You cannot tell by all the traffic and rush in the city that this was the same place where bombings use to occur almost daily, but now all everybody wants to do is to make a few bucks to feed themselves and their family. After again walking to two or three checkpoints we reached our destination and after staying there for a few hours, we headed back to Karbala before sundown. Since we had to reach Baghdad airport in the morning which was two hours away, we headed straight to dinner and then packing again. We slept for about two hours and then headed back to the shrine to pay our final respect and then came back and packed our bags to be put in the lobby at about 3.30 in the morning.
Our bus came with a new passenger who was as we were told and confirmed later on was a veteran of Iraqi travel since he comes once a month. He was fluent in Arabic which was a big help in navigating with the Iraqi driver. Our journey towards the airport started in the early hours of the day when it was dark and we reached the outskirts of the Iraqi airport at the crack of dawn. Then a real checkpoint scenario started when we were told to disembark and put our luggage in the transportation ministry buses and then those buses will take us to the airport.