Well, this is the boring and depressing part of the holiday. We got up at 7.00am and found ourselves right back where we started, in Abu Dhabi. Out on the balcony we watched the red sun climbing in the sky, heralding the new day.
We collected our bags, had a last look around cabin 6098 to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything, then made our way to the crowded Ocean View buffet where we enjoyed a good breakfast. Then we went out to the pool deck in the sunshine, to await the call for disembarkation.
Down the gangplank we went, then made our way to the rows of waiting coaches. Then it was another 90 minutes back to the airport at Dubai, where we left the coach and seemed to have to walk for miles until we found the Emirates desk in this massive airport. As ever, it was the inevitable zig-zagging queue, but eventually we were able to check in for our A380 Airbus flight EK19, where we asked for an aisle seat.
Once we’d rid ourselves of our bags, it was a case of going through security then along to the executive lounge, where we enjoyed some snacks and drinks and made the most of the free wi-fi. We then noticed on the departures board that our flight was ready for boarding, so off we went to the gate, where we were able to join the quick-moving queue and board straight away.
On the aircraft, a pleasant surprise awaited us. We had been given the seats next to the emergency exit, so it meant there were no seats at all in front of us and loads of room instead. Instead of the tray table and AVOD screen that you usually find in the back of the seat in front of you, our tray table came out of our arm rest, and the screen swivelled up from the gap between the seats. It was great! 🙂
We were also right next to the galley, so we wouldn’t have far to go if we wanted anything to drink. Also, if we needed to go to the loo or just get up to stretch our legs, we could just do so; there was no squeezing past the person next to us.
The giant aircraft took to the skies on time, and shortly afterwards the stewardesses came round with some pre-dinner drinks. I then looked through the selection of available films and other entertainment, and decided to watch Victoria & Abdul, starring the inimitable Dame Judi Dench. It was excellent, and I enjoyed a delicious meal of lamb stew and vegetables washed down with white wine.
Afterwards I watched another film; this time an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Crooked House. That too was very good and it whiled away the hours on the long-haul flight.
The time passed in its usual way during what was a fairly smooth flight, as we watched the aircraft’s progress on the Sky Map. We were served another meal, this time English “afternoon tea” consisting of finger sandwiches and warm scones with jam and Rodda’s clotted cream. I washed it down with another glass of wine. 🙂
Finally we saw that flight EK19 was crossing the North Sea so we knew we weren’t far from home. We touched down in Manchester Airport around 18:50 hours, where we were advised that the outside temperature was a chilly 3ºC. Then it was just the usual rigmarole; disembark the aircraft, go through security, collect our cases, then wait for the shuttle bus to take us to the long-term car park.
Then it was back in the car and on the road for home. We arrived back in our house at 22:50 hours, whereupon I went straight to bed. Another superb holiday, marred only slightly by my cold/cough, was over.