Madagascar diary, day 1. July 28, 2010

First post in a series of 15 about our trip to Madagascar. Click on any picture to be taken to a series of 250 highlights.

Today is the start of our holiday trip to Madagascar. We have to get up at 3:00, leave the house at 4:00, and end up at Schiphol airport at 4:45 where the check-in counter is not even open yet. At 5:00 we pass all queues quickly and our flight leaves in time at 7:15 starting with a 20 minute ride to the "polderbaan".

 

In Paris we walk to the C terminal, where we can take some time  to walk around. As the boarding time arrives a small chaos occurs because two huge planes start boarding at the same time right next to each other in the corner of the terminal building. There is not enough space to harbor all the people. The flight to Antananarivo leaves 40 minutes late. On board we enjoy a good rest after the warm afternoon meal. Above Africa we encounter a little turbulence in bad weather; the plane makes a 15 minute detour. Two hours before arrival we get a small sandwich.

At the airport in Antananarivo we end up as one of the first people in the "With visa" queue. Nevertheless, it takes us a significant amount of time to get through customs. Once we get through, our suitcases come along quickly. Our guide Jari is waiting for us in the arrival hall with a big sign with our name on it. We first charge the car, and then I make a quick ATM visit to get 200000 Ariary. The machine only has bills with a value of 5000 Ariary (about 2 euros), and the maximum amount it can give out at any one time is 40 bills.

After about 1 hour of driving, we arrive at the hotel Royal Palissandre around midnight.

 

View from the hotel Royal Palissandre window in Antananarivo

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