Posts Tagged With: Plane

A Long Flight Back to New York

8/6/11 to 8/7/11 to 8/6/11 (Flying through time zones in the middle of the night)

Our flight takes off at about 9:10pm after a two hour delay and a 7 hour layover. I’m sitting next to a couple from Connecticut who knows one of my dad’s coworkers. Small world. They are sitting next to a Hawaiian lady. Our row doesn’t recline and my seat has the entertainment box. Thus, making me have one of the most uncomfortable seats on the plane. I can’t lean back and I have no leg room what so ever. My seat is also right next to the bathroom. Fun. I watch the end of No Strings Attached and I watch Arthur. I now have 6hrs to entertain myself. They serve me rice with brown junk all over it. It looks disgusting. I decide not to eat it. Instead, I stick to bread. I attempt to sleep, but it’s impossible since I can’t recline and because people keep hitting me on their way to the bathroom. I’m cold and my legs ache. I watch the miles to JFK screen and keep hoping they would magically fly by. I listen to music until we land at about 11pm. In total I have been up for 25 hours and have been traveling for 24hrs of them.

We land and customs harasses me about my two passports. I have to explain the purpose of them. My bag is one of the last ones off of the plane, which gave me at least 15 minutes of anxiety until I saw it. I used the restroom and went to another area of customs. They pull me to the side along with all of the other suspicious people. They thought the lady in front of me was smuggling drugs from Mexico. I get interrogated. They want to know why I was in Egypt. I explain and they finally let me go. I’m so happy to see my parents. It’s about midnight and we still need to drive home. I desperately want to eat and shower. I wound up going to bed around 4am bringing my grand total of being up for 30 hours after a week of very little sleep. Glad to be home!

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Categories: Europe, France, NYC, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Exploring Charles de Gaulle Airport

8/6/11

I see my suitcase get unloaded. At least I know it made it to Paris. I take the shuttle to my correct terminal. I use the restroom and have to go through security. Their security is worse than New York’s. They wind up breaking the wheel on my carry on. That bag had lasted through a 12 day trip to Israel and a 9 day trip to Egypt (not to mention all my little side trips) only to break due to a careless security agent. Not cool. Time for my broken suitcase and I to explore the airport.

I look for my mom’s makeup first. They don’t have it. I then look for postcards. I buy some individual ones and a book of them. I also get a magnet, chocolate, and a mini Eiffel Tower. I want to buy a book on Versailles and another one on Paris, but I decide not to get them. I buy two pretty prints of Paris. I go to the food court, which sucks. I buy water and pita bread. I try to go to the lounge and get rudely denied despite having all the right cards to get in. Thus, I sit and wait in a chair for five hours. I eventually buy macaroons at La Maison Du Chocolat. They are expensive, but I hope they are worth it. I still feel sick and I am beyond exhausted at this point. I stop by Swarovski to take a look and to tell my mom I saw it.

They eventually begin to board us. However, we don’t get far when we find out that our plane has issues and we need a new one. No idea how long that will be. We switch to a different gate. I’ve been up for 15 hours after a week of no sleep and 14 of those hours have been spent traveling. I am tired and bored out of my mind. I decide to buy the Paris book to keep me awake. Two hours later we get a plane and board. Thank goodness because otherwise they were going to make us stay overnight at the airport and take a plane in the morning.

Macaroons

 

Categories: Europe, Food, France, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cairo to Paris

8/6/11

5 am. So tired!! Less than 4 hours of sleep. I get up and I feel awful. I feel so sick! All I want to do is stay in bed, but I have a ride and a flight to catch. I get to the lobby and my 6am ride is ready. The driver and Spring Tours representative are nice. The airport is chaos! My representative and a family argue back and forth in Arabic about security. Thank goodness I have the representative guiding me. He helps me change my seats to aisle seats. He also helps me fill out my forms. I tip him $5 and go through security. I see the men with the dark spots on their heads from praying too much. Sherif had told us about them. The dirt smudge from putting your head on the ground is considered a good thing.

