Two Weddings and a pandemic.

Pushka

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Finally, after watching son marry in the UK last year by zoom, we have jetted off to the UK to have the reception. Last year we had thought at best we would need to find a reasonable excuse to leave the country, maybe stay away for 3 months and then pay for two weeks quarantine on return paying wads of money to fly back. The changes in requirements for overseas travel and return then simply vanished with the final piece fell into place being the requirement for a negative test prior to return, meaning we could spend our last week touring safely but not being caught out by the dreaded positive.

We left Wednesday night from Adelaide on Qatar, our preferred airline. We had already cancelled our flights on CX because of well, Covid and Hong Kong and so on. We left Adelaide after the curfew time of 11.00pm. Have no idea why. But very slow to start boarding. Ended up a scrum. So much for social distancing. The departures area of Adelaide airport has moved to the new building, but signs of Lounge Access led to nowhere. And Adelaide QP all shut up. The airport is pretty much deserted at 7.30 pm now, with most shops shut. Hopefully that improves.

Flight over was in Q suite and always now pick the rear facing window seats and not the middle seats which when paired, create a double bed. We've had them once and never again. Much too cramped for me.

The pictures. I'll do mainly a picture report.

Good start.
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Paper Menus.

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Chardonnay was awful.



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And pre flight drinks. The pretzels were wonderful.

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Pushka

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Decided to stay awake and have dinner. It was 1 am SA time before the meal service started. And worth it. Basically Qatar airlines is back to business as usual apart from masks.

The soup. Wonderful.
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The steak. How do they manage to serve steak so well on a plane.

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It was getting so late I nodded off after the main meal but summonsed up the courage to hang in and have desert. After the crew woke me. 😂

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NM

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Congratulations on your son's wedding. I have a fair understanding of the emotions and struggles involved in the original ceremony you experienced. We have three children's weddings in 2.5 years. The first was Jan 2020, with no Covid restrictions and it was a wonderful event (now have our first grandchild).

Second was May 2020, just a few months later. 6 people in attendance and we watched over zoom, even though it was in the same city as we live. The reception was 9 months later. And the couple had a repeat wedding event in Europe (DIL is from Europe) as soon as they were able to travel December 2021. We watched that one via Facetime. So all very different - three celebrations, all with lots of masks and density restrictions etc.

Now preparing for daughter's wedding in July 2022 and hoping and praying we don't have any restrictions imposed. Timing of this one was definitely based on when they felt the risk of Covid restrictions would be minimal.

Enjoying the read and really, really jealous (and very happy for you) that you managed to get to the UK for the "reception" part of the very special event. But if I show this thread to Mrs. NM there will be tears.
 

Denali

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Mrs Pushka boarding her flight :D

Cabin Crew Happy Dance GIF by Comlux
 

Pushka

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Well, awake after our first night in the UK. Continuing on the flight. There must be some kind of soccer football tournament on in Doha. That was the safety briefing which was quite funny.

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Slept quite well, maybe six hours. Then we both enjoyed the same pancakes for breakfast which were wonderful.

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Pushka

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Damn (for my future travel) - but that's behind you!
It may change as more flights are added. It's usually open.

@PlaneCrazy introduced himself early in the flight. I have no idea how he recognised me but @Denali maybe you nailed it.

Funny thing about the Chardonnay. The night before I ordered it and MrP the sav blanc. My drink was wonderful. MrP's was awful. Tasted like Chardonnay he said. With the same drinks offering on the next night I suggested he try the Chardonnay that didn't taste like it. So he did as did I. Sat down to enjoy - blech - tasted like Chardonnay. They clearly got our drinks wrong on the first night. Shame for MrP as post sinus surgery it's the first time he's been able to have wine on planes without getting sinusitis.
 

Pushka

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The amenity kits and chocolates. Diptyque is a luxurious parfumerie in Paris. On trips to Doha they provide this little box. On trips out of Doha it's a Diptyque Pouch, white for girls, black for guys. I trust MrP kept his.
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Arrived into a hot and dirty Doha due to recent severe dust storms. No sign of much green.

