Monday, May 28, 2007

We Made It!

After approximately 36 hours in airports and airplanes around the world, we arrived in Vienna at 11am local time to a wonderful sunny day, and a balmy 27 degrees. We have met the new Remo, just a baby dog at only 1 year old. Although he means well, when he is running at you with saliva in his “beard” (he’s a giant Schnauzer) and his full 48kg of body weight …. it’s a pretty daunting experience. Marco’s parents house here in Stammersdorf is more beautiful than ever, with the flowers in the garden in full bloom and all the foliage in the fields around looking very “Sound of Music” – which I managed to sing a few bars of while we took the dog for a walk. Look out for pictures of the garden and surrounds in future posts.

You are probably nodding off to sleep right now, thinking you may never bother to check this blog again if Monica doesn’t write something more interesting. So here’s the trip up in a nutshell:
  • Arrived at Brisbane airport insanely early for the flight (4 hours) which proved fortuitous as it took over ½ hour in the queue just to check our bags. Let’s not speak of the security line!

  • Relatively uneventful flight, with the usual Qantas service aside from the fact that we were in a 20 year old plane that didn’t look big enough for the job. Anyone who knows me will remember how I LOVE flying (tongue firmly in cheek) so the sight of what looked like a 737 waiting for me to board didn’t exactly fill me with joy. It wasn’t just me – the man in the queue in front of me said “are you sure we’re at the right flight, that plane doesn’t look big enough to fly to Hong Kong”. Well it is an 8 hour flight overall.

  • Of course we arrived in 1 (crumpled) piece. I’d forgotten what it feels like to stand outside in Hong Kong, humidity combined with a mass of humanity creating a smell unlike any other. It was 33 degrees and about 90% humidity when we arrived. Note the beads of sweat on our foreheads in this picture.

  • We spent 6 hours in the airport in Hong Kong which included a funny meal at one of the airport restaurants. The waitresses found Marco very funny (god knows why) and practically applauded him on his chopstick technique. I’ll take the credit for that! We were the only Gweilo’s in site.

  • Next leg of the journey 12 hours to London on a Cathay Pacific 747-600. You know the ones, giant double decker planes that I liken to flying elephants. It was a long flight, although the service on Cathay remains excellent, and really does put Qantas and British to shame.

  • We arrived in London to a typical morning, heavy fog, 9 degrees on the ground and drizzling. It was certainly a shock after the warmth of Hong Kong and the other 400 travelling bodies on the 747 we’d just left.

  • Suffered through the indignity of the virtual strip search in Heathrow to get through the security check in point. Perhaps cosmetics companies should consider creating a line of “no-bomb” makeup that doesn’t require you to walk around with a zip lock back full of your personal toiletries for the whole world to see.

  • After sitting in the BA plane on the tarmac for over an hour (apparently Brussels decided there was too much air traffic over Europe and we weren’t going anywhere until someone else landed) we made it!

Now you know as much about our trip as I do. I look forward to something more exciting to tell you after my jetlag has subsided.

Monica & Marco


Anonymous said...

Hi Mons and Marco,

Glad to see you arrived safe and sound, and survived the long haul to Europe. This blog is great! I will check it every day and keep up with all of your adventures.

Hello to Pietro and Gudren from me and Gary!
Love Marina

Anonymous said...

Pretty standard flight, by the sounds of it. Have fun in Europe!