The flight home departed Beijing in the early hours of Sunday morning. Waking up on Saturday morning, there was the sight of formation grass cutting on the parkland outside my hotel window.
After a late check out from my room I spent some time in the Club L lounge in the Langham Place hotel. Among the facilities was a games room, which proved yet again that my skills with a cue where non-existent.
The Club L lounge also provided a light evening snacks, which was just what was need prior to the long flight home. Whilst leaving the hotel there was a torrential downpour and thunderstorm.
Progress through the airport was mixed. Check-in was speedy and efficient, as was the transit to the international departure gates. However then it all slowed down. Chinese immigration to leave China took nearly an hour to clear. The late hour meant that most of the facilities at the international departure gates were closed with those still open,in the process of closing. As with arrival in Beijing, departure was via a remote stand requiring a bus transfer to the aircraft. Two hours after checking in, during boarding the plane the high temperature and recent heavy rain meant that there was a lot of mist rising from the taxiways and runway.
Eleven hours or so later arrival at Gatwick Airport was in typical UK weather – it was raining.