Day 4 - Wednesday 12 December - Tokyo to London

Ok so we knew we had to get up early, but that meant I woke up at 3:37. Hurrah. Got up and 4:30 and started my blog entry. Got ready when the alarm went off at 4:45 and we were out the door at about 5:35. Walked up to the station and the Keisei Skyliner station and waited the five or so minutes til the train opened then got on. We had the 5:58 train which is the first train of the day. Probably *slightly* early, but I'd rather be early than stressed. Finished my blog entry on the train and posted it over the free wifi.

My laptop setup on the train on the way to the airport
My laptop setup on the train on the way to the airport

At the airport we checked in our bags then went and found some breakfast. We had Maccas cause it was open and cheap (didn't have a lot of cash left). Security and immigration were a little slow but not too bad. Went and found some coffee for the sweetie then it was time to go the gate. So yes we were early, but it didn't feel like we had to sit around waiting forever.

Christmas tree at Narita Airport
Christmas tree at Narita Airport

We have no words, and no idea what on earth this sign could mean that Stu found at Narita Airport
We have no words, and no idea what on earth this sign could mean that Stu found at Narita Airport

The first flight was on an A330, and it wasn't full and we had a two seater together at the back so that was all fine. I continued my Pixar watching (we started watching the series at home over the past few weeks). I watched The Incredibles 2, and The Good Dinosaur, neither of which I'd ever seen. The Incredibles 2 was pretty good but The Good Dinosaur was somewhat preposterous.

Centrair Japan International Airport, off Nagoya
Centrair Japan International Airport, off Nagoya

Handa, Japan
Handa, Japan

Breakfast on the plane
Breakfast on the plane

Looking towards Tokushima, Shikoku, Japan
Looking towards Tokushima, Shikoku, Japan

Kochi, Shikoku, Japan
Kochi, Shikoku, Japan

Hong Kong side of the road and tunnel to Macau
Hong Kong side of the road and tunnel to Macau

At Hong Kong we went though the transit security gate which was pretty slow as they only had one xray machine for the whole plane of people. Then into the terminal proper. We thought we'd try and spend some of the leftover cash we had from our last trip on food, but there were too many people and it was all too hard, so we just went staight to the gate. I did go back a bit later though and did end up getting some food. A piece of chicken and some vegetation. Have I ever mentioned that Hong Kong airport is *huge*? Also, it felt a lot like I was in the movie Contagion ....

Christmas trees at Hong Kong Airport
Christmas trees at Hong Kong Airport

Reflective bean at Hong Kong Airport
Reflective bean at Hong Kong Airport

Reflective bean at Hong Kong Airport
Reflective bean at Hong Kong Airport

Me reflected in the bean at Hong Kong Airport
Me reflected in the bean at Hong Kong Airport

Our next flight was slightly late. On the plane at 15:20 Hong Kong time (16:20 Japan time). Nominally a "daytime" flight, it got dark pretty quickly and stayed dark the entire trip. So it seemed kinda pointless for them to come around and ask us to close our window shades. hrmmm. This time the plane (a 777-300ER) was completely full, and they only have three-seaters on the windows, so the sweetie got stuck in the middle :(

Kaz and Stu ready for our next leg to London
Kaz and Stu ready for our next leg to London

Southern China
Southern China

Mountaintop tower in Southern China
Mountaintop tower in Southern China

Southern China
Southern China

Xinxiang, Henan, China
Xinxiang, Henan, China

Shuozhou, Shanxi, China
Shuozhou, Shanxi, China

I continued in the Pixar vein and watched Brave, Finding Dory and Inside Out.

"Lunch" was at 18:30 (Japan time), and "dinner" was at midnight. They had turned all the lights out, but turned them all on again for dinner, then off again.

Lunch on the plane - Traditional steamed pork and water chestnut patties on jasmine rice, with smoked duck and cramy vegetable saland and bread and butter
Lunch on the plane - Traditional steamed pork and water chestnut patties on jasmine rice, with smoked duck and cramy vegetable saland and bread and butter

Dinner on the plane - Three cup chicken, broccoli, carrot and steamed jasmine rice, with seasonal fresh fruits, bread and butter, cheese mousse cacke with blueberry compote
Dinner on the plane - Three cup chicken, broccoli, carrot and steamed jasmine rice, with seasonal fresh fruits, bread and butter, cheese mousse cacke with blueberry compote

It was hot, as per usual, and I had restless legs for the first two thirds of the flight which made it all kinds of torture. They did settle down maybe around 2am and I did actually manage a little rest. I also watched Mamma Mia! which I'd never seen before.

There was cloud cover over some of Europe which made things quite pretty - the clouds glowed. Skies cleared over Denmark.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark

London city at night
London city at night (we circled three times east of London, giving us a nice view of the city each time)

Landing was about 5:35 Japan time, so I've already been up over 24 hours now. Immigration took *forever* - nearly an hour or so. Then had to get some money out, got gouged with a 2 GBP ATM fee. Then had to try and find the station. Had to deal with poorly signposted airport, which is never fun when you've been awake for so long. Eventually (after walking and walking and walking) got to the underground station, only to find that the station we need to go to is on the overground lines, so had to walk most of the way back. There was a human there who helped us which was nice, although we'd just missed a train and it was 11pm local time before the next one was due. So we waited the twenty or so minutes. Then just one stop to Hayes and Harlington. At the station we stopped to look either way for a lift, and a dude asked us if we needed help. We just asked if there was a lift but he said no. We said were staying just across the road and he pointed out the exit at ground level which was very nice of him. So yeah about a minute walk from the platform to the hotel - win!

The hotel has a little kitchenette which would be cool if we were staying longer. As it was it had been something like nine hours since we last ate and I was starving. The Tesco next door had just closed so we went for a longer walk to Asda. I dragged the sweetie along, because while I'm more than happy to head out at night by myself anywhere in Japan, in suburban London not so much. We got a little penne bolognase that we heated up and dessert. But it did mean it was after midnight local time (9am Japan time) by the time we got to bed :(

Our room at the Staycity Aparthotel
Our room at the Staycity Aparthotel

Kitchenette at the Staycity Aparthotel
Kitchenette at the Staycity Aparthotel