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2012-May-10 - France Trip 2012 - Plane from Perth to Paris (Thursday)
Our day of departure rushed up on us out of the blue.

I was still busily attempting to finish off work for clients.

Linda was packing suitcases, back packs, documentation.

Ian Chalmers very kindly took us out to the airport at 1.00 am in the morning.

We had considered sleeping to 3 am and hoping that a taxi would come out to Mundaring on time but decided it was too much of risk.

Once out at the airport we slept on benches until Air Emirates accepted our suitcases at 3.00 am then went through security to the gate lounge where we gazed blankly in to space until boarding at 5.00 am.

Then an eleven hour flight to Dubai.

I have to admit that Air Emirates did a brilliant job feeding us and entertaining us.

The in flight entertainment system was amazing - hundreds of movies and television programs on individual monitors and flight progress graphics.

They even had forward and downward camera video so you could see the ocean or countyside rolling beneath you.

However, we were in economy class and we were packed in like sardines.

Without the constant feeding and entertainment distractions there would have been a riot.

By the time we reached Dubai my bum was numb and parts of my posterior did not regain sensation for a couple of days. I was so restless I almost went insane.

If I got up to stretch my legs, I found that I was always in someone's way - there was really no where to stand.

I think on the trip back I will ameliorate the situation with few really stiff drinks.

Once we reached Dubai it was a frantic race to reach the departure gate for the connecting flight to Paris.

We rushed through a kilometre of walkways and shopping malls to find the gate, had a 15 minute wait and then we were on to the next part of the flight.

Six hours later we landed and after navigating through customs and immigration (very cursory), baggage claim (panic while hoping our suitcases would appear) and the taxi system we were in our hotel in Asnieres Sur Seine.

Asnieres is a northern Paris suburb (say the equivalent of North Perth to the Perth city centre) so we certainly weren't in the centre of Paris. It was pleasant, non smoking, mainly frequented by business men and relatively cheap

The funniest aspect was the lift.

We were on the 4th floor so definitely needed to use it.

It's the smallest lift I have ever encountered - just enough room for one suitcase and a person.

We had to go up to our room in shifts.

The hotel desk was very helpful and directed us down to a couple of local bars / cafes.

We ended up eating at the same café three nights in a row and making friends with the waiter.

We slept well that night - the traffic and hotel noises were pretty minor and we were woken by bird song.