Qantas (QF87) to Hong Kong !! :)

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It’s a while since I strode to the Qantas Sydney First Lounge in the early afternoon on the way to Hong Kong on an overnight flight.  The memories of the scheduled Airbus A330 screaming across the South China Sea en route to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) are palpable.
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Today, is an additional ‘supplementary’ 747 service positioning to HKIA for maintenance.  And thanks to a heads-up, I learned of its scheduling & grabbed a seat soon after.
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Sad as I may be that my beloved A380 Ecomony seat on the upper deck (32A is a ‘controversial’ choice amongst Frequent Flyers) won’t be mine on this flight, I am excited by the flight on the ‘Queen of the Skies’ as  her days in just a few years are numbered.  It’s the fuel price, the new metal, the avionics of new birds that bring her demise.
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But today that wiDSC01944ll be far from my mind as I walk to the aerobridge to be welcomed by the Qantas Cabin crew …. I will feel relaxed, safe & welcomed & ready for the pleasurable trip of 9 hours to the city of charm, culture & divergence that is Hong Kong.  We can discuss that recent rallies maybe impacting the fabric of the city … only time will tell.  I do not think the long term affect will be the significant, but in these socially turbulent times,  we can only continue on unperturbed.

Mid evening I will be boarding, refreshed over late lunch & evening dinner, far from the worry of the completed mornings commitments.  Thanks to the world class service, food & beverages of the unmatched Qantas Sydney First Class International Lounge.

Tomorrow morning as we descend through the early morning haze of the sunrise & late Autumn, I will hopefully see theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA pod of cargo vessels awaiting movement into or out of the distinctive harbor. I will have enjoyed, as always, great Qantas service, a movie or three & a meal & more plus some onboard sleep in the gracefully floating ‘Queen of the Skies’.

Though well watered, & fed, my mouth will be dry with anticipation of the days ahead; my mind in sensory overload .. the views, the aromas of Hong Kong environs, the interaction of culture, the distinctive street sounds of the Cantonese & Mandarin language & the hustle of the 7+ million population.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we descend through the clouds,  the mechanical noise of speed & height control waft through the cabin; then the lowering of the undercarriage as a precursor to approaching runway.  The South China Sea is close by the port window as the wheels kiss the rubber marked tarmac, first the main gear,  than if like hanging in the breeze, the nose gear follow seemingly a minute behind.

We slow as the reverse thrusters deployed with brakes & spoilers do their job.  I hear the First Officer call 80 knots & as we slow to the taxiway, the Captain motions rudders & tiller to guide us to the Gate.

It is amazing that after 9 odd hours of vectoring, we stop within 1cm or less of our target ground position.  I bid farewell to my friends .. for they await a little rest before they make the homeward journey.  I venture through the glistening glass of HKIA, & my lady’s meeting point.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHong Kong !! .. I am yours for some days.  You are never mine to keep.  Your character too strong for one & your influence too widespread.

Sheung Wan

Sheung Wan 1960

What awaits me over the next days, is yet to pan out.  What I do know, is that my senses will be delighted & surprised.  My eyes filled with architecture & people, of culture & ambiance, of water & land, of food & drink.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd as my visiting time draws to a close, my thoughts are tinged with sadness, my Qantas friends will greet & treat me before I board & on the flight back home.

I will be back soon to again be among the maddening crowd & I will be back on Qantas …..

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