Monday, 19 September 2016
19.09.2016 - 19.09.2016
After a restful sleep in the Transit Hotel we sorted out some 'essentials' some Singapore dollars, we'll be back here on the cruise and flying through again next year as well. Found a Chemist shop and purchased a few items and then made our way to the Food Street on Level 4. A collection of individual food stalls selling a variety of Asian inspired dishes. Despite or because of the early hour there was quite a crowd.
For payment they employ a system I've not observed anywhere. They don't handle cask and don't accept the major credit cards. At either end of the stree there's a banker's booth where you pay cash to load a local transaction card with the amount you intend to purchase. This amount may be precise or more than the likely. Either way when you buy a dish from the participating vendors your card balance is reduced. If the balance is zero they retain the card and return it to the banker. If there is value remaining you take it back to the banker and she refunds you the balance. Obviously we had time to spare.
By about 08:30 we collected our carry-on, checked out of the hotel and made our way towards the departure gate. Along they stopping to see the butterflies. It was rather difficult to take photos because the extreme humidity fogged up the camera lens. With just under two hours to fill be sat and read before passing through 'security' at about 11:20.
This leg of the trip was flown in a Boeing 777 along with about 200 fellow passengers. We had a window and middle seat on the port side of the aircraft just behind the wing. Not that there's any benefit to having either of those but Jenny likes to look out. The down side is that you have to disturb the isle-seat passenger to get up. With just on 13 hours in that seat we just had to disturb him.
Despite a few sections of turbulence we arrived and landed at the scheduled time. So did a few other planes. It was a lot of walking to get from the arrival gate, down to a lower level at least below ground to go back up again and arrive at Border Force !! How welcoming is that ?? Some one in a strange accent barked out meaningless instructions and we found ourselves on the EU/UK line. Mistake pointed out by a fellow passenger and we joined the correct line. We shuffled along the cattle-race at a snail's pace. Within minutes the line had grown even longer. I asked Jenny, with the better eye sight, if there were really any staff processing this crowd. They appeared to be over the horizon from my view.
On and on it went and in just short of two hours after we landed we managed to find out way to the baggage collection. Don't worry, there were no delays escaping to the bus/taxi/shuttle area. We had no idea where to find the National Express bus so asked a 'Guide' who mistook what we were after and directed us to the National Express central booking office. Down two lifts with all our luggage on a trolley and about a mile underground at level -1. You guessed it, we were directed back to where we'd just come from.
After another delay we finally matched up with the bus to our Hotel. We'll know how it works next time. The driver was a pleasant jolly chap and was happy to help these two wrecks lug their luggage into the bus. From the airport to the hotel was only just over 15 minutes through a maze of intersections and off-ramps. The Heathrow Premier Inn was a welcoming sight and we were checked in and collapsed. The room had all the basic facilities and was totally dark and quiet. Not sure we needed those two attributes, I could have slept on a barbed-wire fence.
That's Day 2 out of the way and more travel tomorrow.
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony