Rudy rises once again!
It’s that time again when Rudy shall rise once again. On this occasion a relatively short trip to Delhi – partly work and partly pleasure. Captain Clarke is once again accompanying and we chose, on this occasion, to fly with Emerates via Dubai. Partly this was due to Rudy’s desire to fly on the Airbus A380 and partly it was due to the fact that funds only extend to turning right on this trip whereas our usual and preferred method is to turn left onto aircraft! We were dropped at the airport by Great Uncle Bulgaria and proceeded through security and departures with no issues. Once through, I had purchase, in advance, a ‘Priority Pass’ for the lounges. This was mainly for the 4 hour stopover in Dubai but also meant that the Lounge in Gatwick could be used and, indeed, the lounges in Delhi and Dubai on the way back.
The lounges have already served well. Captain Clarke enjoyed a light curry for breakfast followed by a gin and tonic and then a bowl of spinach and chickpea soup. This set him up ready for the long wait until lunch was served on the aircraft about 30 minutes after take off. The three course lunch was excellent and washed down by both myself and Captain Clarke with a glass of perfectly acceptable white wine. Time ensued to watch a movie or two before a light tea of sandwich and cake was served. Leaving the aircraft after a 7 hour flight to Dubai and after a short wander around one of the larges airport shopping malls in the world, a transfer to the lounge in Dubai was made where Captain Clarke enjoyed a rather good (he said) chicken curry and both Captain Clarke and myself enjoyed a couple of relatively large whiskeys served by a very friendly waiter.
Joining the flight from Dubai to Delhi, we did have to wait a little longer for a meal. A breakfast of ‘Lamb Keema Omlette’ (Lamb Keema is a minced lamb dish that is usually flavoured fairly heavily with coriander), accompanied by a potato curry and a pea and potato cake – we were definitely on the Indian leg of our journey! The flight from Dubai to Delhi is only two and a half hours which just gave time to watch a movie and eat breakfast before arriving into Delhi. The queue for immigration was only about 5 minutes and exactly 15 hours after leaving home on Sunday morning we were met by our booked transfer to our hotel. The car, a Toyota Innova, is the same car that is used by pretty much every transport company in India and was a very familiar sight!
The only downside of the entire trip is that it is now 5:45 in London and 11:25 in Delhi and we haven’t slept at all. The A380 is a superb aircraft and, despite being in Economy, the seats were roomy and comfortable and, rather confusingly, we were in the second row of the lower deck, so right at the front! The flight was pretty good, although the air had developed a few lumps and bumps, it was generally very smooth. The aircraft is so quiet that on the Boeing 777 from Dubai to Delhi the place sounded noisy (which it isn’t, being one of the quietest planes made by Boeing). If I were to be very picky, my only criticism of the Emerates service is that the WiFi stinks! It is so slow that it was impossible to upload a photo (small) to a Blog and it regularly just fell away. In comparison to other airlines that now offer Internet access, the Emerates WiFi was not good. There is no difference between that offered to Business Class and that offered to Economy, so we wouldn’t have benefited by being in Business Class either.
So, Captain Clarke and I will be here for just a week. I shall be speaking at a conference on Wednesday (on a topic yet to be decided but definitely relating to data in some way!) but otherwise we are going to enjoy getting under the skin of Delhi! There is another conference taking place on Tuesday that I have also been asked to get involved with but we are going to do our best to avoid it! And so, there we are. Rudy has risen once again. You can expect photos and comment from our adventures over the course of the next week before he is put back to slumber for a while.