Everest Base Camp Trek – Day 1: Getting There
I had my alarm set for 4.35 am that morning. During the night I couldn’t sleep very well because of the excitement of this trip. My flight was at just after 7 am so I had to make sure that I was at the airport at 5 am. I spend the night at mom’s house as she had offered to drive me to the airport, bless her.
Off to London Heathrow
When I got to Brussels airport I noticed there was a huge queue at the British Airways check-in desk. At that point in time, I was glad that I would be flying in business class. I could just go ahead and skip the line and I was the second person waiting. The two bags I had with me were checked in quickly and soon I was on my way to the security checkpoint.
To my surprise, the BA lounge was already open but it was too early for me to eat something so I only had some water. Soon enough it was time to board the plane and I sat down in seat 1A.
The crew offered breakfast but I skipped it and only had a cup of tea. After a flight of not even an hour, I arrived at London Heathrow airport. A place where I have been so many times now and I know my way around. I headed straight for the British Airways first class lounge at Terminal 5.
British Airways First Class Lounge
For those who have not been there, this is a nice place to spend some time in between flights. Okay I know there are even better lounges, but let’s not get picky as those are first world problems. As a frequent flyer, you tend to get spoiled and set your expectations high. All the previous times I had visited this lounge I had never had a look at the terrace which is over in the left corner of the lounge. For some reason, not a lot of people go in there. I was happy I did. It is cooler in there and it has a wooden floor instead of the stuffy carpet.
After putting down my backpack, I headed back to the main part of the lounge to get some breakfast. A couple of croissants and some rosé champagne would do the job!
Next stop: Nice (France)
I had a couple of hours to spare before my next flight, which would take me to Nice. The flight to Nice was on an old BA Boeing 767 with outdated seats in business class. But lucky for me, I didn’t have anybody sitting next to me. The flight took about two hours and after landing I had to go through immigration and then pick up my luggage.
As soon as I had collected my bags, I had to head back to check in. I would be flying out on Qatar Airways to Doha and then continue to Kathmandu. Like in Brussels there was a huge queue but I was glad I could skip it because I would be flying in business class.
All the required paperwork was done in minutes. By using the LoungeBuddy app I was able to check which pre-departure lounge I could use. It was the Salon Canopy VIP, a lounge which did not impress me much on my previous visit. That was during a trip last year when I was in Nice for an editorial meeting of InsideFlyer.
Qatar Airways Business Class to Doha
Thank you Netflix for letting the time go by quicker than expected. The gate from where the Boeing 787 Dreamliner would be leaving was located at the bottom of the stairs from the lounge. I was glad to be onboard the plane. Much to my surprise, I was welcomed by a Dutch steward. He pointed me towards the business class section and as soon as I got there I got an even nicer surprise. Nikki, who had gorgeous dark eyes and a beautiful smile, welcomed me and told me she would be looking after during the flight.
After the formalities of the introduction, she came back to ask me if I would be interested in a pre-departure drink. Of course! Especially after the chateau migraine they served in the lounge. I went for the lime mint juice and a glass of Lanson rosé champagne.
Even before takeoff Nikki came back to take the order of my meals during the flight. My choice for this flight: smoked salmon with pea and potato salad as a starter, Arabic spiced chicken with machboos sauce as a main course and gourmet ice cream to finish it off.
The meals were excellent and tasteful. And Nikki made sure I had a steady supply of champagne during my flight. As the flight left just before 5 pm from Nice, most passengers in business class went to sleep. In the midsection of the business class cabin on the Dreamliner there is a tiny bar. The crew had left a cooler with a bottle of Lanson rosé in it. That would be mine as nobody else was drinking from it. I was feeling blessed by the time we arrived in Doha.
According to my original flight schedule, I would have a 3-hour layover in Doha. Now that is not too bad, especially as I would be spending it in the Al Mourjan business class lounge. They always serve good food there and there is a bar in the restaurant where you can order any kind of drinks. It wasn’t too busy in the lounge and time flew by…
This is part 1 of many parts to come in the next following weeks. These posts will feature stories of all kinds of events I experienced during my Everest Base Camp Trek. So stay tuned! If you have any questions or remarks, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me. I’ll be happy to answer all your questions. Take care!