Tuesday, 24 March 2015

March 22 & 23 The Airports

My flight from Perth to Doha was 11 hours long.  I left at 10:40pm Perth time and was lucky enough to get a window seat.  Off all the Airlines I have flown with this was my first time with Qatar and I must say that I am impressed.  Unlike most others, Qatar has room to move.  I could stretch out my legs (yes I am short so most probably could not) but there was enough arm room for someone of my cuddliness to sit net to someone else and not feel like you were trying to feed them when you ate. 

My only fault with the airline is that the seats go back too far.  It becomes a domino effect.  If the person in front of you decides to lower the seat to its maximum horizontal angle you can either lower your own or risk getting banged in the face by your TV screen on the back of their chair, each time they move. 

This is what I had.  Sleeping on the angle is not something I can do as I seem to end up with a substantial gap between my lower back and the chair.  I either need to lie flat or on a slight angle.  When it came to meal times (there were three), the stewards had to keep asking the guy in front of me to put his chair up and to wait until they removed the trays before he lowered it again.  I nearly wore my first meal because he scoffed his down and then lowered his chair.  Just so you know, there was no one in front of him.

Despite the nearly permanent mark of a TV screen on my face I did managed to get a fair amount of sleep.  I had two lovely old British Gentlemen sitting next to me as well and we swapped stories of where we had been and where we were going.  In the entire 11 hours I only turned the TV on to look at the map and how far we had gone.

I landed in Doha early in the morning.  Outside was nice and warm but inside was getting me into practice for the cold weather.  The airport itself is very large and the boards showing departures are many and confusing.  Thankfully there was someone there who could help you find your gate. There had to be a secret way as to how to read the boards because he found my flight in seconds of me asking.

By the time I went through the transfer check I was looking for two things: free internet and the toilet (I hate the loos on planes, they are not cuddly person friendly).  I found the internet first.  On the third computer not working I nearly gave up, but another kind gentleman was almost finished with his so he kept it going for me. I just hopped on quickly to let everyone know I had got there safe.  As soon as I had finished I turned around and miracle of miracles, there was a toilet.  The cubicles were so large my whole bathroom at home would have fitted into it.

I didn't go look at any of the shops as I am already over weight for my flight in a couple of days.  I need to shed two kilo's somehow.  What did fascinate me was the play area for kids.  They had some amazing and huge play areas, however this early in the morning it seemed to be an adult sleep area.

I sat for at least two hours waiting at my gate for my flight to Oslo.  The seats are set out between two doorways to the tarmac and they were permanently open. The whole area inside was misty due to the mist outside. This was one of those ones where you have to hop on a bus and travel half a kilometer to the plane.  As luck would have it I had 3 seats to myself.  For the next 6 hours of flying to Oslo I could stretch out and I actually watched some movies.

What I did find really cool was how the window shutters (or lack thereof) worked.  There was a button that darkened the windows.  Below are two photos.  The first one is shows one that is only half darkened and the other is open.  The second photo is my window.  It is actually light compared to what it really was.  I had it fully dark because the sun was on my side of the plane and reflecting off the TV screen.  At one stage the flight crew must have darkened everyone's so that people could get some sleep.  It really was amazingly dark in there. 
Flying over Norway was amazing.  You could see all the Fjords from the window and most were still covered in ice.  There is still snow about in places as well.

Didn't see much of the airport other than the luggage claim area.  I stood there for one hour waiting and waiting for my suitcase to arrive.  For some reason they only put two on then wait for 3 minutes then put another 2.  It's not like it was a tiny conveyor belt.  I started to get worried because another flights luggage started to show up.  Finally mine came out.
I bought my ticket for the airport express train and headed into central station.  From there I walked to the hotel (about 2 blocks away).  I was thoroughly enjoying the 7 degrees outside.  I didn't even have my jacket on.
Apart from a frantic "OMG" 10 minutes where I literally threw everything out of my suitcase to locate my power adaptors I finally realized (after an almost tearful prayer) that I had packed them inside a bag with other stuff.  Crisis diverted, onto the free internet, and here I am about to sign off because I am exhausted.  Tomorrow I plan on doing some sightseeing of Oslo.  I have already fallen in love with the buildings here.


Joanne Huffman said...

Sounds like a good beginning to a great adventure.

Glenys said...

A great read, and glad you have arrived safely in Oslo. We had a meal at Maccas there (one of the first ones out of the US, but it was almost closing time and quite grimy). We were only there for 2 nights in transit to and from Bergen which we enjoyed - especially a fjord boat trip. Happy travels for the rest of the way!
Glenys Perry

Karen Collins said...

Hi Kerin - so thrilled you left me the note with your blog address at the class today :) Sorry I missed you last week to say 'Bon Voyage'. Love reading about your trip already and look forward to more! Have a great time! Karen