Male Airport, Maldives. January 6, 2018

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!C9A98CBD-7A1B-44B9-A890-2ED20B7F59FDOnce 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.

C7D30079-D5A6-4A1D-84EC-9AC08C9CCD72This picture really doesn’t show how chaotic it seemed.

F3367DA5-B7E0-4651-A55A-3E4AA2F2C763Velana 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.

B6A6E22F-03B6-46E4-9395-1483AB6E84E4This 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.  B02C4D18-5BA2-4605-BFAC-8DFA793AE4B1Good bye airport, next stop Gili Lankanfushi, our home for the next four nights.

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Doha Airport Saturday January 6, 2016

I was really happy that I picked the seats on the right side of the plane as I got a terrific view of Doha.  I got to see some of those famous building, especially the curved one!2504C80E-53CF-493A-A459-9E772615A97DWe departed the plane and loaded a shuttle to the airport.  A family that was flying business class with us was whisked off the plane into private cars, no they weren’t in trouble, they were just VIP’s! After going through security bag check we reached the main terminal.  

2E4F77C4-830F-4B9F-9C97-ABE1CB7EC80BI had heard about this famous animal and asked Steve to take my picture.  Proof that I was at Doha Airport!

C31E3DFA-8CD4-4495-AAB8-148232DC0B0BYes, there were men in the white robes, just not as many as I expected.

There was some kind of car raffle, we passed.  I can’t imagine the tax and duties involved.  DD291ABF-FB55-4843-B4C4-D592FA25E018We didn’t buy anything at the jewelry store.  No time to browse, we were off to find our gate and then locate the famous two story Qatar Business Class Lounge.

7BA1E703-A9E6-40CC-9AED-48EDE2FE410EThe lounge was humongous.  There must have been about six coffee stations, numerous areas to sit, a room to order a light lunch (no charge!), a kids playroom, many chaises to take a nap on, and tons of newspapers to choose from.

E316B3CC-09D8-4247-9468-F0A67A4264AAThere was a beautiful water area, with dancing water jets (only a few seemed to be working!), a buffet upstairs for breakfast, a tremendous bar, cozy areas to sit in, and then a large number of staff to answer any question you might have.

493B2BA3-984C-4A4C-A8B1-59DFFA183908Finally it was time to board again.  This is a view of the front section of business.We were off to the right.  There were four bathrooms, to serve the 35 people in business class.

6DA38627-5EDC-4B6F-95CE-8ADB6EE46A02There was a beautiful vase of fresh roses on the credenza separating the two business class sections.  I touched them to see if they were real, they were!

A4C60AFE-114B-444C-8294-0A95C760852EBreakfast was French toast with carmelized bananas and fruit sauce.  Yummy. The flight from JFK to Doha, had pancakes with blueberry sauce, I am going to try that on the way back.

04AA9ACF-A3CF-4E4A-ABB0-C2FB0FD2A4D7The flight to Male was going to take about four hours.  I can’t seem to load anymore pictures so this is it for this post.

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Flight to Doha, Friday January 5, 2018

EECD62FE-37BE-4634-B95E-013A9BA9D281After leaving the British Airways lounge we made our way to our gate.  It was a madhouse, and we had a long wait to board the plane. We kept hearing announcements that the plane would load. “promptly in 15 minutes”.  The gentleman in the middle of the picture was the road warrior, who was off for a month with only one carry on bag!

513705AE-B4D8-4D29-B83B-D54628AA72F7On our way to our gate, I saw this ahead of me. My darling daughter’s boyfriend loves soccer players, and I was quite excited that it appeared a number of soccer players were praying before they boarded our flight. My husband had a good laugh when I realized that it was a mural!

62970ACC-351B-4B57-BB59-A5384D95B01BSteve was in seat 2K, I was in seat 3K.  We normally like to sit next to each other and hold hands, but I wanted to look out the window, and see if I could take a few pictures.  We have worked it out so that if we don’t sit side by side we hold hands over the head rests.  Qatar has lots of leg room, and lie flat seats which are really great when you have a 12 hour flight ahead of you!  Plus, its only three class, so I don’t feel bad, that I am not paying even more obscene amounts of money. One of these days I’m going to be able to figure out how to use miles and get a seat in the super first class sections and get the Residence or Apartment on the other Middle Eastern carriers.

