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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

JL5064 - Rome to Tokyo Narita

Getting a driver to take the airport was a wise decision. No having to drag our bags to the taxi rank and then waiting for a taxi to arrive and take us to the station. No fiddle with loading bags and and off trains or the hike up and down escalators from the station to the airport terminal.

Instead it was painless, picked up at our door we are deposited at the terminal proper and in surprisingly quick time, around 30 minutes.

We're on a JAL flight that is run by Alitalia which is a little confusing when it comes to working out exactly where we should be checking-in. Alitalia directs us to JAL and fortunately we're served virtually immediately, much to the dismay of the massing cattle classes.

We wave our bags off and it's time to go through all the exit procedures. Paalo and I separate when it comes to going through immigration as he has an EU passport and I don't. It's a mercifully short queue to get through with not a word spoken by the immigration officer.

From here it's the final scan of the carry-on and finally we can head to the lounge.

lounge

Fairly basic but at least there were cold and hot drinks to have and comfy sofas to sit on while we waited.

We decided not to wait for the boarding call in the lounge as a large tour group arrived but left when we saw that the flight was indeed boarding. This was a good decision as when it came to scan our boading passes there seemed to be a problem. We had to show our e-ticket and after some click clacking on the computer it seems we were being held up because JAL hadn't given us a number, whatever that meant. A phone call later and we could continue and finally board.

legroom

As it happens, we're in exactly the same seats! For a while it looked like business would be virtually empty, that was until that same large Japanese tour group arrived and took all the seats. The tour guide isn't as lucky she's sent off to economy.

We take off, about 45 minutes late - the emotions are mixed. It's really good to be finally heading home but I can't help but be sad to be leaving.

mountains

With mixed emotions I watch Italy slip away from me

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italian coastline

All too soon we reach the edge, the city of Ancona below us on the coastline. It's about this time as we are heading over Croatia that the dinner service begins

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view

Prosecco with salted nuts to tide us over.

nuts

Our first course is silver served - two pasta dishes are on offer, crespelle (crepe like filled with a mix of ricotta and silverbeet) and pasta with a simple tomato based sauce. A lovely hunk of buffalo mozzarella sits atop the crespelle.

pasta

For mains there is a choice between beef stracotto and salmon - we both order the beef. It is served with grilled polenta and sauteed porcini.

beef"

Next up is a cheese course

cheese

and fresh fruit

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There are lots of different fruits available but we both opt for the strawberries.

For dessert there's a selection of little cakes

cakes


cake

After this, it's pretty much time to try to get some sleep. Suprisingly I seem to succeed and get about 3 or 4 hours solid sleep, my Sigur Rós sleeping pill does work wonderfully well.

After I wake, I speed a little time fitfully dozing until I finally give up.

Through my window I get to watch sunrise

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somewhere over Vladivostok

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the colour on the edge is from the sunrise

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ice crystals on the window

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The cabin lights come on for breakfast - we're less than 2 hours away now

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Fruit Salad, Danish, Blood Orange Juice

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Breakfast is also sliver served - scrambled eggs, mushrooms, bacon and tomato

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and a slice of cake to finish off with our coffee

We may have left 45 minutes late but all that time and more have been made up as we land about 20 minutes early. Unfortunately we spend another 40 minutes on the tarmac as we find a place to dock.

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