Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Europe Trip (1): From Singapore to Paris via Dubai

Apologise for not updating this blog (and my other blogs as well) for quite some time. Inka and Irza have just came back from their mid-year holiday in Paris and surrounding regions, together with their father (that’s me), their mother and their grandmother (that’s my mother).

0100 - At Changi airport, Singapore We initially wanted to take the Singapore Airlines’ direct flight to Paris, especially since the return flight would be using the new Airbus A380 plane and the price was also quite cheap at that time. Unfortunately, it took quite some time for our Schengen visa to be approved, so by the time the visa is approved, the price has went up considerably and we had to find another option. We didn’t want to buy/issue the tickets first before our visa was approved. Luckily Emirates started to launch their promotions, and they offered the Singapore-Paris ticket (return trip, via Dubai) for only S$785 (adult) and S$618 (child), inclusive of all the surcharges and taxes. We immediately bought the tickets without hesitation.

We left Singapore on Sunday, 31 May 2009, in the morning. At Changi airport, we met Han Yu, Irza’s school-mate who happened to be our neighbour on the same block, and his family, who were going for holiday in Hong Kong. Emirates services are great, almost comparable to Singapore Airlines’ services. There’s TV set on every seat, with on-demand movies, TV, radio, and most importantly, games to keep the kids occupied.

0125 - Terminal 3, dedicated for Emirates flights We arrived at Dubai International Airport in the afternoon, and we disembarked into Terminal 3, a new terminal built and used exclusively for Emirates. Since we needed to change planes, we had to go through security checks before going to the departure/transit area. The queue during the security checks was quite long. Our boarding pass for the Dubai-Paris leg had been issued while checking-in in Singapore, so we didn’t have to go through the transit check-in counters and proceeded directly to the departure gate.

1010 - Welcome to France We arrived at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport in Paris, France, at around 8pm local time. We expected that it would already be dark while we reached Paris, but to our surprise, the sun was still shining at 8pm in Paris during summer. That day was the longest day we’ve experienced, since Paris is 6 hours behind Singapore time at that time. We enjoyed sunshine for about 20.5 hours, from 7am Singapore time until around 9:30pm Paris time (or 4:30am Singapore time, the next day).

1030 - In front of Terminal 2C, CDG airport, Paris The Emirates flight arrived at Terminal 2C of the airport. The terminal itself is quite small, but it’s actually part of a larger Terminal 2, which consists of Terminal 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F and a separated 2G. Going through immigration is a breeze, we didn’t have to fill in any immigration forms. The immigration officer just checked our Schengen visa, and stamp the passports. No questions asked. :)  After passing through customs, we were greeted by my cousin, a Kide, who was our host in Paris during the 2-week holiday. He drove us to his residence in Ch√Ętenay-Malabry, a nice and quiet neighbourhood south of Paris. At his residence, a Kide and mbak Enik hosted a very nice dinner for us.

More pictures can be found here.

(To be continued)