And Home.....September 27, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C
On our final morning I was up before 5am so that I could have an hour in the gym before a quick shower and a final lavish breakfast. I indulged in 3 courses with Fruit, A freshly poached egg and then something I had never tried - a waffle - mmmm. And of course some of their wonderful coffee. We had barely got back to the room at 7am when the concierge rang and said our airport transfer had arrived - early as they were not due until 7.15.
It was down to the foyer and a speedy check out and into the car. The driver was another lovely gentleman - from India - he told us a lot of interesting things about Dubai - including that 80% of the people who live there are expatriates - certainly most of the staff at the hotel (who were lovely and incredibly hard working) would have been Indian, Philippino, African or from Eastern Europe.
the 20 minute drive to the airport seemed to fly buy as it was no time at all before we were unloading our bags and proceeding to bag drop (gotta love that on-line check in, it makes things much quicker and easier). Then unencumbered we were able to make our way quickly through passport control and security to the gate where we spent the next hour and a half browsing the shops to use up our remaining Dirham (lots of Christmas and Birthday presents sorted!). All to soon it was time to board and this seemed to take ages although I guess that is to be expected as there were around 520 passengers!
Once we settled into our seats it was time to rest back, select movies and prepare for our 12+ hours on board.
As long haul flights go it really wasn't too bad, we were fed regularly, supplied with beverages and Emirates planes seem to have the most leg room of any economy class seats - plus we backed on the galley so that meant no one behind us to jiggle the seats or inadvertently knee us in the back. A couple of glasses of red wine and the binge watching of the entire season 6 of call the midwife helped to make up for the lack of sleep. There was quite a bit of turbulence although it was more at the level of annoying (go back to your seats and fasten your seat belts - no you can't go to the toilet right now) rather than nauseating or dangerous.
Oddly we were woken at about 3am Melbourne time and the special diets (vegetarian, gluten free etc) were given their meals - the rest of the plane had to wait more than an hour to get theirs. Finally however we were descending into Melbourne where the current temperature was 9 degrees (what a rude shock).
Disembarkation proceeded smoothly although it did seem that it took ages for our bags to come out and then I was held up at customs where the cigarettes I had not really wnted to buy Sam in the first place were mostly confiscated - I thought you could bring in one carton - not one pack! Oh well he should give up anyway - disgusting habit.
Kirstin's parents had kindly agreed to brace the traffic and come and collect us which was wonderful and we really had a quick run back to Mum's where my lovely Lucy puppy was waiting.
What a trip - what an amazing trip - when you are in the midst of it, dealing with the good and the bad, the joy and the stress it is easy to loose perspective - but stepping back one realizes how many wow moments there were! We walked the streets of Paris, Rode in a Gondola. We road through cities on the far side of the world - including down a road built more than 2000 years ago - and visited Churches more than a 1000 years old. We paddled in the Rhine, Swam in the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf. We rode trains, trams, buses, camels and in taxis possibly driven by lunaticsRead more