Flying to Sri Lanka from Europe:
BRATISLAVA - DUBAI - COLOMBO
Day 1 of 2 days of travelling to Sri Lanka with a layover in Dubai.
From Slovakia to Sri Lanka, with layover in Dubai
We passed the checking at Bratislava airport [BTS], enjoyed the coffee and one of the Davids screaming at the coffee shop and went to the gate.
Take off at 1:35 PM
Long queue in front of the back stairs to the plain and quite windy with the temperature around 17 °C. Finally got to our seats. I noticed that the row in front of us is completely empty. Occupied by me in seconds leaving more place for us to travel. We got lucky as instead of 3 seats we had 6. What a comfort in economy class.
After 1 hour of flying, with really hot closed shades on the windows, I had surprisingly some warm tasty Inbound chicken with potatoes and rice.
Also, we got a refreshment box for the rest of the flight.
Didn't expect something like this at altitude 11 281m/36 999ft 903 kph/561 mph and -56 °C/-67 °F. We have entered Black sea near Burgas so we have already 22% Percentage of flight done.
With few disturbing people around I tried to get some sleep. Maybe next sleep will be the one. A nice deep nap that will help me to rest since I woke up at 5 AM and went to the gym before the flight.
Charging and using electricity in FlyDubai flights
With screens in front of you have an option to use USB socket to charge your mobile phones or tablets.
No other sockets available for the Economy seats only for Business class.
Woke up at 5 PM, 63% of flight done, 3:15 hour in the air, and there is the dark outside already. Passing Hamadan Province of Iran, estimated time of arrival is 2 hours, which is 8 PM in Dubai at the moment.
Lights were switched off on the board so screens are shining everywhere. Some people are standing in the walkway stretching their legs, some walking around to keep blood circulating over the body. David is still sleeping. In the same way how he did it as a baby. His face changed a little since.
Went to the bathroom to refresh. Coming back, David is up to full refreshed, already hit the elbow rest with his head. But bravely holding tears for few seconds. Jumped on me, gave me a kiss and leaving to next row to his mom.
Passing Esfahan in Iran. Checking the screen on the monitor. Dubai Sunny with few clouds. Temperature High 29 °C/84 °F, Low 23 °C/73 °F.
Dubai before landing as on monitor screen: Unbeatable shopping, golden beaches and exciting nightlife - there's something for everyone in Dubai.
Thank you. I'll pass the nightlife this time. For this night we have enough. Will be checking at the hotel and then we will decide what to do next. Sleep or small night cruise in the city.
We are going to see Burj Khalifa tomorrow and Aquarium. Next will be the airport to catch the flight to Colombo.
Percentage of flight: 74%. Moving towards Shiraz. Yes as a wine. Love the kind, especially from Australia.
Landing at Dubai International Airport wasn't bad and finally, after 30 minutes that we were waiting, we had the stairs arriving to leave the plain.
We got to Terminal 2 with the small stress of lost jumper for David. It somehow slipped down to the floor but Jarka saved it returning to the plain. 🙂
The bus was quite cold because of the air-con, but outside nice just about 23 °C.
Standing in the passport queue waiting to be checked. David is screaming because this is the best time for his ass to be itchy.
Pulling down his trousers made everyone's attention. We luckily did it, checked by a young woman at the passport control desk and free to go to see Dubai.
Taxi in Dubai
There is a really easy way to grab a taxi, standing in front of the Terminal 2. You can choose a luxury Lexus car, or in our case, we chose a regular Hyundai cab, which is in size a bit bigger than a black cab in London. The driver was speeding up on the highway up to 120 km/h. Someone lighted us out from the left line even in this speed.
Dubai at night is amazing, especially the Dubai Garden Glow we saw from the cab. Impossible to get a picture at the high speed of taxi, close 100 km/h.
I was check-in the route as we were going with Sygic app and the driver was heading straight to the hotel. No delay or cruising just to make money.
We arrived at the hotel and were so tired. As we were at the Holiday Inn Express Dubai, Jumeirah which was a bit out from the centre of everything. There was nothing to watch or explore this late and to take a little evening walk for. We rather stayed at the hotel and rested. Good night.
