EuroTrip · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#2029 – A Winter Weekend in London (Introduction)

ENGLISH

Posts in the A Winter Weekend in London mini series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: London
3. Part II: The Long Way Home

As my Instagram followers (@azilko) have known, I went on a weekend trip this weekend. Yep, just literally a week after coming back from my November 2017 trip to Indonesia, I went on another trip! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› Anyway, the destination this time was:

Piccadilly Circus in London

Yes, London, again!! Again as in this was my fourth time visiting London in the last six months or so, haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Why London and, especially, “again”? Well, because why not, haha ๐Ÿ˜› . I mean, I love London!

The main motivation behind this trip was my UK visa that is going to expire soon, so I feel like I need to go there on one more trip before it expires. About the destination, actually I was torn between London or Edinburgh. The flight to Edinburgh was cheaper but I found cheaper hotel in London. However, I had been to London three times already this year while my last trip to Edinburgh was more than five years ago. On the other hand, I loved London! Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

So after going back and forth between the two, in the end I chose London because I found a return flight with departure to London City Airport which in my previous trip there the plane did not land at my favorite runway 09. So I decided to take another chance, who knew I would be luckier this time! (What kind of reasoning is this?) Lolย ๐Ÿ™ˆ.ย Beside, I loved London so I knew I would enjoy this trip anyway.

I also got upgraded (again ๐Ÿ˜†) to Europe Business Class on my flight to London.

However, as my Instagram followers would also have known, not everything went as planned during the trip, especially on the Sunday part. During the weekend, it was snow storming very hard at Schiphol that a lot of flights got cancelled, including all of KLM’s flights to London on Sunday afternoon, including mine. At the time the Monday forecast was also not any good so the uncertainty was high. KLM, though, offered Amsterdam-bound passengers an alternative: that was to take a bus they arranged to travel that afternoon via land to Schiphol. While this certainly was a major inconvenience especially in comparison with the 1 hour flight from London to Amsterdam, at least this way we would arrive in Amsterdam by early morning on Monday (Though they estimated at around midnight).

When all flights to Amsterdam from London get cancelled due to heavy snow at Schiphol and KLM (the airline) arranges a bus service between the two as the best possible solution due to tomorrow's forecast that isn't any better. Funnily I don't think it is that bad because this actually means the fulfillment of a long forgotten bucket list item of mine that is to travel between the Netherlands and London with all possible means of public transport. Bus was the only one missing as I have (obviously) taken many flights, the Eurostar trains, and the ferry boat services! Lol #Zilkos2017WeekendTrip #travelexperience #selfie #Heathrow #HeathrowSelfie #London #England #travelling #travelwoes #winter #winterproblems #snowproblems #UK #๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง #โœˆ๏ธ #experience #bucketlist #thisislife #KL1010 #LHRAMS #KLM #frequentflyer #instaselfie #selfienation #thisiswhyitravel #instawinter #wintergram #HeathrowTerminal4 #instaHeathrow

A post shared by Aurelius Zilko (@azilko) on

I decided to take a spot in the bus. As I said in my Instagram post above, actually I did not think this was *all* bad, haha. At least this way I could cross that item from my bucket list and let’s hope I would never have to go through it again ๐Ÿ˜› .

What would have happened if I did not take this offer, btw? Well, I actually know the answer to this question. During the bus trip, I got a notification that KLM had also rebooked me to the first available flight out of Heathrow to Schiphol that would be on a Tuesday morning, plus compensation to all extra costs (including accommodation and transportation) because of this. But then, of course, I would only arrive in Amsterdam just before noon on Tuesday; and this was, at the time, to assume there would be no prolonged effect of the snow storm on Tuesday morning…

Anyway, here are some teasers from the trip:

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri singkat A Winter Weekend in London:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: London
3. Part II: The Long Way Home

Seperti yang followers Instagramku (@azilko) ketahui, aku pergi dalam sebuah perjalanan akhir pekan weekend kemarin ini. Iyaa, cuma seminggu aja setelah balik dari perjalanan November 2017ku ke Indonesia, aku jalan-jalan lagi doong! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› Anyway, kali ini tujuannya adalah:

Piccadilly Circus di London

Iya, London, lagi!! Lagi karena ini adalah kali keempat aku mengunjungi London loh dalam enam bulan terakhir ini, haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Mengapa London dan, terutama, kok “lagi” sih? Ya, kenapa tidak kan, haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Kan aku suka banget dengan London!

Motivasi utamaku di balik perjalanan ini adalah visa UK-kuย yang akan segera habis masa berlakunya, jadi rasanya aku perlu pergi dalam sebuah perjalanan kesana sekali lagi lah sebelum masa berlakunya habis. Untuk masalah tujuan, sebenarnya aku galau banget antara London atau Edinburgh. Tiket pesawat ke Edinburgh lebih murah tetapi aku menemukan hotel yang lebih murah di London. Namun, aku sudah ke London tiga kali sebelumnya tahun ini saja sementara perjalanan terakhirku ke Edinburghย adalah lebih dari lima tahun yang lalu. Tapi di sisi lain, kan aku suka banget dengan London ya! Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

Jadilah setelah galau berlarut-larut di antara keduanya, pada akhirnya aku memilih London soalnya aku menemukan tiket pp dengan keberangkatan ke Bandara London City dimana di perjalanan terakhirku kesana pesawatnya kan tidak mendarat di landasan pacu 09 yang merupakan favoritku itu kan ya. Jadilah aku memutuskan untuk mencoba peruntunganku lagi, siapa tahu kan aku lebih beruntung kali ini! (Alasan macam apa ini?) Huahahaย ๐Ÿ™ˆ. Di samping itu, toh aku suka banget dengan London yang mana berarti aku tahu pasti aku akan menikmati perjalanan ini.

Dan aku juga di-upgrade (lagi ๐Ÿ˜†) ke kelas bisnis Eropa di penerbanganku ke London loh!

Namun, seperti yang followers Instagramku ketahui, tidak semuanya berjalan sesuai rencana, terutama di hari Minggu. Akhir pekan kemarin, terjadiย badai salju parah di Schipholย yang menyebabkan banyak sekali penerbangan dibatalkan, termasuk semua penerbangannya KLM ke London di Minggu siang, termasuk penerbanganku. Waktu itu, ramalan cuaca untuk hari Senin juga tidak begitu baik sehingga ketidak-pastiannya amat besar. KLM, tapinya, memberikan pilihan alternatif bagi penumpang mereka dengan tujuan akhir Amsterdam: yaitu untuk naik bus yang mereka charter untuk pergi ke Schiphol melalui jalur darat di sore harinya. Walaupun jelas ini sangat amat tidak nyaman jika dibandingkan dengan penerbangan 1 jam dari London ke Amsterdam, setidaknya dengan begini kita akan tiba di Amsterdam di hari Senin subuh (Walaupun perkiraan waktu tibanya adalah tengah malam sih).

When all flights to Amsterdam from London get cancelled due to heavy snow at Schiphol and KLM (the airline) arranges a bus service between the two as the best possible solution due to tomorrow's forecast that isn't any better. Funnily I don't think it is that bad because this actually means the fulfillment of a long forgotten bucket list item of mine that is to travel between the Netherlands and London with all possible means of public transport. Bus was the only one missing as I have (obviously) taken many flights, the Eurostar trains, and the ferry boat services! Lol #Zilkos2017WeekendTrip #travelexperience #selfie #Heathrow #HeathrowSelfie #London #England #travelling #travelwoes #winter #winterproblems #snowproblems #UK #๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง #โœˆ๏ธ #experience #bucketlist #thisislife #KL1010 #LHRAMS #KLM #frequentflyer #instaselfie #selfienation #thisiswhyitravel #instawinter #wintergram #HeathrowTerminal4 #instaHeathrow

A post shared by Aurelius Zilko (@azilko) on

Aku memutuskan untuk mengambil pilihan busnya. Seperti yang kutulis di caption Instagramku di atas, sebenarnya waktu itu aku tidak merasa pilihan ini buruk-buruk banget loh, haha. Dengan begini, setidaknya aku bisa mencoret satu item bucket list-ku itu dan mari berharap aku tidak perlu menghadapinya lagi ๐Ÿ˜› .

Nah, apakah yang akan terjadi andaikata aku tidak memilih pilihan bus ini, btw? Kebetulan aku juga tahu jawabannya. Ketika dalam perjalanan dengan bus itu, aku mendapatkan notifikasi dari KLM bahwa mereka sudah me-rebook-ku di penerbangan pertama yang tersedia dari Heathrow ke Schiphol, yaitu di hari Selasa pagi, termasuk kompensasi untuk semua biaya ekstranya (termasuk akomodasi dan transportasi) karena ini. Tetapi, tentu saja, dengan pilihan ini aku baru akan tiba di Amsterdam di hari Selasa siang; dan ini pun, waktu itu, harus dengan asumsi bahwa badai saljunya sudah berlalu di Selasa pagi…

Anyway, di atas adalah beberapa teasers dari perjalanan ini.

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Aviation · EuroTrip · Trip Report · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#2001 โ€“ AvGeek Weekend Trip #12 (AMS โ€“ CDG โ€“ LHR โ€“ CDG โ€“ AMS)

ENGLISH

I went on an Avgeek Weekend Trip this weekend which was very interesting as it involved an Air France’s brand new (not even a month old) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. And here is the story of this fun weekend trip I just had.

The routing this weekend. Created with: gcmap.com

So as you know the routing this time was Amsterdam – Paris-CDG – London-Heathrow and back. And so I have decided to skip the Amsterdam – Paris-CDG vv part because I have flown this route so many times, haha. I would just go as far as saying that I flew an Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXL and a KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGW on these two flights.

An Air France’s Airbus A320-200 F-GKXL
A KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGW.

Paris – CDG, Terminal 2E Hall K

After arriving in Paris, I checked the transfer monitor and learned that my connecting flight to London would depart from Hall K of Terminal 2E. So I followed the signage to this hall, which was at the other side of Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport’s Terminal 2. I cleared immigration as well during this transfer, which was really a breeze because there was noone else, haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

At Hall K, I immediately went to the Air France’s lounge there. I just realized that this was actually my first time at a non-Schengen Air France Lounge at Paris-CDG Airport! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› . The lounge was really spacious, much more spacious than the two lounges at Terminal 2F, though the offering was pretty much the same.

