Manchester Travel Blog

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The flight to Manchester was uneventful. 55 minutes and we were there. Our baggage came off really quickly and we walked to the international terminal (after opening the cases to put the books we'd bought away because the plastic bag was about to snap!) and tried to check in. But because it was 3pm, and our flight didn't leave until 9pm, check-in didn't open until just before 6pm! Manchester Airport Terminal 3 is a barren place - check in desks and a car park, that's it! So we lugged the cases (thankfully they're on wheels) to one of the airport hotels (Beweley's) and strung a sandwich and drinks out for 3 hours! The bar staff obviously knew what we were up to but it must happen all the time. Mark dozed off and I finished my list of must-do things in Bangkok - I'd decided this was the way forward - a list, with page and map references in the Lonely Planet (Mark bought the 2006 edition though - durgh. So what was the World Trade Centre mall and now isn't is still listed as such - hence me spending 30 minutes poring over it trying to find it by it's new name!

We were a bit cheeky and used the hotel shuttle bus back to the terminal! They offered it to us so we weren't going to say no :o)

There was already a long queue of about 50 people for check in - drat. We'd hoped being there ahead of time we might get emergency exit seats, even though we'd checked in online from home the night before. This was the first time we'd done this so weren't entirely sure how it would work, but as the web check-in baggage drop lane eventually opened we were second in that line, but there was a problem with the baggage tag printer, so people in the standard queue who'd been behind us were about to be served before us. Mark is a born complainer, and mentioned this to the check in supervisor, who let us through the flexi-barrier to the normal check in and lo and behold! We got bulkhead seats, which aren't as much leg room as emergency exit, but better the normal cattle class! Yaay.

The shopping area in departures at Manchester was under renovation when we were there, and it looked grim. But on the plus side, I managed to get a copy of Wicked by Gregory McGuire. I've been listening to the soundtrack a lot recently and wanted to get the story - I tried book shops at Edinburgh and elsewhere in Manchester before finding it in Waterstone's in departures - yaay! A big green book to keep me amused. So the urgh is for 6 hours waiting, bored, doing nothing worthwhile. It's for the horrible departure area. And it's for the ignorant groups of young men and women fulfiling English stereotypes of young Brits on holiday. Hoardes of young men, headed for Ibiza, Magaluf, Kos, Lanzarote, Tenerife (Tanerife as a t-shirt proclaimed) - all in matching t-shirts with pretty vulgar slogans on the back. I'm not a prude (by any means) but there's no need for profanities (I'm talking f&^$ and S*$t and c*$k) on t-shirts at airports with lots of kids. I also didn't want to know what the Bolton Boys on Tour to Magaluf intended to do to any young ladies showing them any attention...

We had a long wait - we'd already been in the hotel for 3 hours, and spent most of that time eating and drinking, a theme which continued in the departure lunge. We got sandwiches and munchies and I started my book.

9pm rolled around but we weren't on the plane - we'd been hit with a 30 minute delay, so boarding started just after 9, and we took off around quarter to 10 for the 7 hour flight to Abu Dhabi, which wasn't going to be smooth - something we could tell from the start...

All will be revealed.

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photo by: klaaRA