EI787 From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1513 posts, RR: 20 Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 26015 times:
School Tour To Beijing On Air France (Pics)
Hey everyone! This is my first Trip Report so don't be too harsh!
Anyway, I was part of a group of about 80 students and teachers from my school in Ireland who were going to Beijing on a school tour! I was so excited to be going!! We went for a week, seeing all of the major touristy places in Beijing, like the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and Beijing Zoo to name but a few!
The school was originally planning to fly with Air China through LHR, but CA would not accept such a large group on their flight, so we flew with AF via CDG instead! (The better option, if you ask me!! )
Anyway, on with the details!
Day 1 - Thursday 6th April
Half of the group went on AF5001 for a 9am departure (Flight 1), the others went on AF5005 for a 12pm departure (Flight 2). We had to split up, as Cityjet wouldn't take all of us in one go. (We were together for CDG-PEK though.)
Flight 1 had to be at the school by 6:30am. We were on the coach and on the way to DUB by 6:35.
Some of the group on the coach to the airport!
It's about 12 miles to DUB from where I live, Dunboyne, Co. Meath and so, it didn't take long for us to reach the airport. Once there, we went straight to the Cityjet check-in desks, where they were waiting for us. It took quite a long time to check us all in, and halfway through, the ticket machine broke down which caused more bother! We finally received our boarding passes and went straight to the security checkpoint to get to the gate. The queue for security was quite long, but it moved fairly quickly. Once through, we went straight to our gate in Pier C.
A view out to the apron, with our aircraft just visible
Some of the group
I had a few minutes to buy the Irish Independent, before boarding commenced.
Day: 6th April Route: DUB-CDG Airline: AF, Operated by CityJet, AF5001 A/C: BAe 146-200 Reg.: EI-DJJ Seat: 10B Scheduled Dep.: 0900 Actual Dep.: 0930 approx. Scheduled Arr.: 1150 Actual Arr.: 1200 approx.
Boarding was took a bit of time and, as a result, we were delayed by about half an hour.
Boarding The Aircraft
The first thing I noticed about the plane was that it was small and did seem quite cramped at 3X3 seating. It was also a big novelty having the engines right outside your window!!
View from window
We took off from Runway 28 and climbed to our cruising altitude.
Inflight service began soon enough, which consisted of a couple of pastries, some brown bread, a packet of jam, a yoghurt and tea, coffee or juice.
Some pictures enroute to CDG
The flight didn't last long and, before we knew it, we were descending into CDG.
We landed pretty much on time, but then came an incredibly long taxi to our remote stand!!
We finally got to our stand, and disembarked pretty swiftly.
Our plane (EI-DJJ) taken from our bus to the terminal
On The Bus
The bus ride to the terminal gives you a great view of the goings on at CDG! Here are some pics:
Air Berlin 73G
Inside Terminal 2F
Some Of The Group Inside 2F
Once inside CDG, we passed though Passport Control and exited the terminal. Our connection to PEK wasn't for 7 hours. And so, The school decided to bring us to Le Bourget to pass the time!!! Great school I go to, isn't it!!!
We got a public bus to Le Bourget. It took the best part of an hour to get there. We then had an hour to spend at the museum. Here are some pics I took:
AF 747-100 F-BPVJ
Close up of 747 engine
Le Bourget was a great way to pass the time in CDG and a great idea by the school!
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the airport to meet up with Flight 2 and get ready for our next flight!
We got back to the airport at about 1700 and went straight through security at Terminal 2C, as we had got our boarding passes for this flight back in DUB.
We then had some time to wander about 2C before our flight was called for boarding. I got a panini and a drink which cost me a whopping â‚¬7.50!!!
Some pics of 2C:
Then, our flight was called for boarding!
Day: 6th April Route: CDG-PEK Airline: Air France, AF126 A/C: Boeing 777-300/ER Reg.: F-GSQM Seat: 38J Scheduled Dep.: 1855 Actual Dep.: 1900 approx. Scheduled Arr.: 1050 (Next Day) Actual Arr.: 1110 approx.
My Boarding Card Stub
Our aircraft was F-GSQM, which was only delivered to AF the week before, March 31st!!
We were all seated, and took off a little past 1900.
Inflight Service began soon after, with drinks first, before the dinner for the evening was served. I cannot remember what I had to eat, but I know that it was quite good!!
They then turned off the cabin lights and let people get to sleep. There was a self-service area in the galley for soft drinks if you wanted anything.
