All over ... until next time!

Trip Start Sep 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 12, 2011

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Where I stayed
Home, at last
What I did
Landed in Melbourne, then drove home after a few days

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Over a week has gone by since my return to Melbourne and subsequent return home to NSW. It's taken me a few days to get around to finishing off my Travel Blog, but I'm all fired up for my next visit overseas - at this stage planned for July 2012 when I intend to travel overseas to house-sit, and I want to include Morocco, Portugal and Spain on my visiting list.

Whilst sitting in the airport I wrote a bit of a blog, which I've included below.

I'm sitting in the Barcelona Airport where I’ve been since just before mid-day. It’s still only 1.50 pm and boarding doesn’t happen until after 4 pm. It’s been a long slow day. And more of the same – after a 2 hr plus flight to London, I’ll have another 5 hour wait before leaving Heathrow for Hong Kong (1st leg). Now that I’ve stopped, I’ve crashed - I’m really tired.

Each airport experience is different. When I originally left London for Paris at the beginning of my trip, I was politely told by an aloof BA staff member that I should have checked in via the machine before dropping off my bag (different process to Australia). Plus they charged me 35 for the extra case (carry on luggage which I decided at the last minute to check in.) This time, at BA in Barcelona, friendly staff was surprised to find I’d already checked in via machine. To reduce the weight in my carry on luggage I transferred some stuff to the larger case, prepared to pay excess, but both cases went thru without comment. Phew!

Another difference to airport at home - at Barcelona Airport, they have a shopping area where you can eat and/or buy, but apparently there is nothing once you go thru your gate to board (found this to be incorrect - there are shops once you go thru). So am sitting here wishing I could have a catnap, but can’t risk it, as they don’t announce boarding – you have to watch the board and the time and make sure you don’t miss it. I think Australian Airports are excellent compared to some – Heathrow included. Perhaps I’ll have a different experience at Heathrow with my 5 hour wait. Was pleased to see that Barcelona Airport has an outside area whilst waiting – unfortunately, mostly smokers go there so it’s not that pleasant. Pity – may go there for a while anyway to try and wake up.

When I left my apartment I decided to get a taxi to the airport rather than train or bus. Fare was 28, plus tip. Much easier than struggling with cases. I’ve also discovered that the main Train Station in Barcelona has trains going to and from Milan – that may be handy to know for next time – no more ferries for me. 

Well, I can’t speak too highly of the apartment I’ve stayed in whilst in Barcelona. It’s double-glazed so when windows are closed, it’s relatively quiet. However, not much sound-proofing between walls so if you get noisy neighbours, you won’t be so fortunate. That said, I’ll stay there again, without hesitation. In fact, I can't wait to return to Barcelona and really want to visit other parts of Spain (next year!). Experience in Heathrow was not much good either. Plane left from Terminal 3 which is an old terminal and it shows - currently undergoing updating. I still had 50 Pds left which I thought I could use to buy some gifts before Leaving London. I walked round and round the terminal - there was absolutely nothing for 50 Pds. Plenty of Gucci, Armani, etc etc. Still have the 50 Pds (for next time).

Now to continue to present time. Flight home was okay - Qantas seem to be a bit stingy with the seating in their planes - seats are crammed in. It's okay for me because I'm short, but I had to feel sorry for a lot of people who were really jammed in. I didn't get to sleep much on either trip, however, if that's what you need to do to get to experience the fun and adventure of visiting overseas countries, then it's a small price to pay. 

It seems I'll also have to have an attitude adjustment when it comes to security checks. It really does seem to be over the top, but it is a fact of life and we just have to go thru it. 

I had a few days in Melbourne with family (Mum and my son, daughter-in-law and youngest granddaughter) and friends which was great. A chance to catch up with them and catch up on sleep. After a few days, I drove the 1500 plus kms back home with one stop at Goulburn. I made it from Goulburn to Home in one go (with appropriate rest stops of course). Was pretty tired at the end of it and I now have to get back into the swing of things, which I'm slowly doing. 

Well, it was a fantastic trip - one that seemed to flow - and it was a fantastic opportunity for Sis and I to spend quality, fun time with Mum and give her memories she won't ever forget. What a trouper!  We are all very proud of her willingness to go on this trip - it was a stretch for her but she did it and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. What a blessing - thanks bros for your part in it all.

Well, can't think of any more to say, except I'm looking forward to the next one - 8 months away! This time, I don't know how long I'll be away for. Have some homework to do between now and then. So folks, hope you enjoyed travelling with me. Until next time.

PS: If you did enjoy reading about my sojourn, would you mind ticking the 'Like' box at the top of this page. Apparently this is important and carries weight some where! Got to keep up with the latest social requirements. 

Good-bye, Au revoir, Arrivederci, Adios, Cheers


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