Dubai Burj Khalifa experience
Dubai At the Top, Burj Khalifa - morning 18th March
We woke up at 7 AM, showered and went down for breakfast at 8 AM. After nice breakfast, we took a taxi and in 10 minutes for 20 AED and 1 US tip we arrived straight to The Dubai Mall entrance at the foot of the Burj Khalifa.
I went to Waitrose located in Dubai Mall to buy water and coke at reasonable prices.
After a walk we checked in for At the Top experience at Burj Khalifa, I was returned back from security control with the rucksack to leave it at luggage department which is working as a ticket office hidden on the left side of the entrance.
If you have more and heavy luggage to carry this is a great place to leave your luggage even after leaving premises of Top Burj Khalifa to walk and enjoy shopping with empty hands.
We waited in the queue for about 20 minutes moving forward to the lift. As the lift arrived and the door opened people were directed to move quickly off the lift to exit and we were quickly moved into the lift. Doors were closed and the lights went off for better lighting and movie experience about the Khalifa building.
At the Top Burj Khalifa Level 124 and 125 Observation Decks
Now at level 124, 452 metes, photoshoots and waiting in the queue for the perfect place to have nice photos of ourselves. David is still very interested in playing on the 124th floor of Khalifa balcony view with his new yellow van that Jarka brought him to entertain himself. Even at this point, he is asking for the loo again.
We were asked to create a photo of us at the photo points to be a climber, wanderers or balancers at the "highest point in the world" Not really usable, so we did not buy it.
Except this, I made myself this great view image of the crossroads.
Leaving the "Burj Khalifa experience"
We didn't upgrade the tickets to the 142 floor so we went down. If you want to save some time on your way down waiting in the shorter queue, use the lift in the middle of the 125th floor at 456 metres high, which can be reached by wooden steps. There are also amazing transparent "bubble" seats hanging from the ceiling to have a rest with a beautiful view of Dubai and the sea.
How to get cheaper photos from professional photo service at Burj Khalifa decks
If you took the pictures at the camera points, don't buy photos on the top floors as they are cheaper nearly the half of the price on your way to the base on the LG level at the exit from the lift. 169 AED up, 100 AED per photo downstairs.
Enjoy rather your saved money on a nice snack or a gift from the shop. We bought small Burj Khalifa magnet for 28 AED for our fridge.. 🙂
Dubai Aquarium and ZOO at The Dubai Mall
From the gift shop, we went to opposite ice cream shop and had a refreshing rest at this food court place. After some time spent here and two visits to the lavatory with David, we finally walked to the Aquarium.
Standing in another queue we waited again and I left my family for a while to check the luggage room to leave it somewhere as it was quite heavy. So I found out that the best place to leave it was at the Burj Khalida luggage room.
With all the carried stuff I tried to get rid of I returned back to Aquarium to see Jarka and David just about to cross the check-in point. Lots of people standing in there led me to asked kindly the security guy to open emergency-fast door as there was my family ready to enter. We then walked together on side of the aquarium that is visible from the shopping mall.
All those sharks, rajas and many kinds of fish behind 40-50 cm thick glass. I was amazed that such a thick glass can be glued in a way that is hardly seen where it was done. You have to look really close to see it.
Then we got to another photo point and made some postures as asked by really funny and energetic guy. I thanked him for a good job as he was making to get you in the mood for those postures.
We walked to the Aquarium Tunnel where all those fishes are swimming over you and you feel, that you can even touch that close moving shark in front of you. David, of course, paid all attention to yellow bus and making as much noise as possible on the aircon which was build to the floor. What a great place to play on.
When we passed through the tunnel we went to the second floor, a there was exhibition continuing. Lots of aquariums with piranhas, lobsters, prawns many of sea fishes species and some desert animals.
There is even a balcony with the transparent glass floor that you can watch all those sharks, fishes and rajas from above. You can pay 30 AED PP more to upgrade and use a boat that is pulled on the water level with the glassed floor. Maybe the most interesting part was that you could dive into the cage to see the shark as close to the aquarium as possible.