I find a place to buy a water bottle, which was pretty expensive. I also find the lounge only to find out that they have free water bottles. They also have wifi. Yeah I get to do a 4sq Egypt check in. I use the restroom and don’t tip the lady. She’s mad at me. I figured I would use the restroom one more time before I boarded and would tip her then. However, not too long after the guy who runs the lounge runs over to me and tells me my flight is boarding. What! So early? Thank goodness he told me since the announcement was made in garbled Arabic. There is more security at the gate. Goodbye water bottles. We wait for the tram to take us to the plane.

My seat on the plane is small. Lovely. I have an Egyptian American teenage girl next to me. She’s working on history homework. I offer to help her and we spend some time chatting. She goes to school in California with her brother (who is sitting behind us). I watch Water for Elephants. I also watch No Strings Attached. I spill water all over myself, which is quite fun. I soak the blanket and my pants. We finally land at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

All my entrance tickets

Categories: Africa, Egypt, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Day I was Mistaken for an Egyptian Queen’s Soul

8/2/13

Surprisingly we did not have to wake up at the crack of dawn to catch a plane to Abu Simbel like all the other Contiki tours had to. I skipped the cruise’s breakfast and ate my cereal on the bus. We drove to the airport in Aswan. We went through security which was a metal detector and xray machine. Our waters were allowed in. Sherif showed us a picture of Nefertari that we would see in the temple. He also complimented my dress. He had us sit down and he gave us some background info on the temples. I wanted to look around at the shops in the airport, but he said we didn’t have time. So I chose the bathroom instead as did some of the other girls. We ran straight from the bathroom to our gate. We were boarding!

Once on the plane I realized that I was on the wrong side of the plane to see Abu Simbel. I needed to be on the left side. Sitting to the right of me was an Arab man who didn’t seem very nice. To the left of me was Janelle. Then Sherif calls me and asks me to move. He has me take an empty seat in the row behind him on the left side of the plane. He moved me so I could see Abu Simbel. Lexi moves and sits next to me. The plane ride was smooth. They offered us water. I got a great picture of Abu Simbel from the air. I played some American music for Lexi. We landed after what felt like only 15 minutes, but was really over 30 minutes.

Abu Simbel from the air

We got on a shuttle bus to take us to the main airport. Then a bunch of us ran to the ladies room. We boarded a coach bus which we shared with the Trafalgar group. We drove to a little food area and had to walk from there. The walk to the temples was hot and grueling. I felt like I was melting. So I joked around and prayed to Shu (the wind god) and at that moment a gust of wind hit my dress. The light breeze stayed with us! I turned a corner and there was Ramesses’ Temple. I was in awe. It was so incredible! We took some pictures then we went to a “shaded” area with a bench to listen to Sherif. He talked to us about the moving of the temples and the alligator that walked right up to people at night during the light and sound show. He asked us who wanted to buy the Abu Simbel pictures for 20 LE. I told him that I wanted them. Then he let us wander around for an hour.

The girls and I headed to the right aka Nefertari’s Temple first. It was breathtaking. We took a lot of pictures of the outside. We wandered around the inside of the temple and examined all the glyphs. Everyone was trying to sneak pictures, but I was too scared to. I finally worked up enough courage to do so and right when I went to grab my camera I saw the guy coming. Scott got caught and the temple guy deleted the pictures. See the pic below of him getting caught. Towards the entrance I started to read the hieroglyphs to Janelle. The temple guy’s face lit up when he heard me. He asked me if I could read them and I said yes. Then he went on and on in Arabic about me. He took my arm and guided me to the famous image of Nefertari and made me rub her lotus flower a couple of times. You are not supposed to touch anything so I was shocked he wanted me to touch the walls. On our way out he asked if I wanted a picture with the ankh. I did, but didn’t want him to ask me for money. I thanked him in Arabic and he wished me blessings in both languages while bowing his head towards me. The little Arabic I could understand, his behavior, and what I wound up finding out from others made me realize that he thought I was Nefertari’s Ka. A Ka is an Egyptian’s double. There are stories about people’s Ka’s tricking people into believing they are the original. Maybe that would make sense as to why the gods granted me wind when I asked for it. 😉

Picture from Sonja

We then headed to Ramesses’ Temple. We took more pictures and I looked at some of the glyphs on the outside. The entrance way had Ramesses statues/pillars that were made to look like Osiris. We looked at all the famous scenes like Ramesses on the chariot shooting an arrow and smiting his enemies. There were back rooms as well that were covered in glyphs from floor to ceiling. Some of the back rooms smelled like something died in them. We started to get hot and dehydrated so we decided to head back.

