Bengaluru to Dublin

It was a lengthy flight. More than the time I spent on flights flying, I spent on the airport lounges. I was travelling from Bengaluru, India to Dublin, Ireland on my very first “onsite” assignment.

03:35* | In a long boarding queue at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai

To my misfortune, I had a flight with two-stops — one being domestic connecting flight to Mumbai. It was a night flight. We took off at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru at 21:40* and landed in Mumbai at 23:55*.

Being a first-time international traveler, I had my own anxieties and dilemmas about the transition and baggage handling. Luckily, I had plenty of time to sort it all out — my flight to Abu Dhabi was at 04:45*.

So, I roamed freely around the duty-free shops (window shoppiing, of course!) at the terminals. Since I wouldn’t get to eat any Indian food in India until I return, I decided to have a light meal or snack at whatever little available options for us vegetarians! Found Vaango! — a South Indian fast food outlet. Their Idlis and Sambar combination was amazing and, of course, not to mention the price tag with that! With my hunger satiated and tired of window-shopping, I stood in the queue to collect the boarding passes at just 00:15*.

After what seemed like eternity, I boarded the next flight at around 03:45*. Knowing that the time to reach Abu Dhabi would be about 3 hours, soon I surrendered to a quick nap. But, can I sleep on my first international flight?! I didn’t sleep. I didn’t read. I didn’t listen to music. I still wonder how I spent the 7-long-hours-flight…

06:12* | The first break of the light on a long, dark flight

Maybe I dozed off a bit I guess! When I opened the window shutter, it was pleasant feeling to witness the sunrise from a high altitude — maybe a first of firsts in my list of firsts waiting for me in my new journey. Soon, we landed in Abu Dhabi International Airport at 07:10*.

Whoa! It was just 15 minutes past 7 in the morning and the temperature outside was already 40+ degree Celsius! True, I need not to walk around the streets of Abu Dhabi in the scorching sun. But still, for a first timer, definitely a shocke. And, by the way, this high temperature? Made it to my list of firsts ;)

I had some two hours of time for my morning rituals and to get myself freshen up for the rest of the day. The crowd in the Abu Dhabi airport seemed like never-ending torrent of people from all across the globe — east and west meet in the center — so true! Before I realize, I was already standing in a queue for my next and last flight to Dublin.

11:29* | One majestic look of the ATC Tower at the Abu Dhabi International Airport

With the blazing sun atop and an orange, dusty desert-lands below us, we took off from the Abu Dhabi International Airport at 11:35*. And soon, we were flying over the Persian Gulf. That view… Another first!

11:48* | My own Satellite View of the UAE and Persian Gulf
12: 23* | From the in-flight GPS, it must be Bahrain!

Again my misfortune! Due to a high blazing sun and the blinding light it flooded through my windows, I had to close the shutters :( But, I dared to peek through the window now and then until I reached Dublin! God knows what my fellow passenger thought of me!

After a lengthy flight over one of world’s most rugged and dry terrains, I finally witnessed a patch of land and lush green. It didn’t take me much time to realize where I was.

19:00* | Enter the Ireland!

19:15*. Landed in the Dublin International Airport. Local time was 14:45. After a quick Immigration check and baggage collection, I managed to reach the Taxi Counter. Did I mention about the weather? Luckily, it wasn’t as cold as I was expecting it to be. Just 19°C. Perfect!

New country. New place. New people. New culture. New hopes and new experiences…

Dublin, here I come!

* Since I had all my watch and devices set to IST and didn’t want to change the time zones while travelling, all times are recorded in Indian Standard Time.

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