Salon Air France at Terminal 2E Hall K

About an hour before departure, I left the lounge to look for the gate. Though I was travelling via Paris-CDG a lot, this was actually just my second time using its Hall K (the first time was when I was catching my Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo-Narita 2.5 years ago), so I wasn’t that familiar with this hall. The interior design of Paris – CDG Terminal 2E’s Hall K was really beautiful, btw. However, it was clearly not designed for avgeeks because it was very difficult to take pictures of the planes parked at this hall! Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

The beautiful Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport Terminal 2E Hall K

AF 1180 (CDG – LHR)


Flight: Air France AF1180
Equipment: Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXJ with a Paris 2024 sticker
ATD: 19:24 CET (Runway 08L of CDG)
ATA: 19:14 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)

Anyway, my flight to London today would be operated with an Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXJ, which was plastered with a Paris 2024 sticker. F-GKXJ was actually parked at the gate next to the Air France Lounge and so I knew that this plane had been sitting there for quite some time. I guess due to the importance of its London-Heathrow route (London-Heathrow is considered as one of the most “premium” airports, in terms of the type of passengers it attracts, in the industry), Air France wouldn’t want to take the risk of any of its London-Heathrow flights being delayed; and so the long on-the-ground time.

An Air France’s Airbus A320-200 F-GKXJ with Paris 2024 sticker

Long story short, I boarded the plane and sat at my 6A seat in the first row of economy today. Not too long after, the push back began and the flight departed. We took off from runway 08L of Paris-CDG and headed northwest towards London. It was a short flight so the complimentary snack service was provided right away.

A flight to London-Heathrow wouldn’t be complete without the plane having to make a few turns above London before being allowed to land, haha. Unfortunately there was some cloud hanging above the city today so I couldn’t really see anything. Anyway, at 19:14 local time we landed at runway 27R of London-Heathrow Airport.

Landing at runway 27R of London-Heathrow

We had to taxi for quite a distance and time (due to the airport’s crowdedness), where I spotted a Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER being prepared for its non-stop flight back to Jakarta later tonight. And finally, we parked at a gate in Terminal 4 at the south part of the airport.

London-Heathrow

The last and only other time I was entering the UK via Heathrow was more than four years ago, haha. And I, sort of, forgot the possible inconvenience of entering London via this popular airport: a really long line at immigration!! The line was so long that I remembered the last time I encountered a line at least this “bad” was when I arrived in New York from Mexico City almost two years ago! While I wasn’t spending 90 minutes just for queuing this time (it was closer to 45 I think), it made me think that the next time I would travel to London, it would be better to arrive at London City Airport! Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

Rump steak for dinner

Anyway, I spent a night at a hotel nearby the airport today, where I also had my rump steak dinner.

The next morning, I checked out just before 7 AM to catch my 9:45 AM flight back to Paris. I already had my mobile boarding pass so I headed straight to security. The officer noticed the “Sky Priority” tag in my boarding pass and informed me that this allowed me to use the VIP security lane. Yeay! I didn’t have to queue with this lane and I cleared security in less than two minutes, haha.

The entrance to the SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow

Once in the departure area, I looked for the SkyTeam Lounge at the airport. You see, London-Heathrow is not a SkyTeam airport but its importance means that a lot of SkyTeam airlines are using it. So to cater this, SkyTeam invests in a lounge at the airport’s Terminal 4, where most SkyTeam airlines fly to (Strangely, Garuda Indonesia operates from Terminal 3 despite it being a SkyTeam member).

The entrance to the lounge was quite small but the lounge itself was actually quite spacious, as it had two floors! I went to the upstairs area because the attendant told me breakfast was served there. The breakfast was actually quite decent with a selection of English or continental all you can eat breakfast. The design of the lounge itself was also really cool and looked so much better than the overall “outdated” feel of Terminal 4 of Heathrow, haha.

SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow

AF 1681 (LHR-CDG)


Flight: Air France AF1681
Equipment: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC
ATD: 10:22 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)
ATA: 12:07 BST (Runway 26L of CDG)

I was very excited when I saw in my Flightradar24 app that my flight today would be operated with F-HRBC, Air France’s newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that wasn’t even one month old! Unfortunately, the flight used Gate 2 today which was a horrible gate at the terminal because it was impossible to take a good picture of the plane! Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

Long story short, I boarded F-HRBC and sat at seat 18K. This time, I sat in the regular economy cabin unlike my last trip with an Air France’s Dreamliner where I sat in the premium economy cabin. I deliberately chose not to “upgrade” myself for the small fee because I would like to compare the two cabins, haha.

The regular economy cabin of Air France’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC

The regular economy cabin was actually quite comfortable with good seat pitch and Air France’s newest IFE (Air France Touch).ย After all passengers boarded, the flight departed and the very chic safety demo was played on the IFE.

Don’t forget to put on your safety belt as, aside from ensuring our safety, it also elegantly hightlights your waistline…

Anyway, a departure from London-Heathrow wouldn’t also be complete without experiencing its traffic jam for take-off, haha. The departure runway this morning was runway 27R so we had to taxi for quite some distance there, and we encountered quite a traffic jam as we were nearing the runway. This doesn’t happen that often at Schiphol or Paris-CDG, and reminded me of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

Traffic jam at Heathrow

Long story short, we finally took off and began our short hop to Paris-CDG. As in flight AF1180, the service began immediately after take-off. A Boeing 787-9 was a much bigger plane than an Airbus A320 so I could imagine the flight attendants must be feeling some kind of time pressure for the service, and they did a really great job! Overall it was a very pleasant and smooth flight with Air France’s F-HRBC. At 12:07 local time, we landed at runway 26R of Paris-CDG Airport.

Air France’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC at Paris-CDG

The plane parked at Terminal 2E Hall L. Then I cleared security and immigration to transfer to Terminal 2F to catch my last flight of this trip back to Amsterdam with KLM.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Aku pergi dalam sebuahย Avgeek Weekend Trip akhir pekan kemarinย yang mana seru banget karena melibatkan sebuah Boeing 787-9 Dreamlinernya Air France yang baru banget (bahkan umurnya belum ada satu bulan). Dan berikut ini cerita dari akhir pekan seruku ini.

Rute akhir pekan ini. Dibuat dengan: gcmap.com

Rute kali ini adalah Amsterdam – Paris-CDG – London-Heathrow pp. Dan sudah kuputuskan aku tidak akan membahas penerbangan pp Amsterdam – Paris-CDGku karena aku sudah sering banget terbang di rute ini, haha. Cuma akan kusebutkan bahwa aku terbang dengan pesawat Airbus A320-200 rego F-GKXLnya Air France dan Boeing 737-700 rego PH-BGWnya KLM di dua penerbangan ini.

Sebuah Airbus A320-200 F-GKXLnya Air France
Sebuah Boeing 737-700 PH-BGWnya KLM.

Paris – CDG, Terminal 2E Hall K

Setelah tiba di Paris, aku mengecek monitor penerbangan transit dan aku diberi-tahu bahwa penerbangan lanjutanku ke London akan berangkat dari Hall K di Terminal 2E. Aku mengikuti petunjuk jalan ke arah sana, yang mana berada di sisi lain dari Terminal 2nya Bandara Charles De Gaulle. Aku melewati imigrasi ketika transit ini, yang mana berlangsung mulus banget karena nggak ada penumpang lain selain aku sehingga nggak perlu antri, haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

Di Hall K, aku langsung pergi ke lounge-nya Air France di sana. Aku baru sadar bahwa ini adalah kali pertama aku mampir di sebuah lounge non-Schengennya Air France di Bandara Paris-CDG loh! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Lounge-nya sendiri amat luas, lebih luas dari dua lounge-nya di Terminal 2F, walaupun layanannya sih kurang lebih sama lah.

Salon Air France di Terminal 2E Hall K

Sekitar satu jam sebelum waktu keberangkatan, aku meninggalkan lounge-nya menuju ke gate. Walaupun aku sering terbang melewati Bandara Paris-CDG, ini baru lah kali kedua aku menggunakan Hall K-nya (kali pertama adalah ketika aku menaikiย penerbangan Japan Airlines ke Tokyo-Narita 2,5 tahun lalu), jadi aku kurang begitu familier dengan hall ini. Disain interior hall ini indah dan kece banget sebenarnya, btw. Namun, jelas disainnya tidak ramah untuk avgeek karena sulit sekali untuk bisa mendapatkan foto pesawat yang diparkir di hall ini dengan oke! Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

Terminal 2E Hall K Bandara Charles De Gaulle Paris yang indah dan kece banget.

AF 1180 (CDG – LHR)


Penerbangan: Air France AF1180
Pesawat: Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXJ dengan stiker Paris 2024
ATD: 19:24 CET (Runway 08L of CDG)
ATA: 19:14 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)

Anyway, penerbanganku ke London hari ini dioperasikan dengan Airbus A320-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GKXJ, yang ditempeli stiker Paris 2024. F-GKXJ sebenarnya diparkir di gate di sebelah lounge-nya Air France jadi aku tahu bahwa pesawat ini sudah diparkir di sana lumayan lama. Aku kira karena pentingnya rute London-Heathrow (London-Heathrow banyak dipandang sebagai satu dari bandara yang “premium”, dari segi tipe penumpang yang bepergian ke sana, di industri penerbangan), Air France tidak mau ambil risiko yang bisa menyebabkan penerbangan-penerbangan ke London-Heathrow terlambat; makanya pesawatnya diparkir lama di darat.

Sebuah Airbus A320-200 F-GKXJnya Air France dengan stiker Paris 2024

Singkat cerita, aku menaiki pesawatnya dan duduk di kursi 6A di barisan pertama ekonomi hari ini. Tak lama setelahnya, pesawat didorong mundur dan berangkat. Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 08L Bandara Paris-CDG dan kemudian berbelok ke arah barat laut menuju London. Karena durasi penerbangannya yang singkat, layanan snack langsung disajikan.

Yang namanya penerbangan ke London-Heathrow tak akan lengkap tanpa yang namanya berputar-putar dulu di atas London sebelum diberikan izin mendarat, haha. Sayangnya, langit London berawan malam ini sehingga aku tidak bisa melihat apa-apa. Anyway, jam 19:14 waktu setempat kami mendarat di landasan pacu 27R Bandara Heathrow.

Mendarat di landasan pacu 27R Bandara London-Heathrow

Kami harus taxiing cukup jauh dengan waktu lumayan lama (soalnya bandaranya ramai banget), dimana aku bisa melihat sebuah Boeing 777-300ERnya Garuda Indonesia sedang disiapkan untuk penerbangan non-stopnya ke Jakartaย malam itu. Dan akhirnya, pesawat diparkir di Terminal 4 di sisi selatan bandaranya.

