Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Place... Ireland

14th May 2006, The flight from Bangalore to Chennai was at 7:55 pm. The Jet Airways flight was just for 30 min, and the moment we came out of the airport in Chennai, it was as if we were put into an oven.
We quickly managed to enter the departure area for the international flights. The Air France Flight was scheduled to be at 2:45 midnight, we were at the ariport at 9 pm itself. But we didnt want to get out of the airport area, thanks to the heat out even at night.

Finally after making some calls home updating about my status , at 11 pm we started for the boarding formalities. It was indeed a long procedure, the security is much more tighter as compared to my last travel. The line at the immigration was awesomely long. It took us more than 30 min to clear the immigration. At the Customs, I thought that I will declare my camera. But they kind of convinced me not to declare, since I am going to Ireland and NOT to US or singapore. I wasnt really convinced, but then looking at their laziness, though as much to take a chance, as I was not planning to buy anything on the electronic stuff in this trip.

The Lounge area after the checkin formalities was very good. And not at all crowded like Mumbai . We had a tea out there just to fight the sleep. It was not heavily priced also. For an international Airport, I found that the prices were cheaper. The prices in Mumbai Airport are simply ridiculous.

The Boarding was without any problems and we took our respective seats. I had decided to catch up on my sleep once I board. I did manage for the first few hours , but later I really couldnt sleep. I just kept on watching some movies being played , not with the intention. I didnt even out on my ear phones to listen. It was a very long flight, 11 hours .. I cant really say that the flight journey was very good. There were a lot of turbulence, not at all smooth. Also wasnt quite happy with the service. I feel that the service on Air India was much much better.

We finally landed at the Paris Airport. The moment we came out of the flight , I really felt nice. First of all to breath the fresh air, and secondly to feel the nice and chilled air outside. Yes it was quite cold outside, but just right to enjoy rather than to curse.
The Charles De Gaulle Airport is an HUGE airport. I never thought that Airports can be this big. It took us around 20 min to travel by bus from the aircraft to the Terminal. And the Airport is full of buses , like a Bus Station running every min from one Terminal to another. It was an great experience by itself.
We were dropped off at our terminal, and then we had to catch another Bus to go to the other Terminal. That took another 25 min to travel. The other terminal was really beautiful. I really loved it. Neat line of Shops and eateries etc. We exchanged some dollars for Euros and bought a calling card to call up home. The calling card was indeed expensive, but then at such times, cannot really calculate the worth of the phone calls. We roamed around in the Airport. I was a bit hesitant to take pictures out there, as normally they are prohibited at the airports. So simply enjoyed with my eyes only. Nothing recorded.

Finally went to the board the flight. It was a small aircraft. and withing two hours we landed at the Dublin Airport in Ireland. It looked like a small airport. The immigration took some time. He asked me all sorts of questions. Here in ireland they are quite particular of outsourcing the jobs. So we had to tell them convincingly that we have only come for training and we will be going back after a month or so. They even checked our return tickets to confirm the same. Didnt really have problems as such. But yes,it did take some time.

Finally after collecting our luggage , we checked out the timings of the next flight for Galway. We had landed Dublin at 2:30 local time and the flight to galway was at 6:30 pm. WHich means we had to wait at the airport for 4 hours doing nothing. We were quite tired of travelling and wanted to reach the destination as soon as possible.

We check for alternate means of travel. Found that there are trains and buses. Buses start from the airport itself and run every hour. The cost also was very less, 19 Euros, compared to 90 Euros by flight. The journey by bus would cost us three hours , but then we would reach galway, even before the flight would start. We wanted to reach earlier, not just faster. We were told that a cab would come to pick us at the airport. Hence called my friends in office and told them to cancel the same . For some reason it was not communicated, I later realised that upon reaching. We took the bus , which started at 3:15 pm .. The journey by bus was out of the world. It was one of the most scenic travels ever made by me. I wanted to take pictures every momenet. But then I thought, let me enjoy the beauty now, and later some time let the camera do its work. All the scenes on the way reminded me of the various hindi movies.. It was really really beautiful . The cities on the way didnt have a modern look. All the cities and town had the typical olden type buildings and shops. It reminded me of Goa, like the shops we have back there, especially the Portuguese ones.

I will take the pictures and post them soon.
Once we reached, we took a cab and went to the apartment. Our friends were waiting out there for us. They cooked for me a nice dinner , and had a long chat. Updating them with the events in Bangalore.

Next day I woke up at 7 am and normal routine started..