Fallen head

Usermaatre Setepenre

The walk back was uphill and was torture. At that point it was the middle of the day and the sun was beaming. We finally made it to the rest area and were so happy to see water and food even if it was overpriced. I bought a water and a kit kat. We took seats with Sherif and filled him in on our temple experience. We then went to the bathroom where we had to pay. We waited a while for Paul and Mike. We eventually gave up. We walked through a row of vendors who liked my galabiya and didn’t try to sell me stuff when I told them no thank you in Arabic. At the top of the hill was Paul and Mike. Sherif got into a bit of a tiff with Paul. We boarded the bus and headed to the airport.

Security was a joke this time. We got our tickets and used the bathroom. This time I was on the left side of the plane. I was between Meg and Mat. Aussie sandwich. They gave us water again. Meg, Mat, and I spent most of the time talking about Australian politics and how it is compulsory to vote in Australia. The conversation was interesting, but the 3 of us were scared because the plane was experiencing extreme turbulence for the entire flight. The plane couldn’t land soon enough for the 3 of us. It was because of the intensity of the heat. We were all so thankful to land. We all felt a bit queasy.

*The picture below was sent to me by Contiki because when I came back from Egypt I sent Sherif a NY Yankees shirt. He’s wearing it in Abu Simbel below.

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Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Newark to Vancouver

6/9/13

We had to wake up before the crack of dawn to catch our 5am car to the airport and our 7:30am flight. We got up at 2:30am and wound up being ready at 4:15am. So we called to have our car moved to 4:30am. The driver was on time and actually got out of the car to help with our bags. I thought he was great and told my mom this after he dropped us off. I didn’t realize I spoke too soon. We go through the United door to check in and find out he dropped us off at United Express, which is where the small planes fly in and out of. They told us we would have to board a shuttle bus to get to the regular United section of the airport. My mom was pissed. We just spent $60 on a car service only to have to board a bus. We told the driver United International.

We went through security where I watched them being super strict with a Muslim family. We then went to Starbucks which had a line out the door. I got two water bottles for $6. We then went to our gate. I read a magazine for a bit. They opened the door that leads to the plane and a pigeon flew out. It landed on the group 4 sign. The gate people said it was on our plane. They decided to board us early. We boarded and settled into our seats. There was a beyond super smelly man who boarded. My mom and I prayed he wouldn’t be near us. He wasn’t. Thank goodness! There was also a baby with a fever and luckily the baby wasn’t near us either. We wound up with an empty seat next to us. The guy behind me spent the entire flight strumming on his tray table aka the back of my chair. There was no food and they never showed the movie they promised. The bathroom line was crazy. Two stalls for all of economy. The second time I went I waited at least 10 mins. Smelly guy was in there for almost 20 mins. Right before landing a passenger got sick. 4 doctors assisted her. They gave her an oxygen tank. We had some turbulence throughout the flight and a rough descent.

Once we landed we spent 20 mins wandering the airport looking for the 7-11 to buy day train passes. Everyone told us it was somewhere else which became very annoying. Finally a lady pointed us in the right direction. Then we got on the train. The train felt like it took forever because we were both exhausted. We walked to the hotel where I immediately used the wifi to let everyone know we arrived.

We were given a one bedroom suite. It had a living room and a double bed bedroom. It also had two bathrooms and 2 mini fridges. The view was of the water and mountains. We also got Regency Club. We got some cookies and water. Then headed out.

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Categories: Canada, Travel, Vancouver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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