London-Heathrow

Pertama dan terakhir kalinya aku masuk ke UK melalui Heathrow sebelum hari ini adalahย lebih dari empat tahun yang lalu, haha. Jadilah aku lupa mengenai kemungkinan ketidak-nyamanannya masuk ke London melalui bandara ini: antrian imigrasi yang gila panjangnya!! Antriannya panjang banget sampai aku langsung teringat terakhir kali aku menghadapi antrian imigrasi yang “separah” ini adalah ketika aku tiba di New York dari Mexico City hampir dua tahun yang lalu! Walaupun memang sih aku tidak menghabiskan 90 menit untuk mengantri kali ini (sekitar 45an lah), ini membuatku berpikir bahwa untuk perjalananku ke London yang selanjutnya, mendingan aku terbang ke Bandara London Cityย aja deh! haha ๐Ÿ˜›

Rump steak untuk makan malam

Anyway, aku menginap semalam di hotel di dekat bandara hari ini, dimana aku juga makan rump steak untuk makan malam.

Keesokan paginya, aku check-out sebelum jam 7 pagi untuk mengejar penerbangan jam 9:45ku ke Paris. Aku sudah memiliki mobile boarding pass sehingga aku langsung menuju ke area sekuriti. Petugasnya melihat label “Sky Priority” di boarding pass-ku dan memberi-tahuku bahwa dengannya aku bisa masuk melalui jalur pemeriksaan VIP. Hore! Di jalur ini aku nggak perlu ngantri dan melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti total dalam waktu kurang dari dua menit saja, haha.

Pintu masuk SkyTeam Lounge di Heathrow

Begitu di area keberangkatan, aku langsung mencari SkyTeam Lounge di terminal ini. London-Heathrow bukanlah bandara SkyTeam tetapi pentingnya bandara ini membuat maskapai-maskapai SkyTeam memiliki banyak penerbangan melalui bandara ini. Jadilah SkyTeam memutuskan untuk berinvestasi dengan membuka sebuah lounge di Terminal 4 bandara ini, dimana kebanyakan penerbangan SkyTeam diberangkatkan (Anehnya, Garuda Indonesia beroperasi di Terminal 3 padahal Garuda kan anggota SkyTeam juga).

Pintu masuk lounge ini cukup kecil tetapiย lounge-nya sendiri luas loh, dua lantai pula! Aku naik ke lantai atas karena petugasnya memberi-tahuku bahwa sarapan disajikan di sana. Pilihan sarapannya sendiri cukup oke dimana ada sarapan ala Inggris atau kontinental dengan model all you can eat. Disain lounge-nya sendiri juga keren banget dan nampak jauh lebih modern daripada Terminal 4nya Heathrow yang terasa “usang”, haha.

SkyTeam Lounge di Heathrow

AF 1681 (LHR-CDG)


Penerbangan: Air France AF1681
Pesawat: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC
ATD: 10:22 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)
ATA: 12:07 BST (Runway 26L of CDG)

Aku merasa bersemangat banget ketika aku lihat di app Flightradar24-ku bahwa penerbanganku akan dioperasikan dengan F-HRBC, Boeing 787-9 Dreamlinernya Air France yang paling baru yang umurnya bahkan belum ada satu bulan! Sayangnya, penerbangan hari ini menggunakan Gate 2 yang mana merupakan gate di terminal ini yang menyebalkan sekali karena tidak mungkin bagiku untuk bisa memfoto pesawatnya dengan sudut yang baik! haha ๐Ÿ˜›

Singkat cerita, aku menaiki F-HRBC dan duduk di kursi 18K. Kali ini, aku duduk di kabin ekonomi reguler, tidak seperti penerbanganku sebelumnya dengan Dreamlinernya Air France dimana aku duduk di kabin premium economy. Sengaja aku memilih untuk tidak meng-“upgrade” kursiku dengan biaya yang sebenarnya tidak terlalu mahal karena aku ingin membandingkan dua kabinnya, haha.

Kabin ekonomi reguler Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBCnya Air France

Kabin ekonomi regulernya ternyata cukup nyaman dengan seat pitch kursi yang oke dan IFE terbarunya Air France (Air France Touch). Setelah semua penumpang naik pesawat, kami berangkat dan video peragaan keselamatan yang chic banget ituย dimainkan di layar IFEnya.

Jangan lupa memasang sabuk pengaman karena, selain untuk memastikan keselamatan Anda, sabuknya juga meng-highlight lingkar pinggang Anda dengan elegan…

Anyway, yang namanya keberangkatan dari London-Heathrow tak akan komplit tanpa mengalami yang namanya kemacetan sebelum lepas landas, haha. Landasan pacu keberangkatan pagi ini adalah landasan 27R sehingga kami harus taxiing lumayan jauh ke sana, dan di dekat landasannya ada kemacetan untuk menunggu giliran lepas landas.ย Ini hampir tidak pernah terjadi di Schiphol atau Paris-CDG, dan mengingatkan akan Bandara Internasional Soekarno-Hatta di Jakarta! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

Kemacetan di Heathrow

Singkat cerita, kami akhirnya lepas landas dan memulai penerbangan singkat ke Paris-CDG. Seperti di penerbangan AF1180, layanan snack-nya langsung disajikan setelah lepas landas. Boeing 787-9 berukuran lebih besar daripada Airbus A320 sehingga aku paham tentu pramugari/a-nya diburu-buru waktu ya untuk layanan ini, dan mereka meng-handle-nya dengan baik! Secara umum penerbangan ini adalah penerbangan yang nyaman dan mulus dengan F-HRBCnya Air France. Jam 12:07 waktu setempat, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 26R Bandara Paris-CDG.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBCnya Air France di Paris-CDG

Pesawat diparkir di Hall L Terminal 2E. Lalu, aku melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi ketika transit ke Terminal 2F untuk mengehjar penerbanganku kembali ke Amsterdam dengan KLM.

EuroTrip · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#1975 – A Summer Weekend in London (Part II: London)

ENGLISH

Posts in the A Summer Weekend in London series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: The Flights
3. Part II: London

It is well-known already that I have fallen in love with London. So coming to this trip, I knew that I would enjoy my stay there. It was also good that I had been to London a few times before so I did not feel the need to “rush through” during the trip. I could just relax and enjoy my (short) time in the city that I loved.

Anyway, after checking in at my guest house, I went to the Canary Wharf for lunch. Obviously, I chose Jamie’s Italian because, well, London. Lol! I tried their burger this time and, of course, a bowl of polenta chips as well. It was really good!

Jamie’s Italian’s burger and polenta chips

After some quick rest in the afternoon, I decided to go to Blackfriars as I would want to go to the Millenium Bridge, haha. The Millenium Bridge was really crowded today, but it was actually nice and made the atmosphere more lively. From there, I walked aside the River Thames towards the east to the direction of the London Bridge and the Tower Bridge.

The Millenium Bridge

My favorite hang-out place in London now is the Potters Field Park by the Tower Bridge. The park was quite crowded today, possibly also because it was a Satuday evening, and also because there was a Latin American-themed event going on there. So it was indeed very lively and fun!

A Latin American event at Potters Field Park

At around 8 PM, I started to feel hungry so I went to a Nando’s nearby. FINALLY, I dined at a Nando’s in London!! (And it was only my second time ever in the UK with my first time being in Belfast, Northern Ireland almost two years ago, haha ๐Ÿ˜† ). I ordered their medium (in terms of spiciness) peri-peri chicken with coleslaw and side salad; as I wasn’t too hungry so I did not order some chips ๐Ÿ˜› . And it was good!!

A peri-peri chicken at Nando’s

The following day, after checking-out, I went to Westminster with one big mission which was to take the most touristy selfie in London: a selfie with Big Ben!! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† . As expected, it was very crowded there especially on the Westminster Bridge. Well, of course it was understandable that many other tourists also came there with the same mission as mine, haha ๐Ÿ˜† .

It turned out that the tower was undergoing some maintenance at the time so there were scaffoldings which made it look less nice. But then, I got this brilliant idea! If I stood a little bit further from the tower AND I let a vehicle pass almost by my sife and “block” the camera view of the scaffolding, then I would get a good selfie with Big Ben. And because it was London, which was famous for its red doubledecker buses, one of those could be this blocking vehicle!! And so I was waiting for some red doubledecker buses to pass, and it wasn’t long before one came. And … taa daa:

The ultimate mandatory tourist-in-London selfie

Yep, perhaps the most touristy selfie you could ever possibly take in London!! Haha ๐Ÿ˜†

Anyway, from there I walked towards the (very busy with long queue) London Eye and sat at a bench nearby. I felt like walking today so not long after, I walked towards the Trafalgar Square by crossing the Golden Jubilee pedestrian bridge. Trafalgar Square was also quite crowded today. Well, the weather was good so maybe people felt like going out.

Trafalgar Square

For lunch, I had decided that I would like to come back to Yauatcha, a one Michelin-star restaurant in Soho (I first went there two years ago). Soho wasn’t that far away from Trafalgar Square so I decided to walk there. It turned out I was a little bit too early so I first went to a cafe nearby to have an iced coffee. It was quite warm today in London anyway!

After I finished my coffee, I went to Yauatcha. Thankfully even though I had not made any reservation, there was still a vacant spot despite for only one hour. I ordered a quarter of their crispy duck and a white fried rice. The crispy duck came first, which the waiter “crushed” in front of me with fork and knife, thus making me need not to worry about the bones, haha. Though, the fried rice came a bit too much later; I wish they were served at the same time.ย Anyway, both were delicious! The duck was crispy on the outside but still moist in the inside! Wrapping it with the “pancake” (this was the term used by the waiter, btw; and it was basically like the wrapping you would get with Peking duck) along with the pickle and the sauce made it taste even more tasty!! I think this as how this dish was supposed to be eaten anyway, haha. The Chinese-style white fried rice was also good!!

My fine lunch at Yauatcha, a one-Michelin-star restaurant in Soho: a bowl of white fried rice and crispy duck.

Anyway, I was not told that the duck came with the pancake, actually. Because of this, I ordered the fried rice thinking the duck alone wouldn’t be enough. And now, I ended up with the duck with the pancake and a bowl of fried rice to finish! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† . As a consequence I came out the restaurant feeling quite too full, haha. Overall, it was a good fine lunch at Yauatcha. Of course it wasn’t quite “up class”, but for a one Michelin star restaurant, their a la carte menu was not expensive at all.

