We're a bit cranky with Qantas. They were a bit officious about having the blinds down so that people could sleep this morning. So we missed most of Europe. I said to one of them "how long do we keep the blinds down" and she said "until we tell you. You should sleep so you have your body clock in the right time zone" I said "I think we had enough of that in the last 14 hours" Most people slept most of the way on that leg. But no. They were useless - the new crew who joined at Dubai. Mealtimes were a debacle, but that didnt seem to matter which crew it was. We got ours way early, but sometimes the others around us were still waiting 30-45mins later. We had 2 pastas and some curry looking thing which we didnt eat. The salad on the two occasions we got it was just lettuce or spinach leaves with dressing - not even a tomato in sight. Breakfast this morning (which was nice), the useless crew hadnt even started serving to the rest of the plane 80 minutes before we landed, and we'd hardly seen the 10 of them during the other 7 hours. The crew from Sydney were much better, they were slow with meals too, but every seat was full so they'd have had their work cut out to begin with. For a customer facing role, most of them had no interaction with their passengers that I saw. (rant over - until I send them feedback directly)
Dubai was a welcome break, we got a cold drink at McDonalds and then had rush to get to the gate because the gate opened an hour before the flight and close 20 minutes before...and they wont let you on after that. Lots of people almost got caught out. It is a monster airport, we didnt have time to wander around much, but it was good to stretch our legs. When we landed there, it was so smooth you didnt even notice. It was like driving on the road then onto the footpath. No jolt like Wellington. It was warm there and the middle of the night.
Getting through immigration was pretty quick. Actually a lot quicker than I thought - and getting out of Auckland too, now that we have new passports. The most stressful bit was steering the luggage trolley and getting to the train....then getting to the taxi rank at Paddington once we were off. Train cost 21GBP each. Taxi cost 45GBP and took about 45 mins - we'll have to remember that on Monday - our train to Bristol goes from there, so at least we sort of know where we will be going.
We are about a 2 minute walk from Canning Town station and there are buses from there as well as the Docklands Light Rail and tube. The HOHO (Hop On, Hop Off) buses have extended the red route and it now comes out this far ! There is a stop at the skyway (gondola thing over the river), the Thames Barrier Park and somewhere else. The first two are about a 5-10 minute walk from here, so we might fit that in to our day tomorrow and get back here easier.
When we got here and the room wasnt ready so we put our bags in their lock up, then thought we'd get a cold drink and have a sit down for a while...and then the room was ready. We had shpowers and thought about going out, but decided to have a couple of hours sleep first. Felt much better when we woke up, so went for a walk down to the skywalk & rail station. Got some nibbles at Tesco and came back here...and changed rooms. The sofa bed wasnt made up in the first room and they had no staff left to fix that, so moved us. A pity really as I think the first room was better. Oh well. Then we went and got pizza from the fancy restaurant next door, which also does takeaways - and isnt too pricey. They were monstrous, but I said we might be hungrier than we thought, and we did both manage to finish them.
The rain is here. It was quite warm when we arrived (didnt see weather to know how hot) but had cooled off when we went for a walk, and even more when we went for pizza. There were even raindrops when we walked back with the food...and then we heard Wimbledon had stopped play, and there is rain on the windows here.
We're about to fall into bed again and hopefully wake up in the right zone. The plan is to catch the DLR into London and go to the Tower, it stops near there, then either wander around or save our feet and get on the HOHO buses. Hope the rain isnt too persistent.