The last really long-haul flight I was on, was back in the late Seventies when I was sent to seek my fortune in Los Angeles. It eluded me, but I remember that my return was delayed by the grounding of all Freddie Laker's DC10's. Laker introduced ticket prices far below those of the major airlines. Pan Am, BOAC et al, saw that he went bankrupt.
It was on a hazy afternoon that our Cathay Pacific flight from Heathrow to Hong Kong took off, and after landing there, my fellow Magneteer, Janecki z Krakowa, and I would catch a connecting flight to Incheon Airport, Seoul's international hub.
It was a different picture at 39,000'.
The air was smooth; I had a seat which allowed me to stretch my legs and, apart from the annoyingly placed headrest attached to the seat back, it was as comfortable as could be expected for a 12-hour flight. I missed the first meal as I dozed with my noise-cancelling headphones on - an absolute must on this Airbus 380, a very noisy aircraft in comparison to a Boeing Dreamliner. Our flight from Heathrow was delayed for an hour which might have compromised our catching the connection. However, a petite and obviously fit airline representative, in high heels no less, ushered us through the vast Hong Kong airport at breakneck speed - I could barely keep up - and we caught our flight in the nick of time. Not so our luggage, which arrived the following morning.
Landing in Seoul, a short taxi-ride saw us at our appointed hotel at a few minutes past midnight - eight hours ahead of GMT. Happily, in the attached and by no means deserted shopping mall, a small enterprise was open and serving food. The following morning, my first glimpse of South Korea was from the tenth floor.
As the West wrestles with its ideological future, numbers writ large on residential buildings give pause for thought.
With a day to spare before our journey to the port of Donghae on the east coast of the Korean peninsula where the UHL Focus would berth to load cable, the National Museum of Aviation beckoned. For this trip we had to negotiate the rail system. After a faltering start - cash is required to buy a ticket - we grasped the basics and set off.
The journey was fascinating. From the smallest child to the most elderly, everyone was immaculately turned out and noticeably trim. It was also obvious that South Korea's grip on their immigration system accommodates only an inconsequential number of foreigners.
Museums are closed on Mondays!
But the return journey was not without highlight.