Last night, after some dinner in the lounge, I went to the transit hotel to sleep. You can book rooms for 6 hour slots. When I arrived the receptionist advised that they are doing maintenance work hotel and that the power might go off between 2:00 and 5:00. And that, if it did, the emergency light would come on in my room - but not to panic! He gave me an extra hour for free for the inconvenience.
Well, at 2:00 the power did go off and the emergency light did come on. Not bright enough to keep me awake but bright enough to be annoying. I managed to avoid the light and get back to sleep before the power eventually came back on and the light went off (back to front, I know). The room was fine though, perfect for my needs with a nice bathroom.
I checked out at 5:00 and made it to the lounge which was quiet but not empty. I got myself some breakfast.
On the way to the buffet I saw the headlines about Prince's untimely death. Couldn't believe it. What's going on this year?
After some downloading my photos it was time to head to the gate to board my chariot. I've been on an A380 a few times already but always economy.
Business class is upstairs. I spent a bit of time getting to know my home for the next 14 hours. So many little compartments. The seats are HUGE - more like a 2 seater.
By the time we departed it was 9:00, so once we were up in the air it was time for breakfast number 2.
Nicely full, I settled in to some movies. First was Bridge of Spies followed by Star Wars VII - finally got around to seeing it.
Most of the people in the cabin appeared to want to sleep all the way to London so I felt obliged to keep my shade down for a lot of the trip. But I still managed to get glimpses of the journey from time to time and a long stretch at meals. The terrain began with islands and meandering rivers.
When I looked down after watching Star Wars in noticed a vast expanse of wilderness. It reminded me very much of the terrain in the movie except someone had changed the colour palette from sandy brown to dusty grey.
Slowly I noticed the natural curves of erosion make way to the angular lines of civilisation. Then, when we reached Afghanistan it changed again and I began to see snow capped mountains that got more populous as we reached Georgia. They looked as if they had been dusted with icing sugar.
I gazed for ages as we crossed into the Black Sea and tracked along the northern coast of Turkey.
Somewhere in that time was lunch. I had the chicken. The dessert was particularly delicious.
There was thick cloud as we reached Europe, so nothing to see for the last couple of hours. Hoping to see some English countryside I watched eagerly when we crossed the English Channel but it was just thick white cloud until just before the airport. After being in a holding pattern for a couple of loops we landed only a little after schedule.
The weather in London was cold, grey and wet. But I didn't mind at all. It was just great to be back here.
It would have been rush hour and my original plan was to catch the tube to the hotel. I was anxious that would be difficult/stressful so I decided to catch the Heathrow Express to Paddington then a taxi to the hotel. A much better option. The taxi driver was SO talkative.
The hotel room is lovely with a view of Kensington High Street.
In an effort to reset my body clock I resisted the temptation to fall straight into bed. Instead, I was brave (for me) and ventured down to the restaurant alone. The food and service were excellent. I had Asparagus Gnocchi and Seared Tuna followed by a small Lemon Soufflé.