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Sexta-feira, 19 de Setembro de 2003
Going back to the Philippines

Flight Details


Date: 19 September 2003
Dep: Madrid Barajas (MAD)
Gate: C31
Boarding Time: 1200
Dep Time: 1230
Load: 100%
Seat: Window
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Arr: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)

Date: 19 September 2003
Dep: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
Gate: F09
Boarding Time: 1845
Dep Time: 1920
Load: 85%
Seat: 33K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: Kuala Lumpur (KUL)

Date: 20 September 2003
Dep: Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Load: 30%
Seat: 33k
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)

I have had considered Spain as my second home. I had fun. I have met some nice people and I learned a lot from my experience as a student in a foreign country. Bad moments, good moments I had. But on the other hand, I was excited to return back home to the Philippines and be with my family again. And I have a new education degree to bring home with me.

In fact, my flight back home was nothing to write about, hehehehhehe. I had some few tears when the plane took off in Madrid airport. I flew with KLM so a stop in Amsterdam was mandatory. I took a picture of the B747-400 that would bring me home to Manila but somehow the picture came out blurred. But as bonus, I was able to see the airport in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) before heading back to Manila. Nice airport but nothing special. In fact, I did not pay attention to flight details because I did not feel like it. Anyway, back in Manila to start another chapter of my life...professional life...

The first thing I did though was to call, Tommy, the Swedish guy, and say thank you for letting me use his mobile phone back in Sweden. He was surprised when I called him up because he did not expect that I would phone him simply to say thank you...but I did and will always be grateful to such people...small things like these don't go unnoticed, hehehehehe!

publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 03:22
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Quinta-feira, 11 de Setembro de 2003
KLM B737 to Gothenburg, Sweden

Flight Details

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Date: 11 September 2003
Dep: Madrid Barajas (MAD)
Gate: C36
Boarding Time: 1425
Dep Time: 1450
Load: 100%
Seat: 20D
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Arr: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)

Dep: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
Gate: C10
Boarding Time: 1910
Dep Time: 1930
Load: 100%
Seat: 25C
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Arr: Gothenburg Landvetter (GOT)


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Date: 16 September 2003
Dep: Gothenburg Landvetter (GOT)
Gate: A16
Boarding Time: 1605
Dep Time: 1630
Load: 100%
Seat: 16A
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Arr: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Dep: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
Gate: D71
BoardingTime: 1900
Dep Time: 1930
Load: 100%
Seat: 23F
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Arr: Madrid Barajas (MAD)

Beoing 737 in Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport in Sweden (click on the picture for the photographer's name)

“Hey, Manong... I arrived in Sweden! Cold now but still no pillows and blanket; have to get them from the lady in charged of the dormitory!”

I asked: “Nice! How was the flight?

She said: “Scandinavian Airlines canceled my flight to Copenhagen so I flew with Thai Airways to Stockholm but got upgraded to Business class!!!!!!!!!!”

Me: “Oh cool! Lucky you! You want to come over to Spain and see Madrid for a while before your classes start?

She said: “How many hours would that be?

Me: "No direct flights so you have to fly to either Frankfurt or Copenhagen and take a connecting flight to Madrid...... would mean 7 hours of travel time........"

She said: "No, thanks! I'm tired, lol!"

Me: “Afffffff! Okies, I’ll come over then!”

That’s how my phone conversation went with my younger sister few hours after she arrived in Sweden after a long flight from Asia. She was there to pursue her Master in Social Work through a scholarship awarded by the Swedish government. Anyway, I can’t imagine she declined my invitation to visit Spain but I was excited to visit Sweden again because this time around I'll be with my sister whom I did not see for about a year. And a week after I would be going back to the Philippines again, so I went anyways. But I did not tell her the dates though because I wanted to surprise her (it turned out that I was the one who was surprised when I got there, lol).


I rushed to buy my ticket at my favorite travel agency and after some hours of waiting (there was a problem with the ticketing software), I was heading to the airport. I called my sister that I was canceling my trip because I was reviewing for my exams and that I’d be OK to travel the week after. Of course, that was a lie, lol.


I don’t exactly remember how the flight from Madrid to Amsterdam to Gothenburg went but all I remember was the mixed feelings of excitement and worries; happy to see my sister again and worried that I’d be arriving in Gothenburg without knowing where to go (common occurrence in my case, lol).


