We landed! Yay! Having never been to Asia before, this was quite exciting. On the plane the flight attendants passed out little cards that said we were entitled to use these in the “Fast Pass” lane. Well, we shall see how that worked out! I looked out the window of the plane and saw a Emirates 777 and an Etihad 777 outside the window. The Emirates plane still had a few passengers leaving the plane. Great, we would now be behind 300 plus people from that plane. Whey they didn’t have the planes a little more spaced out, is something I couldn’t understand. However, maybe they only wanted the immigration people worlking certain hours. Also it would probably make it easier for all the resort operators as most of the resorts here are a boat or plane ride away.
Once we got off the plane we were off to join the mad dash to be first into the terminal. At least I tried to, but as Steve has custody of the passports, as I have a tendency to misplace important papers I dropped back to wait for him. I tend to have two speeds, lickety split or slow because i am exhausted. We entered the arrivals area and saw many people head to the left wall and fill out some papers. Usually when we have entered countries the flight attendants have given us the forms on the plane and we would prepare them then. That wasn’t the case here. After figuring out that we each needed a form we filled them out and joined the Fast Pass lane, which of course wasn’t as there was only one person manning it. All the other lanes had three officers for each lane, examining papers. We dutifully stayed where we were (Steve gave me his glaring-Stay where you are, we will get through soon enough). I’m not sure what was going on with our officer as he was slow as molasses until we got to us and then only spent a few seconds looking at our papers, but we were good to go. We picked up our bags and headed out to find the Gili Lankanfushi representative that would take us to the resort. It was easy to find him, he had a nice clear sign.
I spied a Pharmacy in the terminal and told Steve to get my pcicture, I was going to count this as a grocery store as it did carry some things to eat. We would be staying at resorts the whole time and not going to any towns. So I made an executive decision that this would count as a grocery store. You do recall that part of the deal of our travels is that Steve fishes almost every where and I go to a grocery store. I also insist that we stay in luxury properties!Once outside the security area, it was a bit of a madhouse, people everywhere. There were kiosks that advertised the different resorts and hotels. Quite the madhouse. To get past immigration you have to show that you either have prepaid reservations, or funds to last the length of your stay.
This picture really doesn’t show how chaotic it seemed.
Velana Airport is the name of the game. On your right side you have the airport, and on the left was the line up of boats to take you to some of the resorts. Here are a few of the different craft.
This boat had a Venetian theme to it! It reminded me of all the water taxis in Venice.
We quickly got in our boat “Gili Goes Quickly”, as we were the only arriving guests on our flight that were going to stay at Gili Lankanfushi. This also entitiled us to the best spot on the boat! We were instructed to remove our shoes, as the theme of most of the resorts in the Maldives is “No shoes, No news”. We were given a spritz on our feet that was supposed to be a relaxer-I think it was really a disinfectant, cootie killer. We also got a nice drink, a gingery orange and lime juice drink quite refreshing. Good bye airport, next stop Gili Lankanfushi, our home for the next four nights.