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Oh carp. A bus for the remote terminal.

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So dressed in winter clothing we all trudged onto the bus, weather was a tad toasty and air dirty but the cool bus was welcome. We had plenty of time before reconnecting.
 

Pushka

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Doha airport was business as usual except for the masks, worn by all.

At the Al Mourjan lounge which was crowded as they usually have a seperate (not so nice one) for status pax but well, Covid. The staff made a big deal about being emerald which was completely redundant since we were in J class. Ohhhh, maybe access to Al Safwa? Nup.

It was 6 am and what does one do but have a champagne. Every time we left one of the chairs someone would ask if it was vacant. We didn't even bother with going to the buffet or restaurant as they looked chockers and also, we weren't hungry.

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Our next flight was a full 380. Nice for a change. And of course it has the lounge. And the smallest toilets!

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Can't reach the leg rest.

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Pre flight drinks. Second champagne of the day and it's just 7am. Mr P has had his second G&T. Order has been restored.

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Pushka

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Breakfast lunch menu. Id decided to enjoy every meal. Normally I don't eat much. That was the plan.

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Breakfast. Wonderful.

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Then lunch. The Mushroom soup which was delicious.

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Then came the tortellini. One bite and the stomach rebelled. I'm not one who can eat into a coma. But I look at plate of food and cannot even look at without without discomfort. I took one piece and it was, awful. Took a sip of the Chardy and it was - Chardy. Ok. I'm done with food for a while. 18 hours from then and all I've had is a small cup of potato crisps. But hungry now for brekkie.

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Pushka

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We arrived into T5 and were through customs and immigration and out of the terminal in 45 minutes. All very easy. Met our pre arranged transport and we are staying at Conrad St James in an Exec room using Qantas points 'for free' for 7 nights.

No dinner justdrinks in the lounge which has only just moved to self serve drinks and canapes. Neither the transport driver nor the staff at the Hotel recognises we came from Australia. We explain the SA thing. 😉😂

Then off for a walk on a balmy night.

Big Ben looks fabulous after the four year makeover but no bells yet. We were there the week they turned them off. Golden tower at this time of the day. Cannot believe after the last two years we are back. The packed pubs suggest Covid has left the building. It ain't. It's also weird that as of yet we have not had to show anything re vaccination. Only the masks. Which aren't worn here except by tourists I'd say.


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Scaffolding etc all lined up ready for the Platinum Jubliee.

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Early night and slept well and am now all caught up. Today is another day. BBL
 

RooFlyer

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The amenity kits and chocolates. Diptyque is a luxurious parfumerie in Paris. On trips to Doha they provide this little box. On trips out of Doha it's a Diptyque Pouch, white for girls, black for guys. I trust MrP kept his.

Did you see this?

 

Pushka

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Did you see this?

I knew they were exclusive and the soap and lotion was rather nice. The fragrance in the women's kit is very nice. And have pinched all MrP's stuff in case he dares use it. 😂

Weather this morning is a bit wet. Had a breakfast in the club then grabbed the brolly and went to find Charing Cross station where we need to catch a train to Tunbridge Wells tomorrow to catch up with our son and DIL and meet his stepson. Will take about 30 minutes walk and I have a suitcase of Aussie things for their wedding. We then walked over to the National Gallery for some cultural appreciation. It was rainy so it was busy and we wore masks. Then walked back through the areas all being prepared for the Jubilee celebrations. The Royal Mile looks fabulous with an impressive array of the Union Jack and then branching off that, flagpoles labelled for each Commonwealth country. Couldnt see the label for Australia then kept walking and our timing was impressive.
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Next up was NZ, then SA then India. We thanked the guys for announcing our arrival. We will return when it fines up and it will look fabulous.

Walked back through Westminister and passed by the Churchill War Museums and started to queue. But it was rainy and puddling with about 30 minute wait so we decided to buy tickets online and get fast access on another day.

A bit sodden by now we are back at the hotel drying out the brollies, shoes and Sox. MrP is occupied listening to the footy.
 
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