More Delays and Home Again

After our last walk along the Seine I had a sore throat. My baby grandson had been sick with something nasty passed to him by his French nanny, so sadly after checking out of the Lions Den I spent most of the last day asleep with a fever in our son's apartment. Our cab to airport arrived at 6:30 pm, but by then we had learnt that our flight would be delayed by two hours. Remember that industrial action?

The new sections of Charles de Gaulle are very comfortable, so we found a cushy spot with window views, a table and armchairs and settled down to wait. We had an estimated boarding time of 11:45pm! It was comforting to see the big A380 Airbus arrive, creeping slowly to a halt as airport vehicles and passenger ramps moved towards it. The whole process was a marvel of efficiency …. unloading, cleaning, refueling, loading food and baggage, transporting staff … we were spellbound.

It is something almost miraculous to equip an aeroplane with all that is needed for a long-haul flight. As the size of planes has increased some changes have been made, since crew cannot serve everyone to the same standard they once did. For example when we were woken for breakfast on the second leg of the trip from Dubai to Sydney, a 14 hour flight, we were not given hot wet towels with which to wash and refresh ourselves. I asked the attendant and she explained it was only possible now for premium economy passengers, business and so on, not for us ordinary people. Nevertheless she quietly brought me two towels a little later!

Our space gradually filled as others came to wait too … an Airbus takes about 300 passengers … the Emirates crew, as beautiful in their elegant uniforms as you can imagine eventually arrived, and I wished I had the camera as I walked past on my way to the amenities. We were glad to wait in CDG (below) rather than Dubai, since the kindest thing I can say about that airport is that it is worth while making sure you have a very short time between flights so you can leave as soon as possible. Pity help you if you need the toilets!

Our flight to Dubai was perfect, the Airbus is very quiet, and seems to float rather than fly, effortless and comfortable. Our changeover was very fast, then we were on the long leg with QANTAS, through to Australia. I sat beside a young German man who was going to New Zealand for his studies, he simply could not comprehend that a flight could be so long! Behind us a young Australian family returning from visiting grandparents in England found nothing odd about it at all.

We arrived in Sydney at 5am Friday morning, expecting to fly home with our small regional airline at 9am. We were tired! I was not well. About 8:30am T2 experienced a power failure that shut down all passenger and baggage handling and security screening. A loud announcement was repeated every ten minutes, warning people of the problems and explaining what to do. In our boarding lounge staff came around talking to us all, helping several planes get away, but then we were stuck. Some of our passengers had not had their baggage loaded before the power outage. Staff ran around with clipboards, counting people and other things, until finally it was agreed we could go. We flew out just before 12, with three people having to agree to come back to their local airport to collect their baggage later. Phew!

Later we read about the chaos this power failure caused, with airline traffic all over Australia affected, many flights cancelled, people sent home and so on … so we got off lightly … and here we are at home. All the photos above were taken at CDG in Paris as we waited to board our first flight.

 

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54 thoughts on “More Delays and Home Again

  1. oh my oh my oh my!! What a trek you had! Even if you were feeling well, that would have been an ordeal, but to be sick and have the time stretch by …… But, all’s well that end’s well, and I’m so glad you are home safe and sound. I so enjoyed traveling with you! Now, please, rest rest rest!!!!

  2. Hoping you feel better soon after that fever! Glad you got the towels! We’re going to a swimming party at my sister-in-law’s tomorrow; I’ll bring a couple of towels for my wife… even though she is not paying for first class! πŸ˜‰

  3. My deepest sympathy for illness, but I’m envious that you can nurse it at home! After what a trip to get to your own bed. You didn’t use the word “nightmare” but it must have occasionally felt like it. Can you lie in bed savouring your wonderful six weeks? Recover quickly – a selfish wish. I’m hanging out for a vicarious south coast fix.

    • S is sleeping on the sofa, his box of tissues to hand … I took a panadol and am enjoying some morning sunshine to keep me warm .. there is a wild wind so we are happy to stay indoors today … did I mention our phone is not working, so that makes sure it is quiet!! I have just downloaded half the photos onto the macbook so perusing them will keep me entertained πŸ™‚

          • I’ve still got 1500 and I’ve deleted at least that many. I have to keep room on my iPad. I download as soon as I take , and when I blog I usually delete, keeping only excellent or indicative ones – or ones that feature twins!

