Sunday, 30 December 2007

The last stage of the journey...

As we started to fly over Australia from west to east I realised we had another 4 hours to go. Actually, the last hour seemed to go on for ever. I had cleared up all the papers I had been reading, put away the inflight socks, checked immigration paperwork with passport and watched the clouds drift by under us.

At last, we were heading for Sydney airport and we landed! Now a fairly lengthy taxi to our stand. So, this is Australia!

Customs and immigration were interesting at the end of this long long flight. We had to queue up to have all our handbaggage x-rayed in case we tried to smuggle any form of foodstuff into the country. Even to the extent that our son was asked if he had been near a farm in the last few days. He replied, yes, and then had to produce his trainers for inspection. The guy drew them up close to his face to get a better view. Now you have to remember, the trainers had been washed in a washing machine prior to leaving UK so were spotless. This fact was pointed out after which the official condescended to say that they would do!

Next the queue for a taxi which although long did move along pretty quickly. We loaded our bags and got into the car. Told the driver where we wanted to go and off we went. 5 minutes down the road the guy turns around and asks if we know where we are supposed to be going and gets quite upset when we explain we are total strangers in his country and have never been before - apart from the fact we were tired!

He would not have it. After all he was only a taxi driver and was not expected to know everything. After numerous attempts to look it up in the atlas he actually decided it might be useful to ask someone. The hotel into which we were booked as the only one in this prestigious area! Eventually we found it. All we now wanted was to check in, meet up with the guys/family and have a couple of hours sleep.

The hotel, Watson Bay Hotel/Doyles, was great and I would highly recommend it. The breakfast was magical. Imagine a buffet of fresh fruit consisting of mango, pawpaw, pears, apples, grapes to be followed by cereal. Then smoked salmon, cold meats, cheese,toast, croissants accompanied with tea/coffee. Set you up for the day ahead.

Well, now we were set to go to sleep. The men were going for a suit fitting in the afternoon whilst I was going to go for a walk and then meet up back at the hotel for a well earned Australian glass of beer - or tinnie! - but more on that later.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

I am back!

Well, after a length absence, and for that I do apologise, I am now back with loads to write about.

Firstly, Christmas has been and gone - hopefully you all had a really good one! Actually, returning from our Australian trip at the beginning of December meant I was not wound up in the pre Christmas frenzy. It actually took us at least a full week plus to get back to normal sleep patterns etc. What a long journey that was.

I will be writing about the Australian adventure, the travelling etc but will be breaking it up into modules as we went for 3 weeks.

So, Terry and I got ourselves to Gatwick to catch the Emirates flight to Dubai, our first transit stop, which was due to leave around 8pm. We had had a full day getting packed and all the last minutes things that always need doing. Taking off at the time of the evening meant that after a drink, a meal, it would be more natural to sleep a couple of hours or so before our descent. Unfortunately, the seats were pretty cramped but we did catnap. So, at the end of the 6.5 hours we landed in Dubai. I did not bother changing my watch although I knew it was about 7am.

We were huddled off the aircraft into the waiting buses to transport us to the terminal where we were to contect with the flight travelling direct to Sydney.... only 13.5 hours!!!!! It was exciting to look around at Dubai as it had been around 25 years since we had spent any time in the Middle East. We both used to live and work in various countries in the Middle East.

The terminal was incredible! Huge and jam packed full of passengers of every nationality imaginable. Many had been waiting for their flights for considerable times so were laid out on the floor, children crying, fractious parents and others trying to spot the bargain on the gold counter.... there were none!

Soon it was time for the tannoy to announce the departure of our flight to Sydney. Looking around there appeared to be many couples, like ourselves, going out there to visit family.

As we got on the bus we knew this was getting closer to our adventure which was due to start on our first visit to Australia. Next time I will continue with the story of our fabulous journey. Meanwhile here is a picture of our take off from Dubai International Airport.

Sale Corner!

Occasionally I will show items that are for sale from me direct which can be paid for using Paypal. Always check to see shipping charges which will need to be added to the item amount!

For regular prices check out my Etsy shop, as well as my sister shop on Etsy which also sells encaustic art

Some paintings can be bought directly from my website

Some samples of my present & past work to give you inspiration for that special gift!
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