Travel Notes from this Week

In about an hour, I will board the final flight of my round-the-world trip, from San Francisco back to London. I’ve mostly been in Beijing and San Francisco, and I’ve transited through Singapore and Hong Kong on the way. The most grueling part by far was Wednesday, where I boarded a flight at 9 AM in Beijing and after hitting Singapore and Hong Kong I finally ended up in San Francisco at 8 PM San Francisco time – that’s roughly a full day (24 hours) of traveling. The highlight from a travel perspective was flying on the new Singapore Airlines A380. This is an absolutely amazing aircraft. What struck me most was how quiet it was – others have commented on the quietness, but I haven’t seen any comments about how much bigger the lavatories were. This was a nice touch. It was the first time I’ve been able to wash my face in an airplane lavatory and not get water all over the floor – which I think is a significant quality-of-life improvement. The sweeping staircase at the front of the plane is a nice touch. I can’t wait until the A380 shows up on some of my more commonly traveled routes. This was my first flight on Singapore Airlines. They are certainly a very nice airline, but honestly I still prefer Virgin Atlantic.

Beijing was a basically what any pre-olympic city is: a mass of construction. On my one day of being a tourist, I was able to take in the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City – both of which are primarily outdoor, which is a shame as it was raining quite hard. I managed to snap some photos – I was particularly drawn to the architectural detail and intricate carving. Flight boarding now – more notes soon.

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