From there, I walked to Piccadilly Circus and Green Park to kill some time before having to go to the airport to catch my KLM flight back to Amsterdam from London City Airport (see Part I).

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri A Summer Weekend in London:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: The Flights
3. Part II: London

Sudah sering kubilang bahwa telah lama aku jatuh cinta kepada London. Jadilah ketika berangkat di perjalanan ini, aku tahu perjalanan ini pasti akan seru. Asyik juga aku sudah pernah beberapa kali ke London sebelumnya sehingga aku tidak perlu “terburu-buru” gitu. Aku bisa bersantai-santai saja dan menikmati waktu (singkat)-ku di kota yang aku sukai ini.

Anyway, setelah check-in di guest house tempatku menginap, aku pergi ke Canary Wharf untuk makan siang. Jelas dong aku makan di Jamie’s Italian karena, hmm, London. Haha! Aku mencoba burgernya kali ini dan, tentu saja, polenta chips kesukaanku itu! Enak!

Burger dan polenta chips-nya Jamie’s Italian

Setelah beristirahat sejenak sorenya, aku pergi ke Blackfriars karena aku ingin menyeberangi Jembatan Millenium, haha. Jembatan Milleniumnya ramai hari ini, tetapi justru karena itu lah rasanya asyik karena atmosfernya terasa amat hidup. Dari sana, aku berjalan di sepanjang tepian Sungai Thames ke arah timur menuju Jembatan London dan Jembatan Menara (Tower Bridge).

Jembatan Millenium

Satu tempat hang out favoritku di London adalah Taman Potters Field di dekat Tower Bridge. Tamannya cukup ramai hari ini, mungkin karena memang malam Minggu dan juga sedang ada acara bertemakan Amerika Latin gitu di sana. Jadilah suasananya asyik dan hidup banget!

Sebuah acara bertemakan Amerika Latin di Potters Field Park

Sekitar jam 8 malam, aku mulai merasa lapar sehingga aku mampir di sebuah restoran Nando’s di dekat situ. AKHIRNYA aku makan Nando’s di London juga!! (Dan ini kali kedua nih aku makan di Nando’s di Inggris Raya (UK), setelah yang pertama kali adalah di Belfast, Irlandia Utara hampir dua tahun lalu, haha ๐Ÿ˜† ). Aku memesan ayam peri-peri medium (dari segi tingkat kepedasan) dengan coleslaw dan side salad; karena toh aku merasa tidak terlalu lapar sehingga aku tidak memesan kentang goreng ๐Ÿ˜› . Dan memang enak!!

Ayam peri-peri di Nando’s

Keesokan harinya, setelah check-out aku pergi ke Westminster dengan misi mengambil selfie paling touristy di London: selfie dengan Big Ben!! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Seperti dugaanku, ramai banget deh di sana terutama di Jembatan Westminsternya. Ya iya lah ya jelas aja ada banyak turis lain yang datang kesana dengan misi yang sama denganku, haha ๐Ÿ˜† .

Ternyata menaranya sedang dirawat kali ini sehingga ada banyak perancah bangunan (scaffoldings) yang mana mengganggu pemandangan lah ya, haha. Tetapi kemudian, aku mendapatkan ide brilian! Jika aku berdiri agak jauhan sedikit dari Big Bennya DAN sengaja membiarkan sebuah kendaraan lewat di sampingku dan “menutupi” pandangan kameraku akan perancah bangunannya, aku masih akan tetap mendapatkan selfie yang oke dengan Big Ben. Apalagi, London kan memang terkenal juga dengan bus tingkat merahnya itu, jadi bisa dong satu bus merahnya kujadikan kendaraan penutup perancah bangunan!! Jadilah aku menunggu satu bus tingkat merah itu untuk lewat. Dan tak lama kemudian, satu lewat dan… taa daa:

Selfie turis-di-London wajib yang London banget.

Yep, mungkin ini adalah selfie yang paling touristy yang bisa kita ambil di London ya!! Haha ๐Ÿ˜†

Anyway, dari sana aku berjalan ke arah London Eye (yang rame banget dengan antrian super panjang) dan duduk di sebuah bangku di dekat sana. Aku sedang merasa ingin banyak berjalan-kaki sehingga aku berjalan kaki ke arah Lapangan Trafalgar setelahnya dengan menyeberangi Jembatan Golden Jubilee. Lapangan Trafalgar ramai banget juga hari ini. Yah, cuacanya memang sedang oke sih sehingga mungkin banyak yang memanfaatkannya untuk keluar ya.

Lapangan Trafalgar

Untuk makan siang, aku memutuskan untuk kembali ke Yauatcha, sebuah restoran Michelin bintang satu di Soho (Aku pertama kali kesana dua tahun lalu). Soho tidaklah jauh dari Lapangan Trafalgar sehingga aku berjalan-kaki kesana. Ternyata aku agak keawalan sehingga aku mampir dulu di kafe di dekat situ untuk memesan es kopi. Toh kebetulan cuaca di London lagi lumayan hangat hari ini!

Setelah menghabiskan kopiku, aku kembali ke Yauatcha. Untungnya, walaupun tidak memiliki reservasi, ada meja kosong selama satu jam untukku. Aku memesan bebek crispy dan nasi goreng putih kali ini. Bebek crispy-nya datang duluan, yang kemudian “disuwirkan” oleh pelayannya di depanku dengan garpu dan pisau, sehingga aku tidak perlu pusing-pusing memikirkan tulangnya, haha. Sayangnya, nasi gorengnya datang belakangan sih; padahal aku berharap ini disajikan bersamaan kan ya. Ah, tapi yang penting rasanya enak! Bebeknya beneran crispy di luar tetapi dalamnya masih moist gitu! Membalutnya dengan “pancake“-nya (ini istilah yang digunakan pelayannya lho, haha; yah kurang lebih seperti kulit yang digunakan untuk membalut bebek Peking itu lho) bersama dengan acar dan sausnya membuatnya terasa lebih enak lagi!! Yah, memang menu ini sepertinya memang dimaksudkan dimakan demikian ya, haha. Nasi goreng putihnya juga enak!!

Fine lunch-ku di Yauatcha, sebuah restoran Michelin bintang satu di Soho: satu mangkok nasi goreng putih dan bebek crispy.

Anyway, sayangnya aku tidak diberi-tahu bahwa bebeknya disajikan dengan pancake-nya itu. Karena itu, aku memesan nasi gorengnya berpikir bebeknya saja tidak akan membuatku kenyang. Jadilah sekarang aku mendapatkan seporsi bebek dengan pancake-nya dan satu mangkok nasi goreng untuk dihabiskan! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Jadilah aku keluar dengan perasaan sedikit kekenyangan, haha. Secara keseluruhan, ini adalah fine lunch yang enak di Yauatcha. Tentu saja restorannya agak “up class“, tetapi dengan mempertimbangkan status Michelin bintang satunya, menu a la cartenya tergolong nggak mahal lah.

Dari sana, aku berjalan ke Piccadilly Circus dan Green Park untuk menghabiskan waktu sebelum pergi ke bandara untuk mengejar penerbangan KLMku kembali ke Amsterdam dari Bandara London City (baca Bagian I).

EuroTrip · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#1967 – Another Weekend Story

ENGLISH

Posts in the A Summer Weekend in London series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: The Flights
3. Part II: London

As my Instagram followers (@azilko) have known, I went on yet another weekend trip this weekend! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› . This time, I went back to: London!!

The ultimate mandatory tourist-in-London selfie

Yep, I know that I was just literally in London a month ago for an impromptu weekend trip for Wimbledon. But indeed that was the point, that trip was entirely for Wimbledon so I didn’t have any time to enjoy London, my favorite European city, itself, haha.

To make this trip more fun, I decided that I would fly to my most favorite airport of London (London is served by six airports, btw): London City Airport (LCY)!ย At the time I realized that despite this airport being my favorite, the last time I flew there was actually in 2013 when I was flying back to Rotterdam with CityJet’s Fokker 50ย after a conference in London in my first year of PhD. That was already more than FOUR years ago! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I got upgraded to Europe Business Class AGAIN!!

And also, remember thatย two weeks ago I got upgraded to Europe Business Classย on my KLM Berlin to Amsterdam flight. As it turned out, this time I got upgraded to Europe Business Class AGAIN on my KLM Cityhoppr KL994 flight from London City to Amsterdam!! Awesome, eh!! Hahaha ๐Ÿ˜†

I knew London was my favorite city so I knew what to expect. I knew that I would enjoy it because, well, London. So all in all it was, indeed, a really fun weekend. As usual, here are some teasers of the trip:

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri A Summer Weekend in London:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: The Flights
3. Part II: London

Seperti yang followersย Instagramku (@azilko) ketahui, aku jalan-jalan lagi loh akhir pekan ini! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Kali ini, tujuannya adalah: London!!

Selfie turis-di-London wajib yang London banget.

Iyaa, tahu kok aku memang baru saja pergi ke London bulan lalu untuk sebuah perjalanan akhir pekan super dadakan untuk menonton Wimbledon. Tapi ya justru di situlah intinya, perjalanan ini kan murni untuk Wimbledon aja sehingga aku tidak memiliki waktu untuk menikmati London itu sendiri, yang mana merupakan kota favoritku di Eropa, haha.

Nah untuk membuat perjalanan ini semakin seru, aku memutuskan untuk terbang ke bandara favoritku di London (London memiliki enam bandara, btw): Bandara London City (LCY)! Waktu itu aku baru menyadari bahwa walaupun bandara ini bandara favoritku, terakhir kali aku terbang kesana adalah di tahun 2013 ketikaย aku pulang ke Rotterdam dengan pesawat Fokker 50nya CityJetย setelahย sebuah konferensi di London di tahun pertama PhD/S3-ku. Yang mana artinya sudah lebih dari EMPAT tahun yang lalu dong ya!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis Eropa LAGI dong!!

Apalagi ya, dua minggu yang lalu kan aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis Eropa di penerbangan KLM Berlin ke Amsterdam tuh. Nah, kali ini ternyata aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis Eropa LAGI dong di penerbangan KLM Cityhopper KL994-ku dari London City ke Amsterdam!! Asyik banget ya!! Hahaha ๐Ÿ˜†

Aku tahu London adalah kota favoritku sehingga ya aku tahu perjalanan ini bakal seru dan aku akan sangat menikmatinya karena, yah, London, haha. Jadi secara keseluruhan perjalanan ini memang asyik banget dah. Seperti biasa, di atas aku unggah beberapa teasers dari perjalanan ini.

