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Back to Bucharest for a toothy treat

Back to Bucharest for a toothy treat

Old Feb 2, 2024, 9:37 am
  #1  
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Back to Bucharest for a toothy treat

This weekend takes me back to Bucharest once more, primarily for a dental check up as its now 3 months since my mammoth treatment series ended. I am making a long weekend of the trip and finally ticking off a couple of things that I had planned previously and needed to back out of due to unexpected trips into the dentists chair.

The plan is: overnight at the airport hotel tonight, fly out first thing tomorrow morning and arrive in Bucharest in good time for dinner at Hanu Lui Manoc, a landmark old coaching inn. I expect it to be a bit of a tourist trap but we shall see. Keeping in the toothy theme, on Saturday its time for a different sort of bite with a full day small group trip to Bran and Peles castles. These I am expecting to be very touristy given comments made on various walking tours in Bucharest, but hey, I am a tourist . And finally, the dentist check up on Monday morning before flying home Monday afternoon.

And with that brief preface it is time for me to sort my life out and start packing my bags. I will probably wait a little time before heading off to the hotel as its now 16:30 and by the time Im ready it will be the height of rush hour.

Next Stop, Newcastle airport and the hotel.

Last edited by JapesUK; Feb 2, 2024 at 10:49 am
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 11:39 am
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Well, that was a different sort of Uber trip and notable for all the wrong reasons. As we were barrelling down the dual carriageway there were blue flashing lights far in the distance. The driver left it until we were almost upon the flashing light to overtake… and the blue lights were on our side of the dual carriageway, in the outside lane! A HGV had somehow crashed along the length of the central divide and the police were attending. I am not exaggerating to say that we missed it by a matter of a few yards.

This near miss clearly unsettled the driver as a couple of minutes later the car was permeated by a foul stench! SBD

A little further on and there was a veritable parade of emergency vehicles heading north, at least 15 in total, police and ambulances, all at high speed. Clearly something amiss, I hope someone didn’t do what the uber driver did, but with slower reflexes.

A mere thirty minutes after leaving home I arrived at the hotel and never been gladder to see the back of an Uber driver.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 11:44 am
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Quick and easy check in, the hotel always has all the paperwork ready for arrival. Hilton keep trying to persuade me to use the online check in but then I still have to go to the desk to get vouchers etc so I do not see the point.

Room is the standard slightly retro styling of previous visits. Near the lifts this stay so hoping it is not too noisy.






And the usual array of goodies.




Time to do a little bit of unpacking and sorting of charging cables and then it’s beer o’clock
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 12:04 pm
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And beer o’clock it is, accompanied by the spicy toasted nuts which are definitely not spicy but are the standard enormous serving I’m coming to expect in this hotel




Time to peruse the menu. previously I’ve had the Calzone, Pasta, and Pizza, so maybe tonight is the night to give the burger a go.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 1:15 pm
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And burger it was. Accompanied by the cabernet sauvignon which wasn’t up to the job of keeping up with the burger. My choice, my fault, the description did say ‘soft’, I should have chosen the shiraz. The burger was delicious, I added some BBQ sauce and Jalapeos into the mix and enjoyed every bite. Also swapped out the skinny fries with chunky chips, who wouldn’t? I cleaned the plate of the side salad which will surprise those that know me as being a salad dodger, it was not only tasty but also very palate cleansing against the fat of the burger.





The food here is not gourmet but every time it has been well executed, tasty, and generously portioned. I begin to understand why it is packed every Friday night.

I purposefully skipped the starters today in order to give me a fighting chance of having space for a dessert. The desserts to date have been really disappointing, here is hoping we break that streak.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 1:58 pm
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Desert was the Truffle Torte with caramel ice cream and has definitely broken the streak, it thoroughly pandered to my inner chocoholic




There are a couple of nice XO brandies behind the bar but tonight I’ve decided to close the night with a large Jack Daniels single barrel and the obligatory coffee.




And with that it is time to close out the evening, next stop: Newcastle airport in around 8 hours time
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 10:50 pm
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Once more into the breach.

After only three hours sleep it was time to head out to the airport. I purposefully left my room at exactly 5am as I wanted to see how long it would take to get through security given that my previous experiences have been less than stellar compared to others.

One half of the entrance doors were out of action as it was pretty breezy this morning



The check in areas were busy but not packed however as I am travelling hand baggage only it was straight over to the escalators and



The lift is just around the corner so didnt have to drag my bag down to the far end of the airport.

Boarding pass check was empty and there were five people in the queue for the scanner. Scanner one on the left was out of commission and in pieces, Scanner two was fast path, the other two were regular.

There may have only been five people in the queue before the scanner but there were hordes the other side. Surprise, surprise, my bag ended up in secondary for its regular iPad swab. By the time I got my bag back the secondary bag slide was full to the brim and backing up the whole process as they were waiting for bags to clear to send more down!

Once through the rat run of duty free and exiting into the main departures hall which was as busy as ever I have seen it. Standing room only at Starbucks and almost every seat in the concourse in use. Down the escalator to the Aspire lounge and they threw me for a second as the door has moved, apparently the reception is now being refurbished and the door currently in use is about twenty feet further down.