We really enjoyed the aquarium exhibition. If it was just the tunnel under the aquarium, it would be very simple and overpriced. With all these presentations of fishes, The King Croc and piranhas it is really worth the visit.
Traveling from Burj Khalifa Dubai mall to Dubai airport
Metro and really long walk there from shopping mall
What a mistake is to think that from shopping mall there is a metro running. Don't get confused, there is a sign of metro station in shopping mall for station Burj Khalifa. But you have to walk many hundreds of meters to get to the metro station Burj Khalifa. Maybe 15-20 minutes of walk through wide window tunnels over the road and between the buildings.
There are some walking lifts to get you there faster. But remember, when you are tired and short o time its a hell of a journey. At least there is an air-con inside.
We got to the metro station finally and we got onto the train to Airport Terminal 1 and after 20 minutes we got there to realise, that there is not an entrance to Terminal 2 and not even an airport bus to Terminal 2.
Dubai Terminal 2 hassle
as it is quite far from T1 and T3. The bus will only take you between terminal 1 to 3 and back. There is local bus line which runs every 45 minutes, but no one could even tell us how long does it take to use it for T2. So we took the taxi which cost 31 AED to be there in 11 minutes.
Went quickly to a loo after passport control to see men washing their feet in the sink where everybody else were washing their hands or refreshing their faces. Quite a big shock, I thought that after putting my head between legs in Turkish hairdresser, nothing will surprise me. All these men were getting ready for the evening pray at the airport.
We bought some bottle of Tullamore Dew, big coffee from Costa and were hanging around the duty free shop and playing with David.
At around 8:20 PM we had final call to board the plane so we went to the gate 4. We got the 3rd empty bus to get to the plain, and waited for about 20 mins there. Nobody was coming for a long time and nobody did from the gate. Finaly at 8:40 PM we are driving to the plain. Some Sri Lankans, one couple from UK, group of russians, just about 32 people. Only two small boys, David and onother 3 year old. We boarded the plain, this time all seats were taken, so it was a bit harder to "survive" the flight comfortable.
9:03PM we are leaving the gate with safety video on screens.
Jarka is reading Masha and the bear books for David. He is asking if we have a signal alarm for reversing the plane as lorries have. 🙂 He is again asking also for chewing gum to release the pressure during take off.
Colombo weather info for next days looks very promising for 19th March 2017
Partly cloudy, Highs 31 °C/88 °F and lows 24 °C/75 °F. Same or even better weather is until 23rd March, around 33 °C/91 °F for a day.
"Explore the bazaar and stroll by the sea in this vibrant, coastal capital." says the information panel on the screen.
9:17 PM finaly took off and leaving Dubai and Burj Khalifa in the distance with the lights blicking to the city that is getting smaller in the distance. 4:08 estimated time for arrival in Colombo/Negombo.
Flying over India
Now we have entered the air space of India close to Goa and 1:25 hour is left for landing. That is 64% of our flight with outside temperature
of -43 °C /-46 °F.
Didn't expect much from this airline as it is a low cost of The Emirates.
On our way from Bratislava/Vienna we had surprisingly some hot food and blue box filled with sweet bars, chocolate, olives and italian breaf sticks.
But after changing the planes in Dubai there was only one try to give us some paid coffee, tea or drinks and that was all. No true about that when you are flying over 2 hours there must be food provided. I guess that is only because of EU regulations which don't apply in Asia.
I have to complain about touch screens on the seats as they were more stacked and overheated than working. My display was working from time to time, but Jarkas was stucked for an hour, David pressed to buy something just when we flew off and kept asking him to pay for 3 hours.
It was really hard to make anything on the screen. It wasn't just us, the guy sitting behind me was trying to press that hard, that he was hitting my seat constantly as I had to ask him to stop being annoying.
Many people just gave up and covered the screen or put the hat on it to avoid the light as it was impossible to switch it off.
Only one advantage is that you can use USB port to charge your mobiles or tablets.
Estimated time to arrival: 0:53 AM, flying over India at the moment leaves us 78% of the flight time.
Leaving India ground close to Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram with time to arrival in 23 minutes, 90% of our flight and we started to decrease at 0:30 of Colombo time.