And Everyone Leaves
July 16, 2012
This is our last day in Vladivostok. Most of the other tour members are leaving very early this morning so we are not going to get up before 6 to say goodbye. We said goodbye last night and will just email or watch Facebook for news. I’m sure we’ll see Simon again someday because his company, Koryo Tours just offers too many good things to do and see. Chances are my hubby won’t be on one like this again though. We have found that he’s not keen on Dark Tourism and apparently I am. Ah well. We have so many other tours and trips together that we both like so not a problem.
A couple of the Brits who are expats in Hong Kong will be on our afternoon flight to Seoul. We will all ride to the airport together. They both seem to have a lot more energy than we do and both were up and out the door this morning to go see things in Vladivostok. I would like to say that both are much younger than my hubby and me but sad to say, I think one of them is older! The energy train has left the building for us. We try to sleep as late as possible which isn’t easy since the hotel is still remodeling and the scaffolding is right beside our hotel room window. Some men were busy climbing up the scaffolding around 7 a.m. but they passed by fairly quickly and then we didn’t hear them again so we managed to sleep a bit later. Then down for breakfast and it’s always a bit odd to no longer recognize anyone in the room. It is amazing how much you come to enjoy seeing the other tour members and having someone else to talk to at a meal.
So, in the end, we do nothing else in Vladivostok but pack our bags and then take care of some business on line and some reading and some photo labeling and quickly the morning passes and we are downstairs with our suitcases – all four of them – and waiting and hoping our two fellow travelers show up on time and they do and we all pile into the van for the ride to the airport.
At the airport, we are handed out of the car and that’s all from the tour company. The four of us head into the terminal and are stopped from going into the check in area because they are not ready to check in our Korean Airlines flight yet. As we are standing there with the line growing, my husband and I are staring at a sign that says “Business class passengers please proceed upstairs to the business class lounge”. I love being business class. Not wanting to haul 4 suitcases up the steps in case it is a mistake, my honey gallantly walks upstairs to see if we should go up there and yes, we should. One of the other men helps carry my bags upstairs and we are ushered into a room where they pile up our suitcases and take our passports and usher us into a lounge and then run off with everything while we wait in relative comfort and also have drinks and snacks. How nice. I am a bit anxious that they have taken our passports but they return with them shortly and have our luggage tags and our boarding passes in hand. Now we just wait for a bit until it is time to board, practically. They have a nice treatment protocol set up for the business class passengers. Time to go to the gate and we have our own little immigration counter to check out of the country and then into the departure gate area where we see our two friends also ready to board the plane. Leaving Russia again but I’ll be back to Russia in a couple of weeks with my daughter for a short trip to St. Petersburg. One side of the country to the other.
The flight on Korean Air is about 2 hours with a 2 hour time change. We are upstairs on the plane. It has been awhile since we’ve flown a double decker. Usually on Asian airlines, it’s pretty hot in the plane but since it was an older model, we had some air at each seat, luckily, and I didn’t get overheated. Out of Russia and into Seoul and we passed over some lovely islands coming into Incheon Airport. I say this a lot but I sure do miss living in Seoul.
To transfer from one flight to another without going through immigration still means you have to go through security so we caught up with the two men going to Hong Kong in security and said our last goodbyes and then we went to the business class lounge because we have a late flight to Guam and are going to get there are about 1 a.m. or so. My plan was to have a short nap in the lounge and take a shower before we leave and then hopefully also get a bit of sleep on the plane. It worked fairly well, the plan but we still seemed to be terribly tired by the time we hit Guam.