The plane landed at the Gothenburg Landvetter Airport at around 10pm and right after I collected my luggage, I proceeded to the gate where the airport bus was waiting. There is a Flygbussarna bus service from Landvetter into the city which runs every 15-20 minutes, and it costs about 75 SEK one way (140 SEK return), and it reaches the city in 20-30 minutes. It stops at several locations (first stop near Liseberg; final stop: the Nils Ericson terminal).

So I took the address book out of my bag and showed it (my sister's address) to the driver hoping he knew where it was. He told me he's not going to pass by that area but assured me to drop me off the place where to catch another bus going to my sister's dormitory. I thanked him for that and settled on my seat and simply enjoyed the ride going to the city centre.

When we arrived at the city centre, the driver dropped me off and gave me some instructions on how to get to my 'destination'. I also had to ask the people on the streets where it was and luckily many people helped me out, lol. I was the centre of attraction right there in the middle of the streets! I hate that situation but what can I do?


For the next 4 hours I would be practically wandering around the city in search of that dormitory asking God knows how many people along the way. Luckily, many locals were helpful. And at around 2am, I finally found the place! So I went to the front door and hummm, just to discover that there was nobody at the lobby. Apparently, the dorm has no reception area and only the students could go in. What the ........... ! What should I do? How can I get in? No choice, I went back to the streets to look for a public phone or something. I was dead tired...


I had to phone my sister so she could give me the code to open the door. No phone booths to be found. The road maintenance guys saw me again (earlier they helped me find the address). They asked me how could they be of help again, lol. I explained to them what happened and that there was no public phone in the area and this guy, Tommy, volunteered to offer his mobile phone to call my sister. Wow, I told myself what a nice gesture from a total stranger. After talking to my sister (who was also surprised...was my purpose to surprise her after all, lol), I offered to pay for that call but he declined and told me it was a pleasure doing a favor for someone whom really needs it, hehehehehe. I thanked him and went back to the dormitory to see my sister. Whoa! happy to see her again!


The next day, time to conquer Gothenburg!

Gothenburg is a mid-size city but so cosmopolitan. Even more so than its rival Stockholm. I like its size and I like the atmosphere inclusing the parks and the citylife as a whole. If given the chance I'd choose to live here. As an authentic probinsiyano, I think this is the right city for me. It is a relatively big city but it retains it small city feel. And more importantly, as they say, the city is known as a friendly place and I myself can attest to that. One impression I have on Scandinavian countries is that people tend to be helpful to tourists (or maybe I look as if I really need some help, lol). But whatever the reason is, it's highly appreciated and I would do the same if someone needs my help especially if he's not from here and he'd ask about directions and all those stuff.

The centre of Gothenburg. If you want to explore the city, this is the place to begin your adventure. From here, you can go to any part of the city. Most of the city is best explored on foot because the main attractions are near each other (anonymous photographer)

Gothenburg as in Zurich.......I especially loved my tram rides from the dorm of my sister to the city centre. It's a cheap way to see the city. Gothenburg has a famous network of trams that covers most of the city. With over 150km the Gothenburg tram is the largest light rail network in Scandinavia. The main tram hub is Brunnsparken ('Well Park'), where you can catch trams to all parts of the city. It is near (one tram stop to be precise, or a 2-minute walk) to the train station (anonymous photographer)

Oppps, careful........"Puede na bang tumawid?"

Feeling free at the University of Gothenburg's campus

Me and my sister in front of the UG's library. I did some of my assigned school works here because there was a free internet access even to outsiders, hehehehe.

Two days after, another surprised came.

When I was checking my air ticket, I learned that the date of departure from Gothenburg was wrong! It says there I was to be in Sweden only for a day! I had to rush to the airport and had it changed! Affffff, must be the airline system error or more probably negligence on my part for not checking it before leaving the travel agency. Everybody was in a hurry and it totally slipped my mind. Anyway, going to the airport (and back) was a treat for me because I had the opportunity to enjoy the sceneries outside the city centre. It's a forested area (I like temperate forests!) so it was a visual feast for me. Maybe a camping activity would be great or simply be there and enjoy the tranquility of that beautiful place.


