The actual distance (the hallowed “straight line” theory) between the two cities is 7,883 km (4,898 miles). Because there are no direct flights to connect these cities, the “straight line” concept was thrown out the window. And there was just no way that a crow could fly that distance between these cities, so we had to junk that idea, too.
We decided to go the scenic route, and add on another 4,048 km (2,515 miles). What the heck, right? Nothing like a few more air miles! (plus, this was the most inexpensive way I could find to do it).
From there, we boarded the first of our three flights that would be required before landing in South Africa. We boarded Sri Lankan Airlines at 7pm, and settled back for a five hour flight to Doha, Qatar. Both kids had vowed not to sleep at all during the flights, but by the time 10pm arrived, they were both out for the count. I’m not going to judge, as I was asleep as well. When we landed in Doha, we got a quick second wind, thanks to walking through Doha’s Hamad International Airport. The airport is brand new, and only officially opened on April 30, 2014. It has an oasis theme, and that is exactly what it seemed. It was the most beautiful airport we have ever been in (which, we know, is not saying a lot, but of those we have seen, this one tops them all). It was a surreal experience walking through it, as at that time of night it was relatively quiet, so you weren't overwhelmed by crowds, but by the design of the building.
Flight #2 was on Qatar Airways, and departed at midnight. Thankfully it was only a little over an hour long, and before we knew it, we were landing in Dubai, UAE. We had never thought we would ever be able to say we set foot in either Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, but when making flight connections, you just never know where you will have a layover. This airport just oozed money. The amount of jewelry stores and high end fashion retailers certainly caught our attention. If we didn't feel like humble travelers abroad before, we certainly did there.
As 4am got closer and closer, we boarded flight #3, this time on Emirates Air. If we felt the airport in Dubai gave off the vibe that money was no option, then Emirates Air was a perfect accessory to that vibe. When boarding “economy class”, you don’t even get to walk through “1st class” – they have their own door to enter the plane. You do, however, walk through “Business Class” and see how comfortable the people in that section are going to be. But we in “Economy” had nothing to complain about. Emirates is a superb airline. The kids were given small backpacks with headphones to keep, a journal, a Dr. Seuss book, travel toothbrush, and child’s sleep mask. As well, all passengers were given a small case that enclosed warm, soft socks for the flight, a small toothbrush and toothpaste, and sleep mask. The entertainment selection (movies, tv shows, music) had by far the largest libraries to choose from that we had ever seen. Even the food was good!! The best part is, the price was not out of line from other choices for this leg of the trip. The nine hour long flight was certainly done in style, and for this (and everything that we have been lucky enough to encounter on this trip) we are very grateful.
At 11:30am we finally touched down in Cape Town. We quickly went through customs, then hired a taxi to drive us to the loft apartment Michelle had booked on airbnb.
More on Cape Town in our next post. And as always, thanks so much for reading!!