14 - 15th October - Travel to Mongolia
on Sarah in Mongolia (Mongolia), 19/Oct/2009 06:38, 34 days ago
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Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}I arrived at Belfast City Airport on Wednesday the 14thof October at 2.30pm with the most enormous amount of luggage! My weight limit was 30 kg after I had negotiated with Korean Airlines and BMI, but my checked in bags were about 33 kg and my hand luggage must have been at least another 20kg! Yet no-body on any flight charged me extra money.After Mum and I said tearful goodbyes I went through security and they all laughed at me carrying my huge hand luggage and 2 big puffy coats. The xray man thought it was hilarious that I was carrying a hot water bottle as well– apparently he could see it on the machine! I was not the most ridiculous as one of the women in the queue beside me had her hand luggage full of minstrels and revels.I arrived safely in London Heathrow with all my bags and bits and pieces. I was about 4.5 hours early for my flight and I wasn’t even sure if check-in would be open. However when I arrived at the check in desk there was a huge queue, apparently everyone was early for the flight.I got really lucky on the plane and I asked for an exit row seat and got it for the long flight, and a window seat for the second flight.I also spotted the other Sarah who travelling with me to Ulaanbaatar in the line and we were able to meet up and arrange to have dinner together in the airport later. I managed to accumulate even more luggage after security as I bought the liquids I had to take out of my hold bags to bring the weight down.We had a nice dinner at TGI Fridays and thenwe eventually headed to the gate– it was quite a long time to hang around between flights.At the gate we met Richard who was also headed to Ulaanbaatar with VSO and who had about half as much luggage as either one of us girls! At the gate we also noticed a woman with a full gas mask on. We had seen people with the paper masks on but this was a proper WW2 look alike gas mask.It was a rather uneventful 11 hour flight to Seoul. There was a bit of turbulence and we had Korean food on the plane, but other than that I tried to sleep and rest as much as possible.Seoul Airport was really impressive. It was huge with full length windows and lots of expensive shops! We didn’t do much shopping but we did try out the restaurants. Unfortunately as my stomach wasn’t doing too great I opted to McDonalds rather than another Korean dish, and even the McDonalds nearly blew my mouth away!We were delayed a little in Seoul airport which wasn’t unsurprising as I had read that if there is bad weather in Ulaanbaatar the planes can be delayed for a while. The weather forecast for Thursday was that it was going to snow.The delay wasn’t too long and the flight was fine so we were only a few minutes later than we thought.We were met at the airport by a current VSO volunteer and one the VSO staff members and there were 3 others who arrived on our plane from the Phillippines. Our journey got off to a good start as our bus got a puncture and the spare was also flat but there was enough air in it to get us to the guest house where we were staying.It was quite a nice time to arrive in Ulaanbaatar as there was snow on the ground, and it made the soviet buildings look a little less intimidating. But inside our guest house was lovely, clean and comfortable. I was sharing a room with the other two girls and there is still one more to join us next week but she got delayed due to visa difficulties.