at the hostel meeting Deats and Julia
The sky was really dark and it just started to rain when I headed over to the airport. Checking in and going through security was pretty painless, and then a long walk to the gate. The terminal 3 is brand new, and had really high ceiling and tall glass windows. There were plenty of comfortable seats at the gate, and even several recliners! I just had to take some photos of them. They were all occupied so I didn't get to try them out.
The news was not good when time for boarding came and went and there were NO airplanes anywhere at any gates nearby. So it turned out that because of the overcast (very heavy cloud and sometime heavy rain and thunder, airplanes were not allowed to come into Beijing
, so we had no airplanes to leave on. I struck up a conversation with a group of Americans going to Xian, so we sorted of passed the time by telling ourselves that it was getting clearer, and some airplanes were landing and taking off by 2 pm, a couple of hours after my scheduled flight. But everytime I checked with the gate agent, they said the airplane hadn't left its city yet! By 3pm I knew I wasn't going to be able to meet Phil and Julia on time for dinner, so I went off to find the business center where I could log on the internet and send a message. The flight eventually took off near 18:30, almost 7 hours late
! The airline finally offered a free box dinner around 5pm, and we got another meal on the flight. The flight to Lanzhou
took about 2 hours, and I was very happy my luggage made it too! Then it was a bus from the airport to the city center for 30RMB. The airport was about 75km away, pretty far! Then I took a taxi to my hotel, and checked in. By now it was almost 10:30pm. I took another taxi to where Deats and Julia were staying, and found them! No dinner of course, but we talked and planned out our excursion tomorrow. And we have tickets on the night train to Jiayuguan