Our day started early because we were in Stratford upon Avon for a play at the RSC the night before my flight to Dubai. So… the alarm went off at 4am but I had already just woken up… as you do…. The hotel very kindly filled a flask of coffee for us and the chef had left a massive pile of sandwiches for us. It took about 1 hour 40 mins to get to Terminal 4 at that hour of the morning. The M40/M25 was busy but not as busy as it would be later.
Bob dropped me at the terminal door and off I went. It is odd to be travelling without him although I did it for decades when I was working. There was quite a queue at the Gulf Air desks. I – and everyone else – had been unable to check in the day before because the flight was full and they disable online check in under those circumstances. All the easier to bump you I suppose. It felt like a flight to Delhi. 99% of the travellers were Indians. I’d chosen Gulf Air because they were a lot cheaper than flying direct with Emirates and the journey was only just over an hour longer. Their reputation is pretty good and the planes are new.
Boarding was efficient, the plane a 1 year old Dreamliner. We left bang on time at 0930. Unsurprisingly, I was pretty tired and fell asleep for a lot of the time. Bob had lent m at his precious Bose noise cancelling headphones and they cocooned me nicely. The meal turned up about 4 hours into the flight and it was probably the nicest economy meal I’ve had in years. There were 3 choices of main, and one of them was fish which was my choice. A massive white fish steak in a creamy sauce. Delicious. The odd thing about the service was that they’d come around with a drinks trolley just after take off – it was early so I just had water and then they disappeared until the dinner service, not answering call buttons. When the dinner came no drink was offered and there wasn’t even a plastic cup of water on the tray. In the end, long after dinner was served, I was so desperate for some water, I managed to grab an attendant and got some. Normally, they are forcing water down you. I was trapped in a middle seat so I couldnt easily go in search. Lesson learned: carry your own or get multiple drinks at the beginning!!!
There was about 90 minutes connection in Bahrain but when I came up the ramp from the plane, my flight to Dubai was flashing “last call”, so I had to really leg it to the gate. Which of course was about as far from my landing gate as possible. When I got there, it was straight on to the bus, and off to the plane. Phew. The flight from Bahrain to Dubai was barely 50 minutes but Gulf Air managed to serve us a choice of sandwiches and a drink. Yes. Plenty of water this time. Overall verdict: I would fly Gulf Air again especially if the price differential was a great as it was this time.
I was through immigration and baggage claim in about 30 minutes from landing which was fantastic and Lucy was there to meet me when I came out. So lovely to see her. It was a short walk to the parking lot and her new car. It’s massive!! I needed a step up to get in. We drove about 30 minutes to the Dubai Marina area where her flat is. Dubai is lovely at night, all lit up. Super glamorous at night. It was about 24C.
She lives in a development on the marina of 4 towers surrounding communal docks and grounds. Am definitely planning a quiet day at her pool tomorrow. It was all very secure. Lovely to see her apartment for real after just photos and video. It’s amazing, with stupendous views. It would be mult million pounds for the space and the location in London. Fantastic.