Day 1.  The start of our Asian adventure 

I’m fortunate to be off on my travels again, this time to Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Hopefully a good balance with a week in a firm favourite of Hong Kong followed by our first ever visit to the beautiful island of Taiwan.  We’re planning on seeking out some new places to visit in Hong Kong alongside the iconic sights that draw us back time again to this bustling metropolis.

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Sir John Betjeman Statue, St. Pancras Station, London

Yesterday afternoon I took the train down to King’s Cross station in London from where it was only a short walk across to the adjacent St. Pancras station for my Thameslink connection to Gatwick Airport.   St. Pancras International underwent a multi million pound refurbishment back in 2007 and the station is now a joy to behold and as I had plenty of time to spare I took a closer look before boarding my airport train.  On the balcony, over the main concourse stands this marvellous larger than life statue of the poet Sir John Betjeman.  The seven foot high bronze statue located near to the Eurostar platforms depicts Betjeman just as he was remembered,  appearing to be viewing the wrought iron station roof whilst holding onto his hat with his coat blowing in the wind.   It was thanks to Betjeman that St. Pancras was saved from demolition in the 1960’s as his passion was Victorian architecture and trains.

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Lovers Statue, St. Pancras Station

Also to be found in the Eurostar terminal is this gorgeous 20 tonne Bronze statue of lovers embracing, reminiscent of the film Brief Encounter.  The statue depicts the familiar sight of couples either being reunited on a station platform or bidding each other a fond farewell just before one leaves to catch a train.

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Premier Inn Gatwick Airport

After enjoying a cappuccino on the main concourse I located my platform taking the Three Bridges train as far as Gatwick airport.  Our overnight accommodation in the Premier Inn (North Terminal) just a couple of minutes from Gatwick’s railway station via its shuttle train service was ideal.    After dropping off my luggage I returned to the South Terminal to make use of my complimentary one hour pass to the Regus Business Lounge and enjoy a couple of cappuccinos.  If you plan to travel from London Gatwick consider signing up for the My Gatwick Rewards scheme which offers discounts on parking and a visit to the Regus lounge. The Lounge is to be found in the Departure Terminal and by registering flight details it’s possible to gain access and enjoy some complimentary cups of tea or coffee.   Free voucher access is for one hour but as I arrived at 4.15 pm and the lounge was closing at 6.00 pm the receptionist suggested I stay until it closed.

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Regus Business Lounge, South Terminal Gatwick Airport

Feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep we took the Rail Shuttle to the South Terminal in good time for our Cathay Pacific flight direct to Hong Kong.   We’d already checked in on online and chosen our preferred seats 48 hours earlier so all that was left to do was to take our luggage to the Bag Drop and pass through security allowing us just enough time for a cappuccino in Pret a Manger before boarding our A350-900 airliner on our 11 hour 45 minute flight.   It’s a long time since we last flew with the Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific but it was good to note that they have maintained their high standards of service and are deserving of their five star airline status.

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Cathay Pacific A350-900 Airliner

A pre lunch drink followed by sea bass with a pea puree then chocolate Häagen Dazs ice creams for dessert, my photo doesn’t really do it justice!   The flight was smooth and time passed relatively quickly.  I’m not really a cinema goer so long haul flights give me an opportunity to watch a few films – today I selected La La Land and The Girl on the Train.  The in-flight entertainment system (IFE) worked extremely well and came equipped with large, touch operated seat back screens.

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Lunch on board our flight from Gatwick to Hong Kong

I chatted a little with the passenger next to us, another reason I love travelling so much are these chance encounters with people we would normally be unlikely to meet.    Finally,  just before landing we were served a tasty breakfast and arrived in Hong Kong on schedule at 7.00 am local time the next morning.

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74 thoughts on “Day 1.  The start of our Asian adventure 

  1. Pingback: THE START OF OUR ASIAN ADVENTURE – Lincoln Life Blog

  2. Asia, you say? The biggest problem I find with the World is a number of choices you’re getting (traveling, but not only).
    I envy you even though I’m currently in Africa making my own dreams come true. Sharing experiences is giving me a piece of Hong Kong in Joburg 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love St P station, my wife & I used it to go to France by Eurostar and we always wanted to sit and sip Champaign while waiting for the train. All went well until I saw the price list and decided that the bar on the platform below would be a good substitute . . .and beer instead of Champaign :-o) One can but dream . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never had such a long flight. I think I might get a little antsy, being “confined” for that long. But, with movies and sleep, I guess it would pass by rather quickly. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for continuing to follow me and n my adventures, it’s much appreciated. I couldn’t sleep much on this flight as it was all day time (at departure time) but I managed to doze for a few minutes here and there and move round the cabin a little to keep my muscles moving.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so exciting! Keep us posted on this!
    I had a stopover at Hong Kong for three days when I flew to Australia – definitely didn’t see enough when I was there but it was such a gorgeous place!

    And next time, I definitely need to take a trip to Disneyland!

    Have an amazing time!

    Zoe | nuggetstumpblog.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy. Cathay Pacific are a really good airline and never leave you short of food. Between meals served they spread out a selection of snacks in the rear galley for you to pick up when you want. I munched my way through the films on salted caramel popcorn, crisps and chocolate – remembering that calories never count on holidays!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re off to one of my favorite places, but I appreciated that you took the time to write about the first stage, which is easy to overlook. I’ve never seen St. Pancras, and enjoyed that. I get a kick out of your header photo with the view of the island. In the lower left is the massive convention center, where I spent 10 days working on a conference in the late 80s. The center was brand-new, with finishing work still in progress inside. I’d never worked in such a gigantic facility. I got the call to be the “voice of god” for all the live sessions, because the event’s exec producer, also the “voice,” and his crew all went wild their first night sampling that irresistible-smelling food from the street vendors and were in bed for 3 days. Enjoy! I look forward to following your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I lashed out for premium economy with Cathay Pacific for my trip to England in September. I timed the flight for 2.30 in the afternoon, thinking that would take care of the nine hours to Hong Kong well, at which stage I’d be ready to go to sleep for the rest of the trip. But the staff closed the blinds and turned the lights off at 5pm and we spent the rest of the time in the dark. The man next to me who flies Cathay all the time said they wanted us to go to sleep. But at 5 o’clock in the afternoon? I wasn’t too happy.

    Liked by 1 person

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