Welcome to the trip report of the second leg of my return journey between Colombo-Delhi-Colombo. You can find the first part right here -> UL195 CMB-DEL 10-Dec-2016 A321.
After thrilling six days in northern part of India, we were ready to head back home.
We used the same method used to reach the city, to go back to the airport.
After a document check by the security, we were let inside the check-in area.
Lot of Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims lined up for check-in. Pilgrimage tours are usually concluded with lot of shopping. You can see it from the amount of luggage here.
As we checked-in online, we stood up in the baggage drop line. Just as we approached our turn, a young gent from the airport staff greeted us and asked how are we doing and our trip details. It soon turned out that he needs a favor from us. The flight is overbooked and he'd be glad if we can stay another night in Delhi at their cost and obviously some other compensation as well. We could have taken the offer but we were too tired and wanted to reach home as soon as possible, so had to reject his proposal.
Check-in was done by a friendly lady and it was quick. But the next stop was not so. The immigration had long queues and the officers were not in a hurry. It took more than 45 mins to clear immigration and security.
Into the duty free area. With more than one and half hours remaining for our boarding time, we spent some time here before leaving for the departure pier.
My boarding pass, after being stamped by both immigration and security.
Gate No. 10… a long walk!
The sun sets in a hazy Delhi evening.
A replica of Qutb Minar, an ancient monument in Delhi blended with Christmas deco.
On to the departure pier…
The elegant sculpture of "Surya", the sun god located just at the entrance of the pier.
The biggies of Jet Airways and Saudia.
Our flight has just landed and taxiing to the gate.
Not there yet…!
View towards the less used Terminal 2.
Few more steps…
Finally, we are there. But we still have plenty of time to kill.
So I decided to walk further to get a snap of our flight's tail. It's 4R-ABQ the other original (non ex-MJ) A321 of UL.
Air India Express jet arrived to a gate on the otherside. I like their unique tail designs.
Boarding commenced about 30 mins prior to departure time in an orderly fashion.
While walking through the jetbridge…
J class seat.
I settled to my seat, unsurprisingly my neighbours were two pilgrims heading back home.
Departure time passed, but still there is no sign of moving. Then the captain came in PA and announced we are almost ready and waiting for few late passengers.
Meanwhile crew distributed headphones and menus.
At last… It's 6.55pm and we started pushing back with the safety video being played.
Nepal Airlines 757 as RA218 to Kathmandu.
Cabin lights dimmed and we are taxiing…
We have to wait till our turn with many landings and take -offs are taking place.
SV765 to Riyadh waiting for its turn ahead us.
It was 7.20pm when we started our take off, 45 mins behind the schedule.
Bye bye Delhi… see you again someday!!!
As we leveled off, crew started the meal service.
It was much similar to the onward flights. Choices of beer, wine and juices. I opted for a Carlsberg.
and chose the mutton option for the mains.
UL cutlery! One of the best things about them!!
Salad and dessert. Both were disappointing. The salad consisted of too many pieces of bell pepper which I don't like the taste and the papaya in the dessert was rock solid and tasteless.
The main was great. The mutton was moist and spicy.
Bored without moving map, turned on "Slumdog Millionaire".
Oh look! A train!! I simply cannot get enough of them, just like aeroplanes :)
It was just three days after the full moon…
Leaving Indian skies over Chennai coast.
The calm cabin interior.
At least I know which program they have installed!
Announcements were made as we entered Sri Lankan airspace and we are ready to land soon.
Approaching CMB from the lagoon side (Runway 4).
Flying over the lagoon…
It was 10.25pm and we were only 15 mins behind the schedule.
Deboarding… the exit row (row 8). The row 7 is windowless.
As usual an EK 777 is parked, behind it is a Thomson Airways charter 787. Charter flights are common at CMB during the European winter.
The short walk to the immigration…
Dang! This is the one of the major weak points in CMB… long long immigration queues. Luckily few more counters opened up and crowd started moving quickly.
10 mins in the queue and we are land side. We did the customary duty free shopping and luggage was still on the way when we reached the belt. It was bit chaotic as bags from CAN flight were loaded to the same belt.
So that concludes my trip report and hope you enjoyed. Below are some bonus pics that we took during our trip to Himachal Pradesh.
Bonus : Click here to displayhide
Boarding New-Delhi - Kalka Shatabdi #12005 at New Delhi Railway Station. "Shatabdi" is the day time superfast intercity service of Indian Railways.
AC Chair Car Class of the Shatabdi Express. There is one class above this called the "Executive Class" with 2-2 seating and personal TV screen.
Complementary Tea service with Snacks.
Kalka Railway Station. Starting point of Kalka-Shimla mountain railways which is preserved as a UNESCO heritage site.
The early morning "Shivalik Deluxe" express train to Shimla.
Coach interior of Shivalik Deluxe. Interestingly these seats are adjustable in away that you can choose the way you face (forward or backward).
The famous Barog tunnel.
The arch gallery bridge near Kanoh.
Beautiful little stations with colonial architecture still intact.
Shimla Railway Station… 6810 ft above mean sea level.
The funny looking rail motor resting on the turntable.
Solang Valley in Manali, some 270km northwards from Shimla.
New Delhi - DEL
Colombo - CMB
A nice flight with UL, pretty much similar to the onward one. Overall it was pleasant.
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