Sunday, March 3, 2019

EUROPE 2019 - THE JOURNEY BEGINS

KUL-LHR-LIS

Arrived early at KLIA to wrap bag, collect portable Wi-Fi and bag drop.

Our flight BA34 was scheduled to depart at 1155 (Saturday). Since boarding completed early, passengers were told the flight was ready to leave and arrive ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, a moment later was told it will be delayed because the normal flight path was inaccessible due to the India/Pakistan crisis. A new flight path was obtained and we departed at 0024 (Sunday).

This is my first experience flying long distance British Airways. I noticed that whenever the seat belt sign is on, the crew will check that all passengers are properly buckled to their seat. Since we booked our special meals online (Muslim menu), it was delivered ahead of other passengers.

Our flight to LHR was smooth except for some parts where there was slight turbulence. Flight BA34 safely landed at LHR Terminal 5@0605.

Upon clearing the security check, we boarded the shuttle bus to Terminal 3.


Flight BA592 LHR-LIS departed and arrived a little later than scheduled.

We were then shuttled from the tarmac to the terminal. There was a very long queue at passport control and took some time to clear. When it was our turn, it barely took 5 minutes to clear without any questions asked. After clearing passport control we hurried down to pick up our luggage which was already set aside waiting to be picked up as the carousel had stopped offloading all bags (due to the long wait at passport control).

Upon exiting arrival (turn right), we made our way to the Metro Station for the train to Lisbon Oriente (Red Line). Lisbon Oriente (Estaçäo do Oriente) is only 2 stops from Lisbon Portela Airport. Tickets can be bought at ticket machines or at the counter (€2,00 compare to €1,90 at ticket machine)

Entrance to Metro Station



Metro Map

The Ticket Machine
Metro Ticket

Metro Station

Metro Train


After 2 stops from Lisbon Airport, we arrived at Lisbon Oriente Station.
Lisbon Oriente Station

Upon exiting Lisbon Oriente, we turned left towards Hotel Ibis Lisboa das Naçöes. It is quite challenging to pull our luggage on the cobblestone walkway all the way to the hotel.





Friday, March 1, 2019

EUROPE 2019 - PREPARATION (UPDATED)

Preparing for 2019 travel to Europe (again DIY). Except for London, the cities chosen were those which had not been visited before.

Trip map


Managed to grab reasonable price return air tickets (KUL-LHR-LIS, LHR-KUL) online from British Airways at RM2925 per pax (including seat selection) which was much cheaper than purchasing at the much hype MATTA Fair September 2018 (selling at RM3300). It is advisable to check online before buying anything at MATTA Fair.

From Lisbon to final destination London via trains (Renfe, Trenitalia, ICE, and Eurostar) except Barcelona to Rome. This leg of the journey is by air (Vueling).

Besides the airfare above (BA), trains, air (Vueling) and accommodation costs are as follows (2 pax);
 
1.Lisbon Oriente-Madrid Chamartin
Renfe Trenhotel #00335 (Cama G. Clase) €144. It's a 2-bed sleeper: First Class two berth sleeper cabin with shower, toilet, sink, personal hygiene items, and telephone to contact onboard staff.

2. Madrid Atocha-Barcelona Sants
Renfe AVE3103 Tourista $174.50

3. Barcelona El-Prat - Rome Fiumicino
Vueling 6104 €166,82

4. Rome Termini-Firenze SMN
Trenitalia 9528 (Frecciarossa Premium) €51,80

5. Firenze SMN-Milano Centrale
Trenitalia 9508 (Frecciarossa Premium) €75,80

6. Milano Centrale-Frankfurt Hbf
Eurocity 52 (Posto 2nd Classe) €139,80

7. Frankfurt Hbf-Bruxelles Midi
DB ICE 16 €168 (1st Class)

8. Bruxelles Midi-London St Pancras
Eurostar ES9141 (Std) €168

Accommodations [all near Central Station except London (near Queensway Station)] were booked online using the respective hotel site and booking.com. It is also advisable to check both websites to determine the best price offered. Rates charged as follows:

1. Ibis Lisboa Parque das Nacoes
3 nights €253.48

2. Hotel Mediadio Madrid
3 nights €250,24

3. Expo Hotel Barcelona
3 nights €223,23

4. Hotel Madison Rome
4 nights €316

5. Hotel Aurora Florence
3 nights €258

6. Ibis Styles Frankfurt City
3 nights €256

7. Central Park Hotel London
4 nights £338

Rented Visondata portable Wi-Fi for RM655.20 (27 days).

Other costs such as tours and local transport (metro/bus) will be mentioned in the posting of cities visited.


Currency exchange:- €1= RM4.62 and £1 = RM5.22.


Besides using the BA, Renfe, Eurostar, SNCH International, Loco2, TfL Oyster and Vueling apps, Moovit will be handy for Live Public Transport assistance.


Itinerary prepared using Tripit:



All set to go

Hopefully, the trip will proceed according to plan.






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