Three Mornings, Three Airports

“Going to Italy.” Three little words but it actually took me three mornings — three flights heading for three different airports — to do it.

First, I flew from Cebu to Hong Kong. I chose a Hong Kong departure over one from Manila because fares to Europe tend to be much lower from HK. Since my flight from Cebu was at the crack of dawn and my AirFrance flight was not till late at night, I had an entire day to potter about Hong Kong.

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Lines and light at the HK airport

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I was quite excited to finally fly on the upper deck of a plane — I’d once been on a flight where I was seated on the lower deck and there were stairs going up, and I thought then it would be kind of cool to be seated up there someday — but my AirFrance flight had a separate gangway for the upper level so it actually just felt the same, boarding. 😀

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The flight from Hong Kong to Paris was my first time to ride the #A380. I even splurged on seat selection because I wanted to make sure I was on the upper level: I'd never tried it before and I knew it would be much less crowded (and thus a much more pleasant flying experience) up there. Also I wanted to make sure I got an aisle seat — always do for long haul. And, oh, my joy at seeing footrests! 😂 #ShortGirlProblems haha! Now a fan of #AirFrance (and any airline that still provides footrests). 🙂 Anyway, it was only when I stepped on board the plane and heard, "Bonsoir, bienvenue" that I *really* started feeling I was flying to Europe. Always feels #surreal.

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I don’t know if there are non-stop flights from Hong Kong to anywhere in Italy. I was flying AirFrance so I had to pass by CDG, where the shortest layover possible for me was 8 hours. I figured if I was going to be in Paris that long, I might as well stay as long as I can and get a “free” side trip out of it.

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Another morning, another airport.

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I made the most of it too. I was able to feed the birds at the Tuileries with a retired schoolteacher, buy a book from a bouquiniste, and dance with strangers in front of the Notre Dame.

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But what I didn’t realize at the time of booking was that, by squeezing in a 15-hour layover to my itinerary, I would be arriving in Rome too late to catch the last train to Termini. I was not about to drop €48 on a taxi, and other options — such as staying in lodgings near Fiumicino airport — were just as impractical. Thus I ended up spending the night at the airport. Not fun but…well, I’ll tell you about it another post. It wasn’t too bad.

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And so “going to Italy” proved to be more than a simple matter of zipping from Cebu to Rome. If it is truly, as they say, the journey and not the destination, then I think I’m in the running to be world champion. 😀 Regardless, it was quite an experience and one I’m not likely to regret or forget.

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