Flight to Jakarta

Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
1
12
Trip End Jul 24, 2012


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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last year end of summer holidays, we booked a ticket with KLM from Brussels to Jakarta, Java, and back to Brussels from Denpasar, Bali. After 4 months of planning and making reservations on the Internet, we waited for the day of our departure. Since 1998, when we had 3 weeks of fabulous backpacking in India, we were hoping one day to return. With the years passing by came kids, a house with renovations, careers, but our memories to a fantastic Indian trip didn't fade and our desire increased to go away and head towards Asia. Back to India with kids seemed a bit too adventurous and therefore Indonesia seemed a good choice as children are considered little gods (or a gods' gift) in Indonesia. After months of preparations, we headed off.

Monday 25th June.
Late in the afternoon we catched the high speed Thalys train from Brussels to Amsterdam (thanks Grandpa for the drop off!) to board KL0809 flight to Jakarta. KLM/Air France is the only European operator offering direct flights to Jakarta, Indonesia. Boarding the Boeing 777-300ER was on-time and we settled in quite spacious economy seats. The kids were thrilled with both train and airplane, and quickly felt at home busy with their activity books, reading or playing games on mommy or daddy's mobile phones. When the plane took off we all took hands. The kids were so excited and we were too, realizing this was finally coming true. A 15hr overnight flight was ahead. We all hoped to have a good night.

Tuesday 26th.
The night went well. All 4 of us had a good sleep. The fuel-stop in Kuala-Lumpur came quickly and after an uneventful transit to the waiting room next to the plane exit we boarded again after about an hour.
And then after taking off to Jakarta, clouds ! Magnificent clouds ! A fantastic show of lights and shadows with tropical clouds. The pilot steered in between them. Touchdown Jakarta was on time at 17h20. And then it felt like routine - we've done it so many times in our heads, planned from Internet advice. Plane exit. Passport+visa control. Nothing to declare. Baggage claim - the return of the 2 backpacks was quick and nice to see them back on the other side of the world! Security check. Change money. Get a taxi at the Silver bird counter. Then follow the taxi-guy to the taxi area outside the airport and wait 5 mins for the van to arrive. All in all 1hr from plane touchdown to taxi boarding.
It was warm, but not too humid. We drove into the Jakarta night. Scooters
everywhere and cramped roads. The cross-points had traffic lights with a count-down timer. 3-2-1 GO! And everybody was off, no-one cared much about traffic rules - if any exist ? Funny thing was that regular people (not police) were trying to direct traffic at cross-points. Not that drivers were respecting them, but when trying to direct traffic with 4 or 5 at the same time without coordination, that isn't really helping either. So, after an hour of hectic traffic we reached the Novotel Jakarta Mangga Dua. We booked only one night because we had to take the flight to Yogja the next day. Nice thing though was that we got a free room upgrade to a suite ! Bedroom with a TV set, large living room (with TV) for the kids to sleep, a dressing room and a huuge bathroom, at least to Novotel standards.


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