with Teena Hughes

Day 01 : Abu Dhabi International Airport

June 8, 2008 1 Comment

My flight out of Sydney on Friday 6th June, 2008 was slightly later departing than planned, but the service was excellent on the Etihad Airways flight. I settled in for my 24 hours of travel to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

My fellow passenger next to me was a young chap embarking on 12 months of backpacking around Europe – a young accountant heading off into the world to have new experiences – what a great adventure!

I filled the 16.5 hour flight was reading inflight magazines, five movies and 2 tv shows … not to mention the two hour lay-over in Abu Dhabi international airport from midnight to 2:00am

Navigating through the airport to the new departure gate was short and easy, but no-one had sent the memo to let us sit in the actual waiting room. All us transit passengers had to sit on the floor, or wander around the terminal which was seething with a mass of humanity of all descriptions. In the middle of the night! There was only one women’s toilet at the departure gate, with a very long queue, and lots of disgruntled people wishing to get into the departure lounge. I asked lots of questions of the security guard, but to no avail. We were eventually scanned and let in 30 mins before the flight. There was a small bank of internet computer available but no system for queuing, so it was survival of the pushiest, and I gave up pretty early :D

The interesting part of this terminal is the ceiling which appears to be growing out of the centre of the terminal, like an oasis, a tiled construction which may loosley represent a giant palm tree.

There were duty free stores and lots of noise, which I chose to avoid by waiting it out on the carpet near the departure gate.

The second leg of the journey took off without a hitch, and we spent a further six and a half hours (I think) in the air, arriving an hour late at Charles de Gaulle airport at 7:30am.

I could not believe I watched so many movies and had so little sleep, but I always go with the flow on long distance flights, and listen to my body. If I choose to stay awake while everyone sleeps, that’s not a problem for me. I had a few hot cups of tea with the stewards and stewardesses throughout the night flying, and even had my sinus headache meds when I felt particarly crap for a while. A wee nap after pills and hot tea had me feeling MUCH better as we zoomed through the night to our destination …

Funnily enough, on the second flight I had an Aussie woman sitting next to me at the window, who lives in Marrickville – pretty close to where I live. Her husband drinks coffee next to the cafe I frequent in Annandale (Vicini) – small world, did I hear you say? :D Yes, indeedy.

Landed safely at 7:30am, rang the Airport Shuttle service ParisShuttle.com to confirm my arrival and pickup, got my bag and was out on the street in about 15 mins after I disembarked – WOW! fantastic!

I then waited with a few other people, not sure for how long, but I spoke to lots of strangers and had a good time. I was dropped off at a tiny hotel a few doors from Fred’s apartment in Rue Ordener in the 18th district, then walked to his apartment building. It was my first visit there, and he’d emailed instructions on the front door security code, so once inside I pressed the buzzer to let Bruno know I’d arrived.

Only one flight up, but the lift didn’t stop at the first floor so I ended up on the second – evidently the tenants on the 1st level don’t like paying the fees for elevator upkeep, so – it doesn’t stop :-)

Bruno rescued me and helped with the bags into the apartment – it’s lovely and huge, such a difference from the much smaller apartment Fred had in Lyon last year when I visited.

After a quick catch-up we headed out to catch the bus to Bruno’s apartment, about 10 mins away. On arrival at Max Dumoy metro area, Bruno showed me the local markets where I can buy fresh fruit and veg, deli food, meat, pate etc etc – fabulous it is sooo close to the apartment!!

Bruno headed off as they’re going to Lyon for a few days to visit his Mum, and I was alone – in a lovely apartment – in Paris …. WOOHOO!!!!

a night in paris, hand painted silk, holidays, paris, silk painting, teena hughes, travel
One Comments to “Day 01 : Abu Dhabi International Airport”
  1. Natalie says:

    Hey Teena!
    Glad you’ve made it to Paris ok! Looks like you’ve definitely settled in beautifully.
    Delightful to see that Abu Dhabi airport hasn’t changed at all – that tiled roof made me think that we were in a chapter of “Alice in Wonderland” or something. Not so delightful that the customer service hasn’t improved.

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