And finally into the lounge a little over thirty minutes after leaving the hotel. The vast majority of that time was secondary security as usual. I think its time to start unpacking the bag as I have 100% rejection rate on the backpack with all the electronics.

Standard start to a travel day:



Worth calling out the lovely friendly staff in this lounge, always a smile and a bit of a chat.

And with that I have maybe twenty minutes to boarding so time to pay attention to my drinks and watch the world go by for a little while.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 11:34 pm
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Walk on gate 3 this morning and our metal tube for this flight to LHR



If you were not fully awake leaving the lounge you sure would be by the time you got onboard, the wind was brisk and chilly!

G-EUYK this morning which looks like a new one to me.





Seat 1D for a change rather than my preferred 1C, I think that had already gone when I booked. On the bright side you take less of a boarding battering this side of the cabin.



Passengers are streaming onboard so it is time to belt up ready for departure

Next stop, London Heathrow and the T5 to T3 transit.
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Last edited by JapesUK; Feb 3, 2024 at 12:45 am
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 12:44 am
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I ordered the Kosher breakfast for this flight and the inflight lead came to check if he could unwrap it as they are supposed to be handed over still packaged. Told him it was fine, no religious concerns.

A full flight and the usual challenges getting everyones hand baggage stowed and it was taking so long that the captain came out of the cockpit to check on the situation as he was worried about missing the departure slot. Eventually everything stowed, doors closed, and we were pushing back within a couple of minutes of our scheduled departure.

The flight deck had announced that it might be bumpy on the way up due to the high winds but actually it was very smooth, just a few judders at low altitude.

The cabin crew were very efficient, had the whole business class section served with drinks and meal within fifteen minutes which left plenty of time for a top up . I was having far too much fun unwrapping everything and totally forgot to take a photo of the hot part of the meal which was the omelette with potato rosti, and the hot cinnamon roll/croissant. The cinnamon roll is my favourite part of the Kosher breakfast tray.





Debris cleared, top ups consumed and we were ten minutes to landing. The schedule for this flight is about 75 minutes as I recall but usually they can shave 15 minutes or more off of it and looks like we will be landing around 10-15 minutes early today.

A really good no fuss, no bother crew this morning, everything was done efficiently and calmly and there was no last minute scurrying around.
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 1:57 am
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We finally parked up on a remote stand at 08:45. From there it was the grand tour of T5 to the domestic arrivals gate, then over to the T3 transit area and the grand tour of the airport to T3 bus arrivals.

At the back of the bus and less than a handspan of legroom




Security was a bit backed up and eventually made it into T3 departures a little over an hour later.

If you only have twenty minutes in the lounge which do you choose? For me it had to be Cathay Pacific first class lounge which I have access to courtesy of my BA Gold/One World Emerald status.

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Old Feb 3, 2024, 2:24 am
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Forgetting that gate 11 is right outside the Cathay Lounge entrance, I left the lounge far too early and am now languishing in the gate 11 holding pen.

There are an awful lot of rollaboards being tagged and collected so looks like the higher group numbers are having baggage moved to the hold
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 3:06 am
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Boarding started well but towards the end has devolved into a game of too many bags and not enough space. Theyre now taking smaller items down a forcing people to put them under the seat in front so that there is more space for the rollers.

Our plane today is G-EUUB which I last flew on at the end of October from LHR-NCL



Doors are finally closed a couple of minutes after our scheduled departure time and now we wait for the jetty to be retracted. Pilots announcement sounded very positive for a speedy taxi and take off.

Whilst we wait the menus have been distributed. Not sure if I have a special ordered for this leg.




As I write this the captain is out of the cabin and has reopened the door. After a minute and a couple of comments of Ive never seen that before the captain has come onto the tannoy to announce that there is an engineering problem with the door and slide and that the plane cannot be used and an equipment change is necessary! This plane is totally packed and there is no way can they squeeze everyone onto the remaining flights so hopefully they can find another airframe!

Also just announced that there will be a significant delay before we need to disembark. Interesting times
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 3:56 am
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Ooops


The captain has come into the cabin in person and apologised for the issue saying that it is all his fault! Not something I would ever expect to hear.

Apparently he says that the jetty was returning and so he came out with the intention of stopping the slide from deploying however instead he caused it to deploy? Beats me how that works but he basically announced this to everyone on the plane.

As I write there has been a further update, we will be disembarking from the rear of the plane, still waiting for buses to take us elsewhere, and its planned that it will be the same crew on the replacement plane but a different captain as he is having to go for a chat with the chief safety officer. Oh dear.
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 4:10 am
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A further announcement, the stairs are too tall because the plane is sitting low due to the weight of fuel and passengers!

They are now sourcing other stairs.

In other news it is now a standing trip A lady who came on board in a wheelchair has moved up to the front of the plane as they want to take her off with a high lift. I couldnt leave her standing in the galley so she is now in my seat and I am merrily lurking in the galley instead
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 4:38 am
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A completely empty plane, almost



How many responders do you need for a slide deployment?



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