Tennis · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#1962 – An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip (Part II: Wimbledon 2017)

ENGLISH

Posts in the An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to London and Back
3. Part II: Wimbledon 2017

***

I took the Tube from Liverpool Street Station to Southfields, the closest Tube station to the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the venue of the tournament. I had to walk for about 20 minutes to my gate (there were several gates as the entry point, and a spectator was assigned to a specific gate based on his/her ticket), which was quite a nice walk in one of London’s posh neighbourhoods ๐Ÿ˜› .

The neighbourhood of Wimbledon

The gate was finally opened at 10:30 AM. The multiple gates system was quite good in my opinion where the queue in each gate was not terribly long. I was handed my official ticket at the gate and then got the thorough security check before I was admitted to the ground. And there I was, feeling very excited that I was back in Wimbledon again this year!! Even more excited because I was finally going to watch a Venus Williams’ official singles match for the first time ever; and it happened to be a Wimbledon final match!!ย ๐Ÿ˜

Venus’ match would not start before 2 PM so I had plenty of time before that. So obviously I went around Wimbledon’s beautiful venue, and planned on taking a selfie at Henman Hill with the Wimbledon 2017 flowers arrangement. While doing so, a BBC live camera was apparently shooting the Henman Hill and so me selfie-ing got broadcasted on live TV, lolย ๐Ÿ˜ฑย .

Selfie-ing at Henman Hill!

After going around for a few rounds, I started to get hungry so I decided to get my favorite dish from two years ago: the southern fried chicken that was only sold at one stall in the whole venue: in the Aorangi food area underneath Court No.1 ๐Ÿ˜› . This time, though, the chicken was a little bit too overcooked and the chips was too much to me that I could not finish it, haha ๐Ÿ˜› . But of course, after that I still had my scoop of strawberry and cream. You know, a trip to Wimbledon is NEVER complete without one!

Southern fried chicken
Because a trip to Wimbledon is NEVER complete without a bowl of strawberry and cream

The weather was not perfect today, where thick cloud was hanging throughout the day and occassional showers fell. So I went underneath the Centre Court, where (finally!) they had put some boards listing the past winners of the championships. As for the (recent) ladies’ singles, here is the partial list:

The list of the ladies’ singles champions

Yep, as you can see, a certain surname is indeed dominating the list since the year 2000! Haha :mrgreen: . Yep, Venus Wiliams and Serena Williams had won twelve Wimbledon singles titles for the seventeen years between 2000 and 2016. The other five were won by Petra Kvitova (twice), Marion Bartoli, Amelie Mauresmo, and Maria Sharapova.

Anyway, I decided to enter the Centre Court not long after, as I got quite tired from walking anyway, haha ๐Ÿ˜† . But since it was still about 45 minutes before the match would start, I decided to go closer to the court first to take my picture taken ๐Ÿ˜› .

Back at Wimbledon Centre Court this year.

Then, I went back to my seat, rested my legs a little bit and charged my camera’s battery while there was still time, haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Just before 2 PM, the match preparation started with the ballkids entering the court, followed by the line-judges. At 2 PM, both finalists, Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza entered the court. At this time, I felt a little bit emotional seeing Venus Williams walking there, still fighting hard for grandslam singles titles, even at the age of 37, while battling an incurable auto-immune disease! To me, she is a total inspiration.

Seeing Venus Williams entering Wimbledon’s Centre Court for a Wimbledon singles final gave me chill!!

Muguruza won the coin toss and elected to receive, meaning Venus would serve first. The two players warmed up, and then the match started. The match started really competitively and was immediately at a really high level. The match’s first shot was even Venus’ big serve to the T that became an ace.

Venus Williams started the match with an ace

The two players really went toe to toe and so the match was really, really exciting at this point. Muguruza, especially, played really well in my opinion where I felt like she read Venus’ serves really well today. Nonetheless, the match finally reached the score 4*-5 (15-40) on Muguruza’s serve, meaning Venus had two set points, or opportunities, to win the first set. At this time, both players hit amazing shot after shot after shot, producing a long rally in the teens, which ended with Venus’ forehand error that hit the net. And from my observation, this became the turning point of the match.

Garbine Muguruza was reading Venus’ serves well today.

For whatever reason, it appeared to me that Venus dwelled on this point too much, thus affecting her mind state. Since then, she appeared to rapidly lose her timing and focus, and started to hit more and more unforced errors. Muguruza did well where she kept her composure and focus. It was not that Venus did not try. It was obvious that she tried hard; but she just could not string several good points together. As a result? Well, Muguruza won nine straight games since that turning point, closing the match in only 73 minutes and won 7โ€“5, 6โ€“0.

Garbine Muguruza won her second grandslam title.

Venus, being a champion that she is, was being grace in defeat. It was clear that she was disappointed and sad herself, from her voice during the runner-up interview with Sue Barker on court during the trophy ceremony. But indeed, Garbine Muguruza deserved to win today! She played an amazing aggressive tennis and it paid off at Wimbledon. Thus, she won her second grandslam title and became the first player, ever, to have beaten both Serena and Venus Williams in grandslam finals. Her first grandslam title was the French Open last year where she beat Serena, in a match which I also watched in person ๐Ÿ˜ฃ. Though to be honest, I like Garbine Muguruza. But obviously at this time, I still like both Venus and Serena Williams “better” ๐Ÿ˜› .

Garbine Muguruza won Wimbledon 2017.
Venus Williams and her runner-up trophy.

The next match that followed was the men’s doubles final between Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, the fourth seed, versus Mate Pavic and Oliver Marach, the sixteenth seed. Kubot and Melo had been playing especially well this year. And with their victory over Henri Kontinen and John Peers, the first seed, in the semifinals, Marcelo Melo would take the world no.1 position from Henri Kontinen in the following week.

Anyway, I stayed during the first set of the match, which went toe to toe but in the end, Pavic/Marach got the important break from Kubot/Melo in the twelfth game, and won it 7โ€“5. I decided to stretch my legs after the first set and left my seat. I went around the ground where at the time, some other events were also being held, namely the legends events and the wheelchair events.

A men’s legends match between Lleyton Hewitt/Mark Philippoussis and Mansour Bahrami/Michael Llodra

It was around 6 PM already so I decided to have dinner. I got the sizzling pheri-pheri chicken where I exchanged the bread for extra salad, haha. This dish turned out to be really delicious, btw, and I actually preferred this one than the southern fried chicken I had earlier! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† .

Sizzling pheri-pheri chicken with lots of salad!

I went back to my seat and at the time, Kubot/Melo had won the second and third set 7โ€“5, 7โ€“6, respectively. However, they were down a break in the fourth set already. Pavic/Marach took the fourth set 6โ€“3, meaning the match officially went to the decider fifth set. Both teams held their nerves really well during the decider. Kubot/Melo had the slight advantage of serving first, and so that Pavic/Marach had to face the pressure of serving to keep the match alive for a few times. This pressure almost got to them were Kubot/Melo had a few break points and even championships points; but Pavic/Marach were able to save them all.

An exciting men’s doubles final this year between Lukasz Kubot/Marcello Melo (in the closer side of the court) versus Mate Pavic/Oliver Marach (in the farther side of the court).

The match went toe to toe in the decider, and finally hitting 8*โ€“9 score just after 8 PM. For whatever reason, I felt really tired already (I think Venus’ loss took some energy out of me ๐Ÿ˜› ). I felt like I already had my ticket money worth anyway, even though the final ladies’ doubles match was still scheduled following the men’s doubles final. And so I decided to leave the venue.

I walked back to Southfields station and then took the Tube to Victoria. I checked-in at my hotel in the area and got into my room. I checked the score, and it turned out after more than 4.5 hours, Kubot/Marach finally won the fifth set 13โ€“11, haha. The ladies’ final followed afterwards. The match turned out to be the complete opposite where the second seed, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, double-bagelled (won 6โ€“0, 6โ€“0) the ninth seed, Chan Hao-Ching/Monica Niculescu.

Marcelo Melo’s return to world no.1 was made even sweeter with a Wimbledon title.

And here, my impromptu trip to Wimbledon 2017 officially ended.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to London and Back
3. Part II: Wimbledon 2017

***

Aku menaiki Tube dari Stasiun Liverpool Street menuju Southfields, stasiun Tube terdekat dengan All England Lawn Tennis Club, lokasi turnamennya. Aku harus berjalan sekitar 20 menit dari sana ke gerbang masukku (ada beberapa gerbang yang digunakan sebagai pintu masuk, dan gerbang untuk setiap penonton sudah ditetapkan secara spesifik berdasarkan tiketnya), yang mana oke juga karena aku berjalan-kaki di salah satu daerahnya London yang terasa posh banget ๐Ÿ˜› .

Lingkungan di areanya Wimbledon

Gerbangnya dibuka jam 10:30 pagi. Sistem beberapa gerbang ini cukup baik menurutku dimana akibatnya antrian di masing-masing gerbang tidak lah terlalu panjang. Tiket resmiku diberikan di gerbang dan setiap penonton harus melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti yang ketat sebelum diizinkan masuk. Dan di sana lah aku, kembali merasa bersemangat banget karena aku kembali di Wimbledon juga tahun ini!! Lebih bersemangat lagi karena akhirnya aku akan menonton sebuah pertandingan tunggal resminya Venus Williams untuk pertama kalinya; mana pertandingannya adalah babak final Wimbledon pula!! ๐Ÿ˜

Pertandingannya Venus baru akan dimainkan jam 2 siang sehingga masih ada banyak waktu sebelum itu. Jelas aku berkeliling arenanya Wimbledon yang memang indah banget itu, dan berencana untuk selfie di Henman Hill dengan rangkaian bunga Wimbledon 2017nya. Ketika sedang selfie-selfie, ternyata kamera siaran langsungnya BBC sedang menyorot Henman Hill dong jadilah aku yang sedang selfie-selfieย ditayangkan langsung di TV, huaaaย ๐Ÿ˜ฑย .

Selfie dulu di Henman Hill!

