i had done everything I had on my list for Addis Ababa so it was time to move on to the Seychelles. I checked out of the Hilton at 7 am for my 10 am flight since I had read some reports of long queues at exit passport control. The Hilton shuttle got me back to the airport for only 83 birr added directly to my room bill.
I got to the airport and since I’m only Star Silver (for 7 more segments) I had to use the peon line which was maybe 40 people deep. I got checked in and headed to the peon immigration line which was maybe 60 people deep so I’m glad I had time. I cleared with plenty of time to do some shopping (bought my mom a blue scarf) and had breakfast. The departures area works like this: you clear passport control and you head upstairs. The upstairs area has a few duty free shops, a couple leather and cotton shops, a “self service” bar/restaurant which has a lounge attached to it, a Sheba Miles silver lounge, Sheba Miles gold lounge, a full service restaurant, male and female prayer rooms, and of course bathrooms. While I was getting settled into a bathroom stall I knocked a pitcher of who knows what liquid off the toilet paper holder box and it got all over my pants and bag. I was quite grossed out by it.
Once you pass through their metal detector and xray (this is actually the second time since you had to do that just to enter the airport) there is just seating. When i was there that line went pretty quickly. I think it was just shoes in bin, bags on belt.
I boarded the Boeing 737 by bus and away I went. Once again I had an open middle, but only because I chose a seat at the very back of the plane.
Lunch was served, I had the fish. The movie Epic was shown overhead so I listened to my audiobooks.
Arriving in Seychelles there was indeed someone checking yellow books. A lady in front of me didn’t have one. The man asked how long she was in Ethiopia and she said just 30 minutes making a connection and was let through, but I was surprised everyone else seemed to have one. I’m glad I had mine. Then the passport control lady wanted to see my hotel confirmation and proof of onward flight. I handed her my printouts and away I went.
Used the ATM to get some SCRs and hailed a cab. He said 600 rupee or €40. As expensive as that is, that seemed on par with what I had read so off to the Hilton (or should I say heaven) I went!
Addis Ababa was ok. I’ll probably go back in 10 years or so. It seems like it is undertaking a huge roads project with the Chinese and knows it needs to upgrade infrastructure first. Ethiopian Air has a decent route map, good in flight service, but the food was only so-so.
The Hilton Northolme has delivered on my expectations and is a room (or villa) actually worth the extra points to me. With only 40 villas the pool is small and the beach is small, but I never had a problem finding a chair at either. The breakfast is good. The wifi works all over the resort (I’m writing this while drinking my Diamond tea service and looking at the ocean. The buffet dinner at Hilltop had plenty of variety and even had cooked to order fish on Friday night. They rotate with a different theme buffet each night.
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