Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our flight to Tokyo

We left London early on a Wednesday morning from Heathrow Airport. It was an interesting drive to the  airport with an Iraqi taxi driver. I think I learnt more about Iraq in that drive than I had ever learned before. One thing I learned was that most Islamic terrorists are Sunni and not Shiite. Anyway, we got to the airport safely which is the main thing, I guess! 

Our flight from London to Frankfurt was delayed for some unknown reason. This was going to cause a problem! We had a short flight to Frankfurt where we were to change planes to then fly to Tokyo. It was a short flight to Frankfurt but the distance from where our plane came in (not to a terminal but to a waiting bus on the tarmac) to where our connecting flight was leaving from was far from short! From where the bus dropped us off we had a long long walk and it seemed like not enough time to get to our connecting flight. 

Poor Josie! She was really struggling to walk fast enough! Miriam and I went ahead while Margot helped Josie along. Miriam is very punctual, to the point of being paranoid about missing anything - a bus or plane or train. I even I was having trouble in keeping up with her. While she was ahead of me, a lady driving a cart, that would have looked good on a golf course, came and asked where we were going and if she could help. What a relief, especially for Josie, to not have to walk the whole distance and to hopefully get to the departure lounge in time.

So we all piled on to the "golf cart" and scooted along the corridors of the airport towards our departure lounge. But we could only go so far in the cart before we had to go down a level to get to the lounge. So off we went racing along on foot again. By the time we went through security, I thought Margot and Josie had got lost as I couldn't see them, but we did all manage to meet up in the departure lounge, but not terribly long before we all had to start boarding. If it had not been for the lady in the cart, we would not have made it in time.

This was to be our first and only flight for our entire trip on an Airbus A380. What a plane! Huge, quiet, smooth, well equipped - everything you need for a long flight to Japan! (well in cattle class anyway, which was pretty good I guess, but business class would have been nice, but out of our price range a little!)

Left is one of the grand kids, being held by his mother, Marissa (Uichi's daughter), Kuni (partly obscured) and Uichi's daughter-in-law Midori. Uichi is second from the right.
We arrived in Japan early in the morning. Our good friend, Uichi, was there to meet us. It took us quite a long time to get through immigration and customs, but there he was waiting for us to drive us across Tokyo to his home.

Tokyo, by many measures, is the world's largest city. Driving across it to the Kamota family home was quite an eye opener. We stopped at one government building on the way which has a viewing floor on about the 50th level, with 360 degree views of the city. Quite spectacular. I think I have a few photos I can insert here.
This is the building we went to the top of. HUGE!
The view was pretty much the same in any direction.
So, we spent the next several days in Tokyo. More to write, in another post! More to come on the Kamota family, the public transport, the food and of course Disneyland.

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