Posted by : Ruby Escalona Monday, January 2, 2012

Facebook is being a pain and since I promised my friends to post photos and some brief narrative on what I did on my 3 1/2 month stint in the UK, here you go. A month and a half late. Or rather, a few months late.

One thing I ask though - I may not have any watermarks (because mainly I'm too lazy to do it) so please do not get any of my photos without my permission puh-lease!

Anyhoo, it all started with me moving on to a different team at work - and well, the chance to go to the UK for a few months was in the cards. I couldn't say no, I love the UK! :) So, last June, I embarked on a solo backpacking trip around Cebu and Bohol (more of that when I get more time to post) and on June 30th I find myself going to the airport to embark on this happy happy and exciting trip :)

I had a nightmare going through immigration - the immigration officer didn't know the visa I was holding and thought that I needed a POEA permit to continue! (Hello!!! I am not earning GBP and hence am not an OFW so why would I bloody need that stupid POEA permit??) - my head was literally steaming - good thing my friend and my boss helped out with the situation. Stupid, stupid, stupid - I'd rather not deal more about this subject because it would end up with a rant about the Philippines again.

Anyhoo, I checked in to the NAIA 1 Lounge for Business class passengers. Oh, I failed to mention - I flew via Etihad business class for this trip. Yaaaaayyyyyy. The lounge was okay - although it was a tiny place and it was like a maze. Not a fancy thing though - more like a place for you to rest and relax in before the flight (plus the food + beverage is free)

The photo above is a plane model in the business class lounge that's on the windowsill where you could see the planes parked in NAIA1, waiting for the passengers to board!

Back to the trip -I called up HSBC from the lounge. One thing when you're travelling out of the country - you need to call up your credit card company and let them know that you are going out of the country so they won't block any of your purchases when you charge something from abroad.

Then our flight was called - we are gonna board!! :)

So, this is what it looks like from the business class section of Etihad - I have my glass of champagne with a video of places to go to in Abu Dhabi on the screen. (where we're going to have a brief stopover before changing planes to get to London Heathrow). I have a flat bed and lots of leg space - only problem is its a bit of a tight squeeze width-wise. Anyway, I can't complain ;) I love that I also have a window seat. 

They gave away goody bags as well containing socks, eye blinders, Aigner lip balm & lotion and a toothbrush with toothpaste on it. Coolies.

Me looking fat on my seat before takeoff. Whee. Trying to prepare myself for a marathon 7/8 hour flight to Abu Dhabi. So, what did I do the whole time? Well, I just watched a few movies - I saw Rango, which is a cute children's movie, also saw Narnia: Prince Caspian. I never really got to watch these movies while I was in Manila - mainly because I was too much of a stingy head and refused to go out to movies unless they're really worth watching. 

I also read a book while the plane was taking off and landing.. and slept, a lot. I wanted to have all my strength when I land in the UK to get ready for a LOT of sightseeing and walking after I land. Whoopdeedoo. 

So, finally arriving in Abu Dhabi, we headed straight for their business class lounge. Hmmm.... Took loads of photos as the sun was rising. The airport was literally in the desert - all you could see are other planes, sand, and well, the sun. It was a huge terminal and there were also lots of branded stuff that were available on duty free. We also ate a lot of food while waiting for our plane from AUH to LHR. 

One thing I like about flying business class: you can board the plane either first or last. Amazing. So, once we got the Final Boarding Call for our flight, off we went to the plane and prepared for yet another long fight (and sleep) ahead! 

Think that's it for now - watch out for Part two where I will blog more about the Etihad Abu Dhabi Lounge and well, London Day One :) 

I think I'll blog about getting a UK visa too, that's informative as well!

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