The entertainment system onboard kept me going for quite a while! I watched Jarhead and Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire, as well as lots of other programmes.
View out the window over Russia
As we neared Beijing, Breakfast was served. Again, I can't remember what it was. Sorry!!
We touched down fighting a severe crosswind just after 1100 local time. Then came memories of CDG, an awfully long taxi to the gate!!
We left the aircraft and proceeded through Visa Control, which took a long time as there were over eighty of us!!
We went down into the Baggage Hall where we met our two tour guides, William and Francis from CYTS.
We were quite lucky with our baggage . . . only one person's baggage didn't arrive . . . one of the teachers!!!! She got it eventually . . two days later!
We then went out into the madness that is Beijing's Arrivals Hall!! You get dozens of men screaming at you, 'Taxi Sir, you want taxi??', and become lost in a huge crowd of people!! It was quite the experience!! Then, half of the group got lost and we spent about half an hour getting back together again!! We eventually all got on the buses and left PEK until next week!
I won't go into too much detail of what we did in Beijing, but I'll give you a basic idea of our itinerary:
Day Two - Friday 7th April
After leaving the airport, we went straight to Tiananmnen Square and had a little look around the place. We then went to our hotel, the Best Western Premier four star hotel in Beijing's CBD. That evening, we went out for our first meal and took a trip to the Night Markets where we could sample fried scorpions and snake to name but a few!!
Day Three - Saturday 8th April
Today we had a full day trip to Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Here are a few Pics:
Day Four - Sunday 9th April
Today, we went to the Great Wall at Badaling. It was absolutely breathtaking!!
We also went to the Ming Dynasty Emperor's Tombs and walked the Sacred Way:
Day Five - Monday 10th April
Today, we paid a visit to the Hutong area of the city, and got a chance to go on a rickshaw!! We went to a local Kindergarten to see the little kiddies and give them some presents, as well as visiting the American College in the city to speak with some English speaking students there.
Day Six - Tuesday 11th April
Today, we went to Beijing Zoo to see the Giant Pandas there. We also went to the Summer Palace.
That evening, we went to a Kung Fu Show, which was spectacular!!
Day Seven - Wednesday 12th April
Today was Shopping Day!! We went to a shopping mall and literally, shopped till we dropped!!
That evening, we went to 'Durty Nellies', an Irish Pub!
We were bussed to our aircraft again, and boarded the full flight back home. We took off after a long enough taxi, and were soon served our inflight meal. It consisted of two sandwiches, one ham, the other salmon, and a chocolate cake, along with your choice of drink.
Over the UK
We soon descended into Dublin, and had a very smooth landing on RWY 28. We taxiied to the C Pier and disembarked our plane.
We went through Passport Control and picked up our Baggage. Again, only one person's baggage didn't arrive. But it came the next morning.
We then made our way to our coach which was in the coach park. We arrived back to Dunboyne at about 1830 that evening, at the end of a very long day!
Before I go, here is a photo of the whole group at The Great Wall:
If you want to see more pics of my holiday in China, you can see a movie which I made at this address:
We went to Disney World -- all the way from (drumroll please) Tampa, 90 minutes on a nasty old school bus with green vinyl seats and no air conditioning. Was more pleasant than being squished into one of those LH busses to the remote stand at FRA, though.
VivaGunners From Italy, joined Oct 2000, 364 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 24701 times:
Great report really,
Must be awesome to go with the school to China!
Like somebody esle said, also my school went nowhere,
and now it's too late, school is over for me and it's not coming back, shame on them!
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7644 posts, RR: 42
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 23177 times:
Hi Padraic, this is one of the trip reports that I have enjoyed the most. Congratulations!
Thanks for all the pictures, especially those of the sites you visited with your classmates. I really look forward to visiting China one day too, and I hope that you will find the time to write a trip report the next time you travel.
AirWales From UK - Wales, joined Oct 2004, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 23044 times:
Great report. I was in Beijing for a week at the start of December for a week and did all the trips that you did. I flew with BA out of LHR. Enjoyed it so much I am going back to Beijing and to Shanghai and Xian in late September - cant wait and will post the trip when I return!
N272WA From Ireland, joined Jun 2007, 410 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 22817 times:
Cool report, well done & thanks for sharing. Our school in Longford took us to Barcelona. But that was almost ten years ago in May 1996. FR DUB > STN on the good old 737-200, coach to Dover, across to Calais, and a coach all the way down through France to Barcelona! And the same on the way back!! LOL...
Look forward to reading more reports from you again soon!