Wednesday, May 31, 2023

England 24-25 April

We caught a taxi to the airport, and let me remind you how I despise airports. It was however a smooth enough process. For some reason economy passengers were loaded before business class passengers, but no matter to us as we were in the airline's lounge waiting to be called. Free food, free drinks and tarmac views from comfortable seating.

As it was our first time travelling business class there were lots of new things to learn. Before take off we were given champers and the staff were all very pleasant, friendly and helpful. Our flight departed late afternoon so we were looking forward to a nice meal and a sleep in the flat beds, which is exactly what we had. The control buttons for the seat to make it stretch out into a bed needed such a hard push, but R's didn't and none of subsequent flights had such stiff controls. It was nice to have a decent sized entertainment screen but the film selections weren't that great, with a focus on American bang bang films and god awful American comedy shows. I did find the Kenneth Branagh versions of Murder on the Orient express (I always forget who dun it) and Death on the Nile. I can never get past David Suchet as Poirot. 

We did not have to collect our cases at Colombo, Sir Lanka as they were going straight through. We did have to pack our backpacks carefully so that we had what we needed for the 12 hour stopover in Colombo. 

The usual grumpy and expressionless border security staff sent us back to fill in incoming passenger cards and I had already arranged our ETA's, like a visa, for two days. There weren't queues, with plenty of border staff.  

We expected someone to be there to greet us with our names on sign boards but no. We had to find the booth that would arrange our transport to our hotel. I think it was a least half an hour from when we cleared security to when our transport arrived. It is the airlines responsibility but the service is provided by the hotel. It wasn't good enough, and naturally in time the airline will hear about it. 

A rather attractive lad led us out to the street to wait for our transport and did the usual subtle con as we waited for our transport. He claimed to have not seen Australian money notes. We knew what he was up to. R showed him a $10 note and he seriously admired it. R put the note back in his wallet and showed the lad a $5 note, and told the lad to keep it. He was quite sweet. 

The hotel was a fifteen minute drive away and it was set in a huge and lush tropical garden, some manicured and some not. A guard at the gate checked under our vehicle with a mirror for 'la bombe'. The hotel was fantastic. It was my and EC's favourite weather of course, hot and humid but not so bad at night. Yes, I am lying.

We had requested a room with twin beds. Instead we had a room each with a queen and single bed. In the shower I failed to notice the overhead monster rain shower head, as you had pull out a rod to make it work. (Foreign plumbing drives me mad) Instead I made do with the hand held shower. We had some buffet food and drinks at the hotel, included, and I can't remember the times now. A youngish waiter charmed us. His English was excellent and he had lived in Italy in the past. The staff were a bit more friendly and interactive than is my preference. We vant to be alone. We were advised a too early time to be at reception for our transport to the airport. There was so many security procedures at the airport, including our vehicle driving over an electronic checking machine to check for 'la bombe'. 

Our flight left a little after midnight. After dinner and a couple of drinks I fell soundly asleep and R had to wake me after the flight attendant failed to.

We landed at Heathrow at about 9.30 pm on the 25th. 

I barely took any photos. This is the fountain in front of the wonderful hotel in Colombo.


It was a hard call as to whether to sit outside in the heat under fans or inside with air con.


The pool looked so inviting. 


I am not sure where this was, whereby a robot moved around cleaning the floor.


A phone box. We must be at Heathrow, London. 

32 comments:

  1. Sounds like overall it was a wondrous experience. And you can't beat free food and drinks;)
    Sandra sandracox.blogspot.com

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    1. In our early memories of the trip, it was good Sandra. Thanks.

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  2. What a shame you missed the huge overhead shower. I love the English phone box.

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    1. River, I knew about the rain shower when returning to Australia. It was great after crappy English showers.

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  3. Sounds pretty good so far. I have to admit to shelling out for business class on those long-longhaul flights. Champers and a comfy flatbed seat every time 😊

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    1. PS: Looking for bombs?????

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    2. JayCee, it never felt luxurious but rather nicer than economy. Yes, bombs, planted by Tamils?

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  4. The beds in flight---sounds wonderful to sleep through a long flight like that.

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    1. It was wonderful Strayer. I've never really slept when flying, but I did this time.

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  5. I see that phone box in Bendigo too. Business class is always a tad better than economy class lol. Like the photos you posted.

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    1. Roentare, that's interesting about the the Bendigo phone box. Business is bit more than a tad better.

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  6. Business class sounds the go - if ever I do a long haul flight again. Which is doubtful.
    I am looking forward to seeing/reading more.

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    1. EC, travelling business was the only way we could do it. Thanks.

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  7. Since good films often save the long distance flyer from insanity, you should write to Kenneth Branagh and warmly thank him. American gun films are bad at anytime, but in a vulnerable plane3 they are even worse.

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    1. Hels, I wasn't overly impressed by Branagh's films. They were ok and better than the alternatives.

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  8. Those robots can be tricky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfPViQLyi7M This is out where my son lives. That would be a wonderful thing to fall asleep on a plane. I've never been able to do it. Of course, I've never had a seat that turned into a bed.

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    1. Debby, you don't have to fly for 22 hours to get somewhere decent. The clip is funny. We had an experience with R's sister robo vac.

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  9. I know nothing about Sri Lanka but it does look like a tropical paradise. Of course, the hotel would want you to think that.

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    1. Kirk, think of Sir Lanka as being India in a small and manageable scale. From clips I have watched, it is truly a beautiful place.

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  10. Sounds all very interesting to me Andrew. Going from the cool weather to heat is a bit of a shock. Business class sound great and you must have been tired to sleep on the plane, good on you.
    Like the phone box.

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    1. Margaret, I've never really slept properly on a plane but I did this time. Thanks.

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  11. Such a long journey but good that you could rest in comfort. Business class recognises that people have legs and may want to stretch them.

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    1. JB, R has long legs and sticks them out into the aisle. No need to do so when travelling business.

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  12. One day, one day we keep telling ourselves - think that day has been and gone. We’ve done business class locally but never internationally. I’ll have to break his arm to get it done now! Just out of curiosity which airline did you use?
    Good to see you back- looking forward to reading more of your thoughts and recollections of this trip

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    1. Cathy, yeah, in spite of travelling business this was the last time for us. We are just too ***** old. We travelled with Sri Lankan Airlines as it offered very cheap business class seats.

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  13. Sleeping on flights, life as it should be

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    1. TP, make sure you do that when you visit Australia.

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  14. We're on a limited budget for our planned trip so business class is out. I have had the pleasure in the past so celebrate your being able to do so. And like you I positively despise airports with a few exceptions, one being here which is small and manageable and friendly and cheap.
    I am keen to hear about more of your trip and your Colombo experience was quite lovely.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. We have a small international airport as well as our main one. It is less than an hour's drive and although it is years since I have used it, it was as you describe. Very few flights use it though.

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  15. Thank you for sharing; how great to enjoy your travels vicariously. Be well!

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    1. Well, pay attention Darla. This was probably our last international flight.

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  16. Business class is always great compared to cattle but you need to remember the workers are not slaves to your every desire. Stop complaining about trivial inconveniences After all your flights were cheap tickets via a country the pays a pittance for wages to the workers

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