Leaving for Hong Kong at break of dawn
Doha Travel Blog› entry 3 of 19 › view all entries
The alarm on my iPhone started to sound with the horrible robot noice that I used as my standard alarm. I could hardly believe it, when I heard it, but it was already 5 am and time to get up. It had been a bit hard to force myself to sleep early the day before in order to get in to the right rhythm, but now I felt that I was getting up in the middle of the night and it sure was. I took a refreshing shower and I was down at the reception area a quarter to six. I was quite anxious to see what result that came out of my phone call regarding the taxi to the airport the day before.
When I came down to the reception I was number 3 in line; there was a German guy on his way home to Germany and an American guy getting towards his home in Washington DC via a snowstorm in Chicago, which he didn't look forward to.
The ride to the airport was short and my two fellow travellers were let off at the First Class Departure Center, while I in my more modest economy class continued to the basic departure area. I had already received my boarding pass in Copenhagen the day before. Wile I was heading for the security check I observed on the departure board that my plane was delayed from 7.40 am to 8.50 am; it was really nice to know that I could have slept one hour more. The airport was not that busy; there were some people leaving from Doha but the majority were transit travellers as I found out later when I had entered.
The security control was pretty fast and also not very thorough, but I guess that they do a good enough job, it there are just a lot of other places that overdo the security work because they see it as their mission in life to harass travellers. I really hate when I am asked to take off my shoes and belt; like that should make a huge difference.
Having passed the security area I stepped straight into the bazaar or at least it felt so. Given the fact that we quickly were approaching the Chinese New Year made the chocolate and cake selling one of the most attractive feature in the airport for loads of people. I had never seen a crowd go bonkers like that before, people were shopping sweets like it would sold out. I passed the chocolate area in nice stile and I was not being intimidated by any of the offers that I passed; well I managed to walk by.
In general I found the Doha International Airport really boring and especially the resting area as well. The chairs and sofa's were nice to sit in but there were not any nice places or area where you could spend your time. The airport had loads of people because the airport is such a huge hub but there is not much to do there other than to sit and wait. I found the prices in the tax free area pretty expensive and far from what I had expected; especially on technology products. The airport is so large that you have to be transported in busses to your plane, which also make the boarding procedures pretty long, and with an airport like this, you might as well wait in the plane rather than in an boarding area.
Around one hour before my departure I went down to my gate and joined the rest of the crowd going to Hong Kong. I could see that I was almost the only one that didn't have tons of food with me in the waiting area, but I was not so hungry as it was still really early in the morning in my system. At the time of the boarding they changed the gate but it was just to the neighbouring one so there was not any panic amongst my fellow travellers. In the waiting area for the buss I could see that we would be few people in the plane, which really suited me good. After the buss ride to the end of the runway, we were brought to a plane that ended up being less than half full; it was pure pleasure. I was sitting on a window seat with nobody beside me and I was therefore quite happy when we left the runway heading for Hong Kong.