkor Wat, when you really needed to see them, upload speed at this hotel has dropped to a fraction of a mb, so no chance to upload anything. I imagine speed will be better when we arrive in Beijing, but whether they will get through the firewall remains to be seen.
Today we have to leave the room at noon, but pick up to the airport is not till 6.00 pm, I imagine another day hanging out by the pool. Might take another tuk-tuk into town for lunch, Rog is happily eating, I have yet to get any appetite back, but still early days.
Mr Minh Hour greets us like old friends now and wants full details of how we are enjoying our stay each time we enter the lobby. We are on our own now as the rest of the group left yesterday, some back to Australia, others to Japan.
We are not superstitious, but this is 13th March, and we were allocated seats 13C and D on the plane. Perhaps a little bit frustrating, see Phnom Penh and Siem Reap pages for today, but we have arrived safely in Siem Reap and tomorrow we are up early for Angkor Wat, what’s not to like? (sorry, anyone knowing Roger will understand how the puns have been flying!)
My birthday, not feeling brilliant, but off on a tour of Saigon with the delightful Eva, then on to a super restaurant for an evening meal. See March 10th on Saigon page
The last couple of days have been a bit fraught, with Rog losing his camera (see Hoi An page and both of us struggling with infections. However Rog is coughing much less, and I hope for improvement tomorrow, which is my birthday (10th March)
Feel free to add comments to any page, would be good to hear from you?
We are now in Saigon, which is the same thing as Ho Chi Minh City, but it seems the locals prefer the old name.
Can anyone tell me what this fruit is called?