I enjoyed Gotherburg. If given the chance, I would live there...




publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 17:12
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Segunda-feira, 1 de Outubro de 2001
British Airways Boeing 747-400 from Manila to London: my first flight

British Airways

Date: 01 October 2001
Dep: Manila (MNL)
Gate: G15
Boarding Time: 1856
Dep Time: 1930
Load: 30%
Seat: 44K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: Hong Kong Internatinal (HKG)

Dep: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Load: 86%
Seat: 44K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: London Heathrow (LHR)

British Airways

Date: 02 October 2001
Dep: London Heathrow (LHR)
Boarding Time: 0725
Dep Time: 0800
Load: 95%
Seat: 21F
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 757
Arr: Madrid Barajas (MAD)

My first time to travel abroad. My first time to fly. And alone at that. No, definitely nothing wrong with flying alone nor traveling alone.

I have always dreamed of traveling to other countries and experiencing other cultures and seeing new faces.

This will be my first flight ever! One thing to note though. I have fear of heights. And though my interest in aviation has kept me glued to this goal of flying (even if it's only at a passenger level, lol). the truth is, this fear of heights made me delay this exciting experience. Enough said.

Anyway, I went to the airport with mixed feelings: sad and happy and excited. The check-in process was OK and then I went to the immigration counter to pay the departure fee which was 550 pesos at that time and had my passport stamped on the next counter. My bad, I forgot where I had my pen because of the anxiety of flying so I had to borrow one from the immigration officer and she said in Tagalog: "Ano ba yan, nagbibiyahe ng walang bolpen!".

As I approach the gate, I felt nervous but excited too when I saw the huge British Airways B747-400 (British Airways does not fly to Manila anymore) waiting for us passengers. When I went in to the aircraft I was overwhelmed. Sure I've seen pictures (and on TV) of the interior of an aircraft (I actually collect them) especially the B747 so I wasn't really clueless of what it's going to be like, lol. I requested for a window seat. It was a 3-4-3 configuration and the flight was not that full. The flight would take us to Hong Kong and then continue on to London.

Take off

When the door was closed and there were no more passengers coming in, the guy seated at the aisle went to another empty row so I got the 3 seats for myself. The economy class seat pitch was OK and I did not have any problem with the space. Anyway, my father told me not to worry because flying is safe that you'd feel like inside a house when in cruising altitude. OK, I took his words for it and tried to relax myself as we pushed back from the gate on-time and began our taxi to our runway for take off. During the taxi, the captain made a few announcements about the flying time and all information about the flight. Although the excitement was eternally present, I was freaking nervous and my being alone in my row did not help that much. I had nobody to share my fear with, lol. Before takeoff, the engines were routinely run up at high power and I was wondering if we were already about to take off. Not yet. I said maybe they're checking the engines. And suddenly, the "roar" of the engine became louder and we started to be pressed against our seats as the aircraft pulled to the end of the runway with the afterburner turned on and the aircraft raced across the ground with full force. The take off was exhilarating! Seconds after rotation, I looked out of the window and saw Manila with all its bright city lights. I did not know where I got that courage from to peek out of the window as I was really afraid and my fear of height was practically all over me. I felt like I wanted to tell the flight crew that I wouldn't be flying anymore and I'd want to go back to the ground right there. Anyway, I did not do that......

As the plane was climbing up, I looked at the other passengers and they seemed so relaxed and others were reading newspapers and doing their own stuff. And then the flight attendants started to go around metal tube. That's when I felt relieved somehow and told myself come on it's cool to fly. After some minutes, the flight attendants (FA) fed us with things of which I don't remember now. Two hours later, I could see the lights of the Hong Kong peninsula. When the plane landed, one of the passengers shouted: "Welcome to the First World!"

The flight form Hong Kong to London was uneventful and nothing to write home about. It was thrilling to see the Big Ben from the air when the aircraft was about to land. I ahd nothing to do at the London airport but wait for my flight to Madrid. Ahhh, nice gesture from a bristish Airways ground stewardess when she said "Salamat" when she returned my passport after checking my name and boarding pass!

The descent to Madrid airport though was exciting would be my home airport for the duration of my thing I noticed though and I mentioned it to the taxi driver: Tierra seca, eh?

publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 16:53
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