Setelah berkeliling beberapa kali, aku mulai merasa lapar sehingga aku memutuskan untuk makan menu favoritku dari dua tahun lalu: southern fried chickenย yang hanya dijual di satu konter saja di seluruh arenanya: di food court Aorangi di bawah Lapangan No.1 ๐Ÿ˜› . Kali ini, ayamnya agak terlalu matang dan kentangnya juga kebanyakan sehingga aku tidak habis, haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Tetapi tentu saja, biarpun begitu setelahnya aku tetap membeli strawberry and cream dong ya. Karena tentu saja, perjalanan ke Wimbledon itu TIDAK PERNAH lengkap tanpa seporsi strawberry and cream!

Southern fried chicken
Karena perjalanan ke Wimbledon itu TAK AKAN pernah lengkap tanpa satu mangkok strawberry and cream

Cuaca hari ini tidak lah sempurna, dimana awan menggantung tebal dan terkadang hujan juga turun. Jadilah aku pergi ke bagian bawah Centre Court, dimana (akhirnya!) Wimbledon memasang papan-papan yang berisi daftar nama juara-juara turnamen ini sebelumnya. Dan untuk tunggal putri, berikut ini (sebagian) daftarnya:

Daftar juara tunggal putri

Yep, seperti yang bisa dilihat, satu nama keluarga tertentu memang mendominasi daftar ini ya semenjak tahun 2000! Haha :mrgreen: . Ya, Venus Williams dan Serena Williams telah memenangi dua belas gelar tunggal Wimbledon di tujuh belas tahun antara tahun 2000 dan 2016. Lima lainnya dijuarai oleh Petra Kvitova (dua kali), Marion Bartoli, Amelie Mauresmo, dan Maria Sharapova.

Anyway, aku memutuskan untuk masuk ke Centre Court tak lama setelahnya, karena aku merasa cukup lelah telah berjalan banyak, haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Tapi karena masih 45an menit sebelum pertandingan dimulai, aku turun ke dekat lapangannya dulu untuk foto-foto ๐Ÿ˜› .

Kembali di Wimbledon Centre Court tahun ini.

Lalu, aku kembali ke kursiku, dan mengistirahatkan kakiku sekalian menge-charge baterai kameraku mumpung ada waktu nganggur, haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Sebelum jam 2 siang, persiapan pertandingan dimulai dimana ballkids masuk ke lapangan dan diikuti dengan hakim garis. Tepat jam 2 siang, kedua finalis, Venus Williams dan Garbine Muguruza memasuki lapangan. Waktu ini, entah mengapa aku agak baper gitu melihat Venus Williams berjalan memasuki lapangan, masih bertekad dan berjuang keras untuk menjuarai turnamen grandslam lagi, di umurnya yang sudah 37 tahun, sembari melawan penyakit kekebalan-tubuh yang tidak bisa disembuhkan! Ia sungguh menginspirasiku.

Melihat Venus Williams memasuki Centre Court -nya Wimbledon untuk babak final tunggal putri turnamen ini membuatku merinding!!

Muguruza memenangi coin toss dan memutuskan untuk receive, artinya Venus akan servis duluan. Kedua pemain melakukan pemanasan, dan kemudian pertandingan dimulai. Pertandingan dimulai langsung dengan level yang tinggi dan amat kompetitif. Bahkan pukulan pertamanya adalah servis kerasnya Venus ke T yang menjadi pukulan as.

Venus Williams memulai pertandingan dengan pukulan as.

Keduanya bermain dengan seimbang dan sangat ketat sehingga pertandingannya berlangsung amat, amat seru. Muguruza, terutama, bermain dengan amat baik dimana dari sudut pandangku dia bisa membaca servisnya Venus dengan baik hari ini. Toh walaupun begitu, pada akhirnya pertandingan mencapai posisi skor 4*-5 (15-40) di servisnya Muguruza, yang berarti Venus memiliki dua set pointsย alias kesempatan untuk memenangi set pertama. Di poin ini, kedua pemain memukul pukulan yang brilian, brilian, dan brilian berturut-turutan, sehingga terciptalah reli sebanyak sekian belas pukulan, yang berakhir dengan Venus membuat kesalahan di pukulan forehand. Sepengamatanku, ini menjadi titik balik pertandingan ini.

Garbine Muguruza membaca servisnya Venus Williams dengan amat baik hari ini.

Entah karena alasan apa, nampaknya Venus terlalu memikirkan poin tersebut dan gagal move-onย darinya, yang mana mempengaruhi fokus dan mentalnya. Semenjak poin ini, secara cepat ia mulai kehilangan timing dan fokusnya menurun, dan akibatnya mulai membuat banyak kesalahan-kesalahan sendiri. Muguruza tetap mempertahankan fokus dan ketenangan-dirinya. Bukannya Venus langsung menyerah sih. Memang terlihat ia berusaha keras membalikkan situasi; tetapi masalahnya ia tidak bisa untuk memainkan beberapa poin dengan baik secara berturutan. Sebagai akibatnya? Hmm, semenjak titik balik itu, Muguruza memenangi sembilan game berturutan dan menjuarai turnamen ini dengan skor 7โ€“5, 6โ€“0 dalam 73 menit.

Garbine Muguruza menjuarai gelar grandslam keduanya.

Venus, yang memang bermental juara, berlaku sportif dalam kekalahan. Jelas ia merasa kecewa dan sedih sekali, nampak dari suaranya ketika diwawancara oleh Sue Barker sebagai runner-upย di turnamen ini di upacara pemberian piala. Tapi memang kok, Garbine Muguruza layak menang hari ini! Ia bermain tenis secara agresif dan brilian, dan strategi ini memang cocok untuk Wimbledon. Akibatnya, ia menjuarai gelar grandslam keduanya dan menjadi petenis pertama yang pernah mengalahkan Serena dan Venus Williams di final grandslam. Gelar grandslam pertamanya adalah French Open tahun lalu dimana ia mengalahkan Serena di final, sebuah pertandingan yang mana juga aku tonton langsungย ๐Ÿ˜ฃ. Walaupun sejujurnya, aku juga suka Garbine Muguruza sih. Tapi jelas untuk saat ini, aku masih lebih suka Venus dan Serena Williams ๐Ÿ˜› .

Garbine Muguruza menjuarai Wimbledon 2017.
Venus Williams dengan piala runner-up-nya.

Pertandingan selanjutnya adalah final ganda putra antara Lukasz Kubot dan Marcelo Melo, tim unggulan keempat, melawan Mate Pavic dan Oliver Marach, tim unggulan ke-enam-belas.Kubot dan Melo sudah bermain baik tahun ini. Dan dengan kemenangan mereka melawan Henri Kontinen dan John Peers, tim unggulan pertama, di babak semifinal, Marcelo Melo akan naik ke posisi peringkat 1 dunia menggantikan Henri Kontinen di minggu berikutnya.

Anyway, aku menonton set pertama yang berlangsung seru, tetapi akhirnya Pavic/Marach berhasil mematahkan servisnya Kubot/Meli di game ke-dua-belas, dan memenangi set pertama 7โ€“5. Aku memutuskan untuk meluruskan kaki setelah set pertama. Aku kemudian berkeliling arenanya lagi dimana beberapa pertandingan lain sedang dimainkan, misalnya pertandingan legenda atau tenis kursi roda.

Pertandingan legenda putra antara Lleyton Hewitt/Mark Philippoussis dan Mansour Bahrami/Michael Llodra

Karena sudah jam 6 sore, aku memutuskan untuk makan malam dulu. Aku memesan sizzling pheri-pheri chicken yang mana aku menukar rotinya dengan salad ekstra, haha. Menu ini ternyata enak banget loh, dan sebenarnya aku malah lebih suka menu ini daripada southern fried chicken yang sebelumnya aku makan! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† .

Sizzling pheri-pheri chicken dengan banyak salad!

Aku kembali ke kursiku, dan waktu itu Kubot/Melo sudah memenangi set kedua dan ketiga dengan skor 7โ€“5, 7โ€“6. Namun, mereka tertinggal di set keempat. Pavic/Marach memenangi set keempat 6โ€“3, yang mana artinya pertandingannya masuk ke babak penentuan dimana set kelima harus dimainkan. Kedua tim bermain baik dan tenang di babak penentuan ini. Kubot/Melo sedikit diuntungkan karena servis duluan, sehingga beberapa kali Pavic/Marach berada di situasi bertekanan tinggi dimana servis mereka tidak boleh terpatahkan agar tetap bisa bertahan. Tekanan ini nyaris menghancurkan mereka dimana Kubot/Melo memiliki beberapa break points dan bahkan championships points; tetapi Pavic/Marach berhasil menyelamatkan semuanya.

Babak final ganda putra yang seru banget tahun ini antara Lukasz Kubot/Marcello Melo (di sisi lapangan yang lebih dekat) melawan Mate Pavic/Oliver Marach (di sisi lapangan yang lebih jauh).

Set kelima berlangsung ketat banget, sampai akhirnya mencapai skor 8*โ€“9 setelah jam 8 malam lewat. Entah mengapa, aku tiba-tiba merasa lelah (aku duga sih kekalahannya Venus menghabiskan banyak energiku ๐Ÿ˜› ). Aku merasa toh aku sudah cukup menikmati harga tiket yang harus aku keluarkan; dan walaupun masih ada babak final ganda putri yang belum dimainkan, aku memutuskan untuk meninggalkan arenanya.

Aku berjalan ke Stasiun Southfields dan kemudian naik Tube ke Victoria. Aku check-in di hotelku di daerah situ dan masuk ke kamarku. Aku menyalakan TV dan ternyata setelah 4,5 jam lebih, Kubot/Marach akhirnya memenangi set kelima 13โ€“11, haha. Final ganda putri dimainkan setelahnya. Dan pertandingan ini berkebalikan sekali dengan final ganda putra, dimana tim unggulan kedua, Ekaterina Makarova dan Elena Vesnina, men-double-bagel (menang dengan skor 6โ€“0, 6โ€“0) tim unggulan kesembilan, Chan Hao-Ching/Monica Niculescu.

Kembalinya Marcelo Melo ke peringkat 1 dunia menjadi semakin manis lagi dengan gelar Wimbledon.

Dan di sini, perjalanan dadakanku ke Wimbledon 2017 resmi berakhir.

Aviation · EuroTrip · Trip Report · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#1957 – An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip (Part I: Getting to London and Back)

ENGLISH

Posts in the An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to London and Back
3. Part II: Wimbledon 2017

***

In short, I followed the same travelling strategy to London as two years ago. IMO, this strategy was quite efficient and economical given the last-minute nature of the trip.

