Sunday, September 30, 2007

Madrid - Amsterdam - Bangkok - Taipei - Brisbane 12th - 14th October 2007

We have not made it to our final destination yet but we are more than half way there !!!! We made it to the airport this morning although no thanks to Gloria who took the whole journey to find her satellite positions and her first instruction was “Turn left in 400m destination reached” - no help at all really. Luckily we had been there the day before and so knew where we were going anyway. We dropped the car off and then hoofed it over to Terminal 2 (had to drop the car at Terminal 1) - we managed to get our boarding passes for the other two flights (no emergency row seats but ones with the a wee bit of extra leg room where the baby bassinet goes.

Our flight from Madrid to Amsterdam was uneventful - read and slept during that flight. We got into Schipol and had a 5 hr wait there so we had something to eat and did the wander around before finding the comfortable chairs and relaxing there until it was time to board. Tried again to get emergency row seats but no luck.

We boarded at 14.00 but it was closer to 15.15 before we actually took off. We had dinner at about 5pm, then another dinner at 8pm and then breakfast at 12.15am (6.15 local time !!!) before getting off in Bangkok at 2am for 2 hrs. During this flight was watched a couple of movies (sore neck stuff as the screen was right in front of us but it was good as it meant we saw the movie first before anyone else !!!!), read and slept a little. In Bangkok I landed up lying across a couple of seats while Kaitlin was reading and Al was window shopping as we had no local currency to spend. Back on the flight and another meal - sweet and sour fish or pork curry at 4am !!! Spent most of this flight sleeping - all really feeling tired now.

We arrived in Taiwan about an hour ago and went to the transfer counter - YAY managed to get emergency row seats although they are 2 and 1 and not 3 together - for the extra leg room we are happy to split up !!!!!! We are waiting for some of the guys that used to work with Al to come and pick us up as we have a 9 hr stopover here (the joys of taking the cheaper flights - having said that, I would rather have the money to spend on holiday than spend it on the flights over) and they are going to take us out for a couple of hours. I think Al wants to take us up to the pottery area that he went to a couple of times when he was working here - will see what the traffic is like and how much time we have when they get here. We stuffed it up a little as when we mailed them we said Saturday 14th and today is actually the 13th !!!! Oh well, I am sure that Al will be pleased to see them and I know that they will be pleased to see him as they sounded really keen to catch up when Al mailed to say we were stopping over.

Update continued from home :

We spent a lovely couple of hours with two of the guys that Al used to work with when he was in Taiwan – Nick and Tonfa. They took us to the pottery region of Yingge and we had a wander around there – it was good to get off the plane and out of the airport. We bought a couple of things before heading back to the airport where we thought we would be able to shower and change only to find that the showers were in the other terminal and even though we played dumb tourists who didn’t know where we were going, they wouldn’t let us through into Terminal 1. So we had to make do with a top and tail before sitting down to work out how we could get enough food for dinner for the 3 of us out of the 500NTD’s we had !!

The flight home was uneventful although not very nice being split up – even for the extra leg room !!!! Watched some movies, played some games and tried to sleep (unsuccessfully) – thank goodness only two meals on this flight.

Gosh it was good to get home – my bed was such a welcome sight on Sunday night. Kaitlin and I took our braids out on Sunday afternoon – and we are still losing hair at a rate of knots – hopefully it will stop soon as I can feel that my hair is quite a bit thinner than it was before the braids.

What a lovely feeling to walk in a shop and be able to read all the labels and understand what people are saying to you !!! And parking places – wow - how big are they ???? Not that I had to do any parking in Spain but I did sit through the pain of Alan trying to park whenever we went anywhere !!!!

What a fantastic experience the whole holiday was – there were a few tense moments but I think that is to be expected when you have three people spending 24/7 with each other when we really don’t spend that much time together plus all the time in the car was hard on Kaitlin. Al and I love driving around so it wasn’t that bad for us – having said that at the end of the 6 400kms I was glad that we didn’t have any more driving to do.

Not sure when or where the next holiday is going to be but I do know that whenever and wherever it is, it too will provide us with lots of memories and many happy moments when we chat and reflect on the great time that we had.