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JFK had just opened for business again that morning.  There were several people on our flight who had been waiting since Wednesday night to fly out.  They were not happy.  You can see all the snow, that was there.  The gusts were blowing and we heard that the winds were going to pick up even more later in the day.  It looks like a face off between that plane and ours, he was just waiting to get in line behind us.  Manhattan sky line is seen in the distance in the third picture.

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The amenity kits that we were given had the usual stuff in it, eyeshades, socks, ear plugs, etc.  We also were given pajamas.  I took a pack, Steve didn’t.  I am never one to not take free stuff.  I don’t know how many little amenity kits I have at the house, it drives Steve crazy.  I didn’t end up keeping the pj’s on the end of the flight ad they had too much polyester to be really comfortable.

96588C37-2996-476A-A413-79005FDF054EGood bye NYC, and we are off to Doha, Qatar.  The flight was set to leave at 9:45 am, it didn’t leave until 10:45, due to our late loading.

1D32C806-E751-48F6-B96F-E74FADDC184FThe plan was to watch a little television, and have a dinner, and then sleep as much as we could.  The flight was to land in Doha at a local time of 6 am.  Due to my blood clot from our trip to South America last January I need to take a daily blood thinner. I usually take it in the evening with dinner, but with the time change we weren’t sure when the proper time to take it would be.  We decided that I would take it at breakfast until we get back home. As the time change is about ten hours, we thought that would work out well.

I started with the Pavarotti movie, then Diana. Diana was a two parter, unfortunately the airline only showed part 1!.  Ballyfin was next (It’s now a hotel in Ireland with only 8 rooms, so that is on my list to visit!). Victoria and Abdul would be watched after I slept.

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Dinner was great. After our hot towels we got nuts (not warm, like some of the other airlines). Then Brushetta with cheese and caviar, a wonderful pea soup, salad, then fish and finally freezing cold ice cream.

B674FBFB-23CF-43EF-B838-306391ADC881After a nice nap, I had breakfast with scrambled eggs,  smoked salmon and more caviar.  I was scared of fish eggs at first, but they are really delicious, salty and then a fun pop in the mouth.

27123FDF-185E-4CC0-9BC4-CA4F5DD32CA9.jpegThe flight staff was wonderfully attentive, in between serving all the passengers they changed their clothes three time.  Different jackets on and off for differing parts of the flight!

Off to my anti jet lag massage, and will post about Doha airport later.

 

We are on our way to the Maldives!

After a fitful night sleeping we awoke at 4:15 ready to start our day. No coffee, we would get that at the airport. Our drive was uneventful and we made good time. The roads were clear, just a bit of blown snow in some areas. Check in was great, as we were flying business class we got the priority check in experience. We almost forgot to put our jackets in the checked bags, but got that taken care of before our bags were loaded onto the belt. The gentleman next to us checking in was going away for one month and had only one carry on bag. A true road warrior! I was going to talk to him about that, but decided I didn’t need to get into trouble by being too nosy right away.

We didn’t get priority TSA treatment, but the line was pretty short. We did have someone in front of us who had to get a bottle of hand lotion and conditioner thrown out into the garbage. I was wanded due to lumps on my thighs, no not saddle bags due to being overweight, but my support stocking seams. Don’t you wonder if a garter belt shows off on the scanners? Steve’s carry on bag had to be inspected. Seems my electric converters and Steve’s extra fly rod caused an issue.

We finally found our gate, and then went upstairs to the lounge. Qatar doesn’t have its own lounge at JFK, they share the British Airways Lounge. It’s very nice. There are two separate seating areas. A children’s area, with videos and toys to play with. I had to wait a while to take the picture as there was a staff member watching the cartoon!

There was a spa area that was not manned. No massage for us this morning! To the left is the shower area.

Of course, I inspected it for you! Although the door stated ‘Occupied”, I promise you it wasn’t! Now off to check out the Ladies Room.

Ladies room had everything you might need.

There was even a changing area, for the diaper set.

There was a well stocked self service bar area.

There was also a pub, for those that might prefer a cold beer at eight in the morning!On the left past the peaceful water fountain was the breakfast bar; oatmeal, cold cereal and various pastries were available. There was a nice machine for me to get a cappuccino. I ended up drinking two!

Here is Steve enjoying his breakfast. Next stop Doha! See you in at least 12 hours.