I had booked the 5:30 am shuttle van to the airport, but getting up early, I jumped on the 5:00 am shuttle. It took only a few minutes to get to the Venice Marco Polo Airport, and we rolled out of the shuttle van into the terminal. I had a problem checking in for my flight, so I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong. I headed straight to the check-in counter with Turkish Airways. The agent informed me that because my trip included an Eva Air part, it would not be possible to check in ahead of time. Given my Turkish Boarding pass, I would need to get the Eva one in Istanbul.
The gate agent directed me to the lounge, so I went upstairs for a latte before boarding the flight. The lounge had a nice view over the water although obscured by the early morning fog. My card said that boarding started at 6:30 am for our 7:25 am departure. So, I left the lounge at 6:30 am and headed downstairs for my gate. Once rounding the corner for gate 19, a long line for Passport Control confronted me. Only one agent working the early morning shift!
People were crowding towards the front, worried about missing their flights and Passport Control realized their problem! Two more agents started, and it got things moving! Then only a short wait at the gate before being able to board my flight. I sat in seat 2F with no one next to me. After takeoff, we had a great view of Venice and I could see a cruise ship moving towards the harbour. Breakfast was excellent and rated as the best breakfast I have had while flying!
We landed in Istanbul and Ataturk Airport was very busy. I cleared the security checkpoint and found the Eva Air desk to get my boarding cards. From there a long walk and through security to the Turkish Lounge. This lounge is huge and rated as one of the best in the world! It covers two floors with activities and food to keep you busy while you wait! My favourite is the olive bars in this lounge. But, did not want to eat too much as I knew that food was coming on the next flight! So a few juices later and I headed to the departure gate.
Passengers packed the gate area and soon it became clear I was the only tall white guy in the group! After about a 15 minute wait the boarding began, and we bused out to the plane. Eva Air has a distinctive green colour, so I spotted the plane off in the distance. Once on board, I had the wonderful experience of going left at the top of the stairs!
Enjoying Eva Air Royal Laurel Class
This is my first time flying with Eva Air Royal Laurel Class and I am looking forward to it! As soon as I entered the plane, my assigned flight attendant showed me to my seat. She explained a few features and asked if I wanted a magazine? I selected the latest National Geographic. My attendant asked if I would like a drink? With this cold, I thought I had better stick to water! While waiting for my water they gave me the size large pyjamas. They dropped off my water, with a warm towel and a Godiva chocolate.
My attendant stopped by to ask me how to pronounce my name? I know that Don is one of the most difficult names out there! (From then on she referred to me as Mr. Don.) She gave me the menu and wine list for the flight and asked if I wanted to make selections. I kicked my shoes off, put my slippers on and got ready for a great flight! Imagine, we have not even left Istanbul yet!
The crew served our first meal after reaching cruising altitude. I watched two movies before asking the flight attendant to make up my bed! (The joys of the cabin to the left!) While she was doing this I changed into my pyjamas and grabbed a couple hours of sleep. After waking the second meal service started and the clocks are put ahead by six hours.
The flight to Taipei took 11 hours and with the time difference we landed around 5:30 am. After clearing security again (I am getting good at being prepared for this procedure) I headed for the lounge. I asked if I could take a shower and the lounge attendant escorted me to the private shower room. A quick shower and I woke up! I grabbed a seat in the Eva Air Lounge near the food area. It had a large choice of Asian and Western breakfast items. Still full from the flight, I passed on most things, but I tried this drink that tasted like oatmeal!
My final flight boarded at 9:05 am. On the way to the gate, I noticed it was raining. We boarded the plane, and I got settled into 7K. After that I remember little as I slept for most of the flight, so skipped meal service! Landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport just after 2:00 pm. This appeared to be a much larger Airport than expected!
Arriving Kuala Lumpur
Following the signs to Immigration led me to the shuttle train. The train ride took 3 minutes and brought us to the Main Terminal. On the Eva Air flight, attendants distributed Priority Passes for immigration, so I had a much shorter line. The Immigration Officer asked no questions but stamped my passport and finger printed my two index fingers. I was now officially in Malaysia!
The Express Train into town is the best choice as the Airport is 75 km from Kuala Lumpur. I found a bank machine to get Malaysian Ringets and then headed to the lower level for the Express Train. At this point, I first realized it was hot here, but still not too bad at the station. A modern train came and I boarded for the half-hour ride to the KL Sentral Station. At the station I bought a taxi ticket to my hotel, it cost only 9 Ringet, approximately $3 cdn. Here I felt the real heat even though later in the afternoon!
The taxi driver had the air conditioning blasting as we took the short drive over to my hotel. It is across from the old colonial train station in Kuala Lumpur. The hotel is nice and has that old colonial atmosphere to it. My room has a bathtub with a television in front of it–just what every man needs! From the 12th floor, it had a beautiful city view! I headed to bed hoping I could make it through the night. I woke up several times, but the next thing I knew, the new day was upon me!