          • yes I have deleted heaps on the ipad, but now the cards have been loaded on the laptop, so have to delete on there too … I keep the cards whole as a backup which is useful … we are both doing well this evening so maybe tomorrow we will get to the beach …

  4. Hope you feel better soon. That is too bad you caught whatever they had. Bummer about having to ask for the towels, too. Glad you got home but what a journey!

  5. As I would expect you take these hitches in your stride, and that’s the best possible approach. Those bits will soon be forgotten while the wonders will stay with you πŸ™‚ rest well both of you x

  6. Quite a different post for you Christine – Airbus instead of nature, but I loved it. You don’t realise how much preparation goes into getting an aeroplane ready for a flight until you really stop and think about it, and heck, for 300 people that must be some planning! I really don’t know if I’d fancy flying on anything that big! I’d love to have seen the elegant airbus crew (camera next time please!). Glad you’re home safely and hope you kick that bug into touch and get well soon. πŸ™‚

    • yes Jude, sorry I missed the crew, I blame the flu bug, I vaguely thought I might get another chance but then totally forgot, and it was QANTAS for the last leg, not so elegant but very friendly and fun πŸ™‚

      • Glad you made it back ok though, we were in Barcelona for a week or so and only found out about the strike when we checked into the airport to come home. We were very lucky, we were told there would be long delays and then our plane was given a slot to go. They told us if we were quick we could make it, I’ve never seen a plane boarded and ready to go so quick.
        My Sister hasn’t been so lucky though, she’s gone to China for three weeks visiting, and although she arrived safely without any delays … her luggage is still in London !

        • oh no! that would be awful … imagine having to buy everything you need for a few days, and not knowing … horrors! You were lucky to get out of Barcelona … I had no idea it was so widespread …

          • Many planes in Barcelona were cancelled, we were very, lucky.
            As for Little Sister, she’s in China for three weeks, but it’s ok, we’ve just heard that her luggage will be joining her soon and she’s applying for compensation for anything she’s had to replace in the meantime.
            All’s well that end’s well. πŸ™‚

    • I am almost well now dear Nandini, and that little boy is very resilient, so I expect he might be well again too … our phone is not working so we can’t call them to ask, but no doubt we will chat online soon πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the post … since so many of us travel it must be quite familiar to my readers!

  7. The delay, crowd, and your fever…. Glade you are home safely. Get a good rest, Christine. I’m on the road again, will be back to visit you Ronda post an other posts I have missed.

  8. oops! Maybe I jinxed you mentioning the French air traffic control always striking. Flying when you’re ill is not great, I always seem to get ill AFTER a flight! Breathing that recycled air doesn’t help. As someone else mentioned, it’s nice to get back home and your own bed with loads of happy memories and photos as well πŸ™‚

    • I know that syndrome of jet travel induces illness … now I have to fear I could have contributed to the germ load on the flight, but I did take care to cover my mouth and nose and keep away from others … yes it was industrial action that delayed the flight, those French are good at airing their grievances!

  9. bentornata a casa Cristina! io ritorno al blog dopo una lunga assenza, ma non mi perderΓ² neanche uno dei tuoi post fatti nel viaggio in Europa, lentamente ripercorrerΓ² il tuo grande viaggio all’indietro, intanto ti auguro di stare presto bene! Grazie per la tua preziosa presenza nei miei post durante la mia assenza, un grande abbraccio molto affettuoso
    Ven
    Welcome to casa Cristina! I return to the blog after a long absence, but I did not lose a single one of your posts made in trip to Europe, I slowly your great trip backwards, in the meantime I wish you to be well soon! Thanks for your valuable presence in my posts during my absence, a big hug very affectionate

  10. What a wonderful trip you guys had. Thanks again for taking us along! I’m happy you arrived home safely despite all the delays and obstacles that are so typical in air travel today. I hope you get well soon…I got a 3-week bug from my 4 y.o. granddaughter in May…lots of rest will do it!

  11. There’s no place like home, especially when you are unwell. There are so many bugs around, and it’s so windy. Stay inside, rest and get well. Then remember all the good parts of the trip, there were so many, and forget the other πŸ™‚

  12. Oh my, Christine! I do hope you’re feeling well now. I can’t imagine the long travel home even under simple fatigue conditions, but ill…that must have been very difficult. I’m sure that home feels really, really welcoming! πŸ™‚

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