Monday-Wednesday, 13-15 July, 2015
Well, it is time to go home. No photos today so just a series of dot points.
* We are flying out tonight late (10:45) so I mostly hang around for the day while Julie prances around. It is a Monday so everything is open.
* The leftovers from last night are a great meal start to the day.
* The fantastic Zina has allowed us to stay in the flat until 4:00 PM which means I am able to do a lot of Blog work.
* Eventually, Julie returns. We pack the bags and exit the apartment, leaving behind a nice half bottle of wine for Zina. Today we walk to the train station with our bags behind us.
* The train ride to the airport is straightforward other than we cannot work out how to get in the ideal carriage. Apparently a young kid showed Julie how to do so and we moved into it. Not a long trip any way.
* Zurich airport is another one of those big, big ones with lots of people everywhere. It is so much easier in Business Class.
* After checking in, we have a choice to go to the near Lounge or a far one nearer the exit gate. We picked the near one, which was probably a good choice as it allowed Julie to go around to the airport shops while we waited.
* And waited we did. We were in that lounge for over 6 hours before the flight took off. Whereas the Internet worked well, the food selection was not special with one hot dish only of macaroni and beef. The drinks were OK albeit I had trouble finding Water of all things. I would make a comment about Swiss and its Business Class. It was OK, but there were little things missing on all three of our legs. Apparently it used to be a great airline but had fallen on hard times before being bought out.
* After another long, long wait, we go down to the departure gate. We were told it was a 30 minute journey so we head off appropriately early. We were just about the last persons to leave the lounge.
* We do have to go through an exit immigration but it was not anywhere near as bad as CDG.
* The flight was a long one to Singapore 12+ hours. The meal was OK, I had Geschnitzeles, Veal and Mushrooms. The seats were the same as the way over with the Port column set up with alternating 1 and 2 seats so that the fully extended beds did not clash although I found it a bit funny as you had to twist a bit to get into the bed. Of the layout Business Class beds I have used, this was close to the least comfortable. I did get 4-5 hours sleep which ain’t bad.
* When we land in Singapore at Terminal 2, it is a long, long walk to the shuttle to Terminal 1 which we need to go to since we are flying Qantas on our last leg.
* At Terminal 1, it is another long, long walk to the Qantas Lounge. It turns out to be in an area of the airport, upstairs, where it has generally been since I first went to Singapore in 1986. However, it is so much better bright and airy whereas in the past it was kind of dingy.
* The food and catering was first class compared to the last lounge we were in. Qantas on these over night flights has worked out that you can order a meal at a bar in the lounge so that you can go straight to sleep on the plane. I did not do that but Julie managed to get a wok cooked Salmon, naturally. She eventually came back with an Irish Coffee too. I had some nice hot snacks and good wine too.
* The staff were incredibly friendly and very helpful.
* Boarding the plane, the Business Class seat is one of the best I have seen and many times better than the one on the previous flight.
* The food menu is a list of “snacks”. I order a Pho while Julie orders a Chicken Curry. When the food is delivered, we both get a Chicken Curry. This was a bit of serendipity for me as this was one of the better meals on the entire trip – I obviously was missing some spicy food which we really did not have over the 6+ weeks.
* I would say that of the airlines on this trip, Qantas was easily the best. I have flown the Big Q a lot over times and frankly had become less than excited about it. However, they had really lifted their game. Gudonya Qantas. Having said that, the breakfast choice did not meet my likes.
* MEL seemed to have gone well. Early off the plane, get to the kiosks for the Immigration card, pick up the duty free, to the baggage carousel. Then things start to deteriorate. My suitcase, with its priority tag, comes out about half way through the non-priority bags. Even worse, Julie’s suitcase does not come out at all. Just as the last bags are coming down the carousel, Julie is paged. Turns out her suitcase had gone a trip to Timbuktu or somewhere like that. I am afraid that this is just one of the wonderful (NOT) things about flying. So we went from the very first person off the plane, me in my favourite seat 1E, to the last one to exit the airport. Hey, if you are going to have your suitcase lost or delayed, it is so much better at the end of the trip than the start – which happened to me the time we flew into Barcelona. Post mortem: the suitcase was delivered to Edgevale a day later, no harm – no foul.
* We go straight through immigration and customs and outside to the Taxi rank. My god, it is 2 degrees! We had left Zurich at a lovely 28 degrees. Why did we come back?
* We are dropped off at Edgevale and it is as cold as a Morgue inside. We have 4 heaters and they are all on for the next several days. Damn it is cold.
So folks, that is the end of the trip and this part of the Blog. I hope that you loyal readers enjoyed some of the recordings and musings in it. There will be no more on the Blog part of this website for another couple of months until our trip to Southern Spain come September. There will probably be some postings under the 2015 Page of this site.