When I booked this trip I also booked up the hotel stays I will need at the same time to make sure that I would have good options right from the start. I try to book through booking.com with their free cancellation which means I then have the option to change the booking later when I have had more opportunity to research places to stay.
Just to remind you… I have overnight stops at Málaga, Delhi and Tokyo on this “Round the World in 8 days” trip.
So yesterday I fine-tuned my hotel stops.
My original booking was the Holiday Inn Express right by the airport. I am arriving at 7.30pm and my flight to Helsinki the next day departs at 10.30am so there isn’t much time to do anything more than sleep so I felt that the airport hotel was a good choice. Since booking I have found that although the hotel is only 0.5 miles from the terminal there is no shuttle bus and walking isn’t an option really with luggage and across busy roads. There is the local Line A Express to the city (3EUR) which stops nearby which runs every half hour in the day but timings are less easy late and early. It would work but it is the same bus I would catch if I were staying in the centre of Málaga so I thought it would be nicer to find something in the city where the many food and drink options might make for a more enjoyable evening.
So I have cancelled the Holiday Inn Express and booked a small B&B right by the bus and train station in the centre of Málaga. It is half the price and hopefully I will find somewhere more pleasant to have a beer and a bite to eat to kick off my trip.
The stop in Delhi is more difficult. I arrive at 6.40am and my flight to Kuala Lumpur isn’t until 11pm the following day so I have almost 2 full days.
My original plan was to try to fit in as much sightseeing as was possible with a train trip tour to see the Taj Mahal in Agra on one of the days and a full-day tour of New and Old Delhi on the other. I was quite excited at this and booked up the tours. Since then, I have considered it further, and decided that I really don’t want to do anything that risks my health or well-being as I will still have the remainder of the trip to do and being unwell, particularly with “Delhi Belly”, might be a step too far both for me and the other passengers!
So with that in mind I have booked one of the quality hotels, Radisson Blu Plaza at the airport, in a bid to try to stay well. It will cost a little more but as I am there for so much time I will want a hotel with good facilities and eating options. It has a nice pool, spa and good restaurants so I won’t have to venture out.
It is a shame in a way that I will not see anything of India but sightseeing is not really my primary purpose on the trip and in any case, I have never had a burning urge to visit India so I don’t really feel much of a loss. I will enjoy 2 days of drinks by the pool and resting.
Another whirlwind stop with no real chance to appreciate the location as I arrive at Narita Airport at 6pm but depart for New York the next day at 11am but from Haneda Airport. Although they are both airports for Tokyo they are miles apart… about 60 miles by road!
So, the first questions are: do I stay near Narita and travel to Haneda the next day? Do I travel to Haneda and stay there giving me an easy and less stressful time the next day? Or do I stay in the centre of Tokyo and experience the city a bit?
This was a tough one for me and I changed my mind many times over the past few weeks. My initial thoughts, as with Delhi, was to see as much as I could. I have always wanted to go to Japan and so the temptation to try to squeeze in as much as possible was strong. But so is the need to make my flight the next day without too much stress and so I put aside the tourist option. Instead I have again gone for the easy, stress-free way… travel from Narita to Haneda on arrival, staying near Haneda. Looking at the timings I will have no time at all once I arrive at Haneda. The trip from Narita on the Limo Bus is about 90 minutes and so the earliest I can expect to arrive at Haneda is 9pm and quite possibly later. It just makes no sense to try to do anything other than eat (if I need to) and get to bed.
So if I am not doing anything at all I might as well stay as close as possible to the airport and that is the Royal Park Hotel inside the airport terminal. At least I will have a nice relaxed time next day.
So there you are. Another stop without doing anything other than eating and sleeping. I know that these are the best options for me and someone else, or perhaps a younger me, might have squeezed much more out of the stops but you know what? I am happy with my choices.