Getting to London

I started the trip by taking the Hoek van Holland – Harwich ferry boat on Friday evening which arrived on Saturday morning. The timing was perfect because I could go straight to Wimbledon after arriving in London with the regional train service from Harwich. Also, this saved me one night of London’s expensive hotel room, haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

Anyway, so straight from work, I went to Amsterdam Centraal to take the train to Hoek van Holland. Apparently the Hoek van Holland station was being renovated at the time and so I had to take a bus service from Schiedam.

Boarding Stena Britannica

I arrived at the international port a little bit too early today where check-in had not yet been opened. Long story short, finally they started boarding passengers at around 7:30 PM and I went to my cabin (the cheapest still available one, obviously ๐Ÿ˜› ). This was my third time taking this ferry service, the other two being once obviously two years ago and another once three years ago in the winter, so I wouldn’t get to too much details here.

Fish and chips dinner

I had dinner at the restaurant, where I ordered a fish and chips menu. Then I walked about the boat where the facility was quite cozy. It was quite crowded, btw, and I guessed most passengers were passengers with vehicles since I did not notice a lot of “foot passengers” in the departure terminal. Anyway, the boat left the dock at around 9:50 PM and then off to the English Channel we went! I then had a big glass of cider before heading for bed.

Off to the sea!!!

I got up at 5 AM (British time), showered, packed all my stuffs, and headed down to the main deck for my breakfast. The breakfast was a buffet English breakfast which was just okay. Anyway, the walkway connecting the boat with the terminal building was broken this time (just like two years ago) so we were taken to the port with bus at 6:30 AM. I cleared immigration and waited for my train service to London Liverpool Street via Manningtree at 7:33 AM. Here, I realized I should have bought the rail and sail ticket so I could have taken the earlier 7:20 AM, haha. Anyway, both trains were on time so it was really convenient, and I arrived at London Liverpool Street station just before 9 AM.

Back in London!!

Back from London

As I would spend the whole Saturday in London, I planned to come back to Amsterdam on Sunday. Of course, this time I would just fly. And this was where I missed Garuda Indonesia’s fifth freedom Amsterdam – London-Gatwick route which they closed last year. A last-minute London (any airports, London is served by six airports, btw ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) – Amsterdam ticket was quite expensive these days! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Back in the day, Garuda still offered their promotional fare even for last-minute reservations. This time, the cheapest option would be to fly out of London at around 7 AM on Sunday but obviously I would never do that, lol ๐Ÿ˜† . So I went with the second cheapest option that was easyJet’s afternoon flight out of London-Gatwick.

I missed Garuda Indonesia’s AMS-LGW route which they served using their Boeing 777-300ER. Pictured here was PK-GID at London-Gatwick from two years ago.

Anyway, obviously I did not have time to go around London this time. Even though I did manage to stop by for maybe 10 minutes at the Buckingham Palace as I was staying in the Victoria area, haha. Buckingham Palace was super busy at the time, due to the ceremony involving the famous royal guards there.

A royal guard at Buckingham Palace

I then took the regular train from London – Victoria Station to Gatwick Airport. It was quite convenient where the journey took about half an hour. I already checked-in online so I went straight to security and then to the departure area.

As I was quite early and actually had not had breakfast anyway, I decided to have brunch at my favorite restaurant, Jamie’s Italian, at the airport! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› . I had their Italian steak and fries, and swapped the fries with my favorite polenta chips ๐Ÿ˜› .

Italian steak and polenta chips at Jamie’s Italian

At about 3:20 PM, boarding for my easyJet flight EZY 8885 to Amsterdam started. Quite funnily, though, even though the gate was equipped with an air bridge, easyJet did not use it and the passengers had to board by going down and up a pair of stairs, haha. Anyway, the flight would be with an Airbus A320-200 reg G-EZWY (equipped with sharklets) and then I settled onto my 8A seat.

Breaking my flight-free streak at six weeks with this easyJet’s Airbus A320-200 reg G-EZWY

The last time I flew easyJet was three years ago, coincidentally also on the London-Gatwick – Amsterdam sector. Unsurprisingly easyJet had retrofitted their cabin in the meantime, and this time I felt like they had really generous legroom! This was made possible by the new very thin seats they installed, and this generosity obviously came with a price becauseย easyJet still fitted their A320 with 180 seats (almost the maximum capacity of this type): the seats did not recline.

EasyJet’s new seat, very slim hence more legroom, but non-reclinable

Anyway, boarding went quite efficiently, and we took off from runway 26L. It was a typical uneventful flight with an LCC to Amsterdam. The flight attendants went on a round to sell stuffs, but I did not buy anything, haha. At 5:50 PM, we landed at Schiphol Airport. Upon arrival, I found it funny that they announced that we were about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. But actually, we landed at the friggin’ Polderbaan so the early arrival would get negated by the long taxi to the terminal we would have to do anyway, haha.

G-EZWY parked at one of the LCC stand in Pier H/M. I got off the plane (via stairs) and headed to the terminal, cleared immigration, and took the train to go back to Amsterdam ๐Ÿ™‚ .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to London and Back
3. Part II: Wimbledon 2017

***

Secara singkat, aku menggunakan strategi yang sama untuk pergi ke London seperti dua tahun yang lalu. Menurutku, strategi ini cukup efisien dan ekonomis mengingat kondisi perjalanan ini yang serba dadakan.

Berangkat ke London

Perjalanan aku mulai dengan menaiki kapal feri Hoek van Holland – Harwich di Jumat malam dan tiba Sabtu pagi. Waktunya sempurna banget karena aku bisa langsung pergi ke Wimbledon begitu tiba di London setelah naik kereta regional dari Harwich. Juga, ini menghemat biaya hotel satu malam di London yang mahal banget itu kan, haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

Anyway, sepulang kerja, aku langsung pergi ke Amsterdam Centraal untuk naik kereta ke Hoek van Holland. Rupanya waktu itu stasiun kereta Hoek van Holland sedang direnovasi sehingga aku harus naik bus yang berangkat dari Schiedam.

Menaiki kapal Stena Britannica

Aku tiba di pelabuhan internasionalnya agak terlalu awal dimana check-in-nya masih belum dibuka waktu itu. Singkat cerita, penumpang dipersilakan naik kapal sekitar jam 7:30 malam dan aku langsung pergi ke kabinku (yang paling murah dan masih tersedia tentunya ๐Ÿ˜› ). Ini adalah kali ketiga aku menaiki layanan feri ini, dua kali yang sebelumnya adalah sekali dua tahun yang lalu dan sekaliย tiga tahun lalu di musim dingin, jadi aku tidak akan menuliskan terlalu banyak detailnya sekarang.

Makan malam dengan fish and chipsย 

Aku makan malam di restoran kapalnya, dimana aku memesan menu fish and chips. Lalu aku mengelilingi kapalnya yang memiliki banyak fasilitasnya sehingga lumayan nyaman. Hari ini kapalnya cukup ramai, btw, dan aku tebak sih kebanyakan penumpang adalah penumpang yang membawa kendaraan pribadi karena kulihat tidak ada banyak “penumpang pejalan-kaki” di terminal keberangkatan. Anyway, kapalnya diberangkatkan sekitar jam 9:50 malam dan langsung kami berlayar menuju Selat Channel! Setelahnya aku minum segelas besar cider sebelum pergi ke kabin untuk tidur.

Berangkat menuju ke laut!!!

Aku bangun sekitar jam 5 pagi (waktu Inggris), mandi, mem-packingย barang bawaanku, dan kemudian turun ke dek utama untuk sarapan. Sarapannya adalah sarapan buffet ala Inggris yang mana rasanya biasa saja. Anyway, gabarata di Harwich rusak lagi kali ini (seperti dua tahun lalu) sehingga kami diantar ke pelabuhannya dengan bus jam 6:30 pagi. Aku melewati imigrasi dan menunggu keretaku ke London Liverpool Street jam 7:33 pagi dengan berganti-kereta di Manningtree. Aku baru sadar saat itu seharusnya aku membeli tiket rail and sail sehingga aku bisa menaiki kereta yang lebih awal, jam 7:20 pagi, haha. Anyway, kedua kereta yang kunaiki untungnya berangkat tepat waktu kok dan cukup nyaman, dan aku tiba di stasiun London Liverpool Street sebelum jam 9 pagi.

Kembali di London!!

Kembali dari London

Karena aku akan menghabiskan sepanjang Sabtu di London, aku berencana kembali ke Amsterdam di hari Minggu. Tentu saja, kali ini aku naik pesawat. Dan di sini lah aku kangen dengan penerbangan kebebasan kelimanya Garuda Indonesia rute Amsterdam – London-Gatwickย yang mereka tutup tahun lalu. Tiket penerbangan last minute dari London (bandara mana pun, London memiliki enam bandara, btw ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) ke Amsterdam itu lumayan mahal akhir-akhir ini! Haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Dulu, Garuda masih menjual tiket promonya loh bahkan untuk reservasi dadakan. Kali ini, opsi termurah adalah terbang dari London sekitar jam 7 pagi di hari Minggu tapi jelas dong ya aku ogah, haha ๐Ÿ˜† . Jadilah aku memilih opsi termurah kedua yaitu dengan penerbangan sorenya easyJet dari London-Gatwick.

Aku kangen dengan rute AMS-LGWnya Garuda Indonesia yang mereka layani dengan pesawat Boeing 777-300ER. Foto di atas adalah PK-GID di Bandara London-Gatwick dua tahun yang lalu.

Anyway, jelas kali ini aku tidak memiliki banyak waktu untuk berkeliling London. Walaupun aku masih sempat untuk mampir 10 menitan di Istana Buckingham sih karena aku menginap di area Victoria, haha. Istana Buckingham ramai banget waktu itu, karena sedang ada upacara yang melibatkan penjaga istananya yang beken banget itu.

Seorang penjaga di Istana Buckingham

Kemudian aku menaiki kereta reguler dari London – Victoria menuju Bandara Gatwick. Perjalanannya sekitar setengah jam. Karena sudah check-in online, aku langsung menuju pemeriksaan sekuriti dan masuk ke area keberangkatan.

Karena aku datang awal dan juga belum sarapan, aku memutuskan untuk brunch di restoran favoritku, Jamie’s Italian, di bandara! Haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Aku memesan steak Italia kali ini, dan meminta menukar kentang gorengnya dengan polenta chips kesukaanku itu ๐Ÿ˜› .

