So, after an awesome week in this awesome little land, it was time to go back to Colombia. Since my route took me through Madrid, where one of my best friends lived, I changed my ticket to spend a couple of days over there.
The day of travel I was in the middle of the island, in Kandy. So my trip actually began by riding a train.
I had planned my trip to have enough time to make up for train delays or any other messup. I made it just in time to Colombo's train station with enough time to go to the airport (which is about 1 hour away)… of course I had to haggle with the cab driver, who ended up receiving a nice payment in USD instead of Rupees; desperate times call for desperate measures.
At bandaranaike International airport
Like its neighbour to the NE, Sri Lanka takes airport security seriously. Check-in was more or less speedy and the kind lady gave me window seats both to Abu Dhabi and Madrid.
Bandaranaike is basically a glorified bus station, not the best spot for spotting, food and shopping alternatives are scarce…and it was well, undewhelming. This is where I sorely hated myself for losing my Priority Pass card.
Because I left everything for last minute I was at the mercy of the shops available at the airport, and that is where I spent my last ruppees buying tea and other gifts for people back home. Having done that I had a dreadful wait until we were allowed into the gate area.
We were then bussed to the A321 for tonight's hop across the Indian Ocean to Arabia.
2016 had been an EY-intensive year for me. I had ridden on their A346, B77W and A332 before…the product was solid. Now it was time to try their narrowbody product. I didn't know well what I was up to.
Turns out it was a great cabin for a narrowbody…consistent with the comfortable interiors in the bigger planes. The only thing amiss were blankets, odd thing for a night flight.
Once people stopped boarding, the crew (mainly from Eastern Europe) passed around handing blankets for those who wanted (basically everyone..duh) and menus for tonight's flight
Enroute to abu dhabi
I was battered from my trip around SL. I basically rode 15h of trains, busses, tuk tuk, minivan in a three day period. It was intense.
I slept most of the flight until food was handed. I went for Pasta, as I wanted something western for a change. It was consistently good, as was the case with all of my EY flights. Maybe too much pasta having a pasta salad for entree and then more pasta for mains…go figure
arrival to Abu Dhabi
So…after a sleepy and uneventful 4 hours we made it to Abu Dhabi… we parked on a remote gate. This was a thrill as we passed between the massive long haulers Etihad used to operate back then, including the A380.
We were dropped at the terminal where most of my fellow travelers went to the transit lane.
Bonus : Click here display hide
There are many cool things to see and do in Sri Lanka. I didn't expect much from it (I just went there for a conference where I would be a speaker). Figuring I wouldn't be able to get this far from home soon, I chose to go to Sigiriya, where a famous Duran Duran video was shot (which turns out to be one of my favourite songs). But SL is way more than Sigiriya, people are lovely and views and places are quite unique.
I look forward to go back, in a more chill and less hectic trip.
Colombo - CMB
Abu Dhabi - AUH
This was a consistently solid flight by Etihad, it did the job quite well for a night flight. The crew was a bit on the bitter side, but were efficient at their job.
Sri Lanka's sole international airport doesn't do justice to the country. It is, by today's standards, a dump.
Arrival to Abu Dhabi, being bussed is a bit underwhelming, but it compensates with the cool close views to the widebodies, transit will be addressed on my next FR.
Thanks for passing by, saludos!
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