Steak Italia dan polenta chips di Jamie’s Italian

Sekitar jam 3:20 sore, boarding penerbangan EZY 8885ku ke Amsterdam dimulai. Lucunya, walaupun gerbangnya dilengkapi gabarata, easyJet tidak menggunakannya dong dan penumpang mesti naik ke pesawat dengan menuruni tangga dan kemudian menaiki tangga lagi, haha. Anyway, penerbangannya akan dioperasikan oleh sebuah Airbus A320-200 rego G-EZWY (yang dilengkapi dengan sharklets) dan setelahnya aku duduk di kursi 8Aku.

Memutuskan rekor “bebas-penerbangan”-ku setelah enam minggu dengan Airbus A320-200nya easyJet dengan rego G-EZWY ini.

Terakhir kali aku naik easyJet adalahย tiga tahun lalu, kebetulan juga di sektor London-Gatwick – Amsterdam. Tidak mengejutkan bahwa di selama tiga tahun ini mereka juga telah mendisain ulang kabinnya, dimana kali ini aku merasa legroom-nya mantap banget! Ini dimungkinkan oleh kursi generasi barunya yang super ramping itu, dan tentu saja kemurahan-hati ini juga harus dibayar karena easyJet tetap mengisi A320 ini dengan 180 kursi (nyaris kapasitas maksimal pesawat tipe ini): kursinya tidak bisa digerakkan/dimundurkan.

Kursi barunya easyJet, amat ramping sehingga legroom-nya lebih lapang, tetapi tidak bisa digerakkan.

Anyway, boardingย berlangsung cukup efisien, dan kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 26L. Ini adalah penerbangan uneventful seperti biasanya dengan LCC ke Amsterdam. Pramugara-pramugaranya menawarkan barang dagangan di penerbangan ini, tetapi aku tidak membeli apa-apa. Jam 5:50 sore, kami mendarat di Bandara Schiphol. Setelah mendarat, pramugaranya mengumumkan bahwa kami mendarat 10 menit lebih cepat daripada jadwal. Aku merasa lucu karena kami mendarat di Polderbaan laknatย itu sehingga biarpun kami mendarat lebih cepat, pada akhirnya toh akan sama saja karena taxiing ke terminalnya kan lama banget, haha.

G-EZWY parkir di salah satu tempat parkir LCC di pier H/M. Aku menuruni pesawatnya (pakai tangga) dan menuju ke terminal, melewati imigrasi, dan naik kereta untuk kembali ke Amsterdam ๐Ÿ™‚ .

EuroTrip · Tennis · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#1953 – An Impulsive Weekend To … London

ENGLISH

Posts in the An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to London and Back
3. Part II: Wimbledon 2017

As my Instagram followers (@azilko) have known now, I went to … Wimbledon in London this weekend!! Yeay!! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

This trip was extremely impulsive because I just started to prepare for everything literally on Friday morning. I used the same strategy as two years ago when I went on a similar trip to watch Serena Williams completed the second Serena Slam. I was super, super lucky to get a last-minute official ticket for the ladies’ final this year :mrgreen: .

Back at Wimbledon Centre Court this year.

I already toyed with the idea of this spontaneous trip since I was applying for a UK visa this May actually. I told myself that if Venus Williams made the final, no matter what I would go (provided that I got the ticket, of course). I mean, this would certainly aย once in a lifetime opportunity (Serena Williams did not play Wimbledon this year because of her pregnancy). I already checked everything (how to get there, accommodation, etc) and I knew this would be a costly trip given the last-minute nature. But it was worth the attempt if it was for a possibility to see Venus Williams contesting for a singles grandslam title!! I knew I must try to grab this if I was presented the chance!!

Venus Williams started the match with an ace.

And then on Tuesday, Venus Williams won her quarterfinals match against the reigning French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko (coincidentally, that day I also posted the Roland Garros part of my 2017 Early Summer Weekend TripS seriesย where I watched Jelena Ostapenko won that title ๐Ÿ˜› ). So suddenly, it appeared to me that I might actually need to execute this plan! Haha ๐Ÿ˜†

The ladies’ singles draw of Wimbedon 2017, after the semifinals. Venus Williams was playing really, really well. Source: Wikipedia

I tried to get the ticket on Thursday but unfortunately I was unsuccessful. However, I still had a second chance which was the last official sales on Friday morning. This time, luckily I got one!! This was actually the better scenario in the sense that I already knew Venus Williams would play Garbine Muguruza on Saturday by this time. Had I bought the ticket on Thursday, it would have been a gamble because the semifinals still had not yet been played at that point, haha. It is quite funny, though, that two years ago I bought the ticket after knowing Serena Williams would play Garbine Muguruza. So is Muguruza my lucky charm? Hmm. Anyway, after getting the ticket, I quickly arranged everything else (how to get there and back, accommodation, etc). And in the evening, I left for London! This was also good as it meant I would endย my flight-free streakย a little bit sooner, haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

Come on, Venus!! We all know you CAN do it!!

Obviously, this was a super fun last-minute weekend trip. As you (might) know, Garbine Muguruza ended up winning the title. As a fan, I cannot say that I did not feel sad with Venus’ loss, especially I was present there witnessing it. It was the classic mental match where one point determined the fate for the rest of the match. The point was 4*-5 (15-40) on Muguruza’s serve in the first set. Nonetheless, I still had fun in the tournament, as I love Wimbledon!! And adding that I finally got to see a Venus Williams’ official singles match (an exhibition match against Kim Clijsters in 2012 doesn’t count ๐Ÿ˜› ), despite the outcome was not ideal to me, made it even better! I hope Venus will bounce back from this loss, as she has been showing great tennis form this year.

This is all I have for now. As usual, here are some teasers from the trip:

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri An Impulsive Wimbledon 2017 Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to London and Back
3. Part II: Wimbledon 2017

Seperti yang followers Instagram-ku (@azilko) ketahui, aku pergi ke … Wimbledon di London akhir pekan ini!! Hore!! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Jadi begini, perjalanan ini adalah perjalanan super dadakan dimana segalanya baru aku persiapkan hari Jumat paginya. Aku menggunakan strategi yang sama seperti dua tahun laluย ketika aku pergi dalam perjalanan yang serupa untuk menonton Serena Williams menorehkan prestasi Serena Slam keduanya. Aku sungguh beruntung banget bisa mendapatkan tiket resmi last-minute untuk final tunggal putri tahun ini :mrgreen: .

Kembai di Centre Court-nya Wimbledon tahun ini.

Aku sudah bermain dengan ide perjalanan dadakan ini semenjak aku mengajukan permohonan visa UK-ku Mei ini. Aku berjanji kepada diriku bahwa jika Venus Williams main di final, pokoknya aku harus pergi (dengan catatan aku mendapatkan tiketnya sih, tentu saja). Maksudku, ini pasti adalah kesempatan super langkaย (Serena Williams tidak bermain tahun ini karena sedang hamil). Aku juga sudah mengecek semuanya (cara pergi kesana, akomodasi, dll) dan aku tahu ini akan menjadi perjalanan cukup mahal karena dadakan banget. Tapi jelas worth banget untuk dicoba dong untuk kemungkinan menonton Venus Williams berjuang memenangi gelar tunggal grandslam!! Aku tahu kesempatan ini harus aku ambil jika kesempatannya ada!!

Venus Williams memulai pertandingan dengan pukulan as.

Dan di hari Selasa, Venus Williams memenangi pertandingan babak perempat-finalnya melawan juara French Open, Jelena Ostapenko (kebetulan, hari itu aku juga mem-posting ceritaย bagian Roland Garrosย dariย seri 2017 Early Summer Weekend TripS-kuย dimana aku menonton langsung Jelena Ostapenko menjuarai gelar itu ๐Ÿ˜› ). Jadi tiba-tiba saja, kok kayaknya aku harus mengeksekusi rencana ini ya! Haha ๐Ÿ˜†

Undian tunggal putri turnamen Wimbedon 2017, setelah babak semifinal. Venus Williams bermain dengan sangat amat baik. Sumber: Wikipedia

Aku mencoba untuk mendapatkan tiketnya di hari Kamis tetapi sayangnya aku gagal. Namun, masih ada kesempatan kedua di penjualan terakhir di Jumat pagi. Beruntung banget, kali ini aku mendapatkannya!! Ini sebenarnya adalah skenario yang lebih baik sih karena di waktu ini aku sudah tahu Venus Williams akan bermain di babak final melawan Garbine Muguruza di hari Sabtu. Andaikata tiketnya kubeli di hari Kamis, itu masih gambling karena pertandingan semifinalnya masih belum dimainkan waktu itu. Lucu juga btw, dimana dua tahun lalu aku mendapatkan tiketnya setelah tahu Serena Williams akan main melawan Garbine Muguruza di babak final. Apakah ini artinya Garbine Muguruza itu membawa keberuntungan untukku? Haha ๐Ÿ˜› . Anyway, setelah mendapatkan tiketnya, langsung aku mengurus semua hal lainnya (bagaimana pergi kesana, akomodasi, dll). Dan malamnya, aku langsung berangkat ke London! Ini juga oke sih karena artinya flight-free streak-kuย akan berakhir sedikit lebih cepat, haha ๐Ÿ˜› .

Ayo, Venus!! Kita semua tahu kamu BISA!!

Jelas, ini adalah perjalanan akhir bekan dadakan yang seru banget. Seperti yang (mungkin) pada tahu, Garbine Muguruza menjuarai turnamen ini. Sebagai fans, tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa aku sedih dengan kekalahannya Venus, terutama aku berada di sana menyaksikannya sendiri. Ini adalah pertandingan mental yang klasik dimana satu poin menentukan nasib dari sisa pertandingan. Poin itu adalah 4*-5 (15-40) di servisnya Muguruza di set pertama. Toh walaupun begitu, aku masih menikmati turnamennya kok, karena aku memang suka Wimbledon!! Dan apalagi ditambah bahwa pada akhirnya aku bisa menonton langsung pertandingan tunggal resminya Venus Williams (pertandingan ekshibisi melawan Kim Clijsters di tahun 2012ย tentu tidak dihitung yah ๐Ÿ˜› ), walaupun hasilnya tidaklah ideal untukku, membuatnya semakin seru lagi! Aku sungguh berharap Venus akan segera bangkit kembali dari kekalahan ini, karena sebenarnya dia sudah bermain tenis dengan level yang menakjubkan di tahun ini.

Segini dulu deh untuk saat ini. Seperti biasa, di atas adalah beberapa teasers dari perjalanan ini.