The start of the adventure.


I pulled a bit of a swifty by starting this year’s European adventure a day early.  The Princess (accompanied by Austin) was always ready to get me to the airport (even though I had to be there by 3am for a 5am take off).  My remedy for such an ungodly start time was to stay at the Parkroyal at Melbourne Airport the night before.

As always, Parkroyal’s beds, linen and pillows feel like sleeping on a cloud.

My grandson is now well and truly a toddler, and as such is not really designed for stylish hotel rooms.  We found that the glass top on two of the three glass topped tables easily moved, (the coffee table had nothing holding the glass in place what so ever.  This was lifted off the table and placed under the couch for safe keeping.

After a 2.30am alarm, I had the luxury of simply getting dressed, saying bye bye to the Princess and Aus, walked across to the terminal and checked my bags in.  I did the actual check in on Friday which took only minutes.  I was surprised to see the queue for people who hadn’t checked online was at least twice as long as the queue for those who had checked in.

Between Security and Melbourne’s International departure lounge there is currently a display of Giant Panda statues all very artistically decorated.  When I first approached the long corridor, it appeared that there was a long hallway dedicated to those sort of childrens’ rides you see in shopping centres.


I chose a window seat in the back row for the flight.

Last year, I suffered throughout a 14 hour flight with the person in front of me mostly in a reclined position, not because he was sleeping, just felt it was all about him.  He also flung the seat back at one stage when he knew very well that he and everyone had been served their meals and were in the process of eating.

My seat was great.  I had the opportunity to recline and not interfere with anyone else’s happiness.  Other benefits emerged as the flight went on.  The toilet is very close so I can see when it is empty and there is a space just behind the seats where you can actually stand up and stretch your legs.

Emirates as always is a really good airline to fly with.  They look after you totally.  This trip was made more pleasant in the fact that a nice man who was easy to talk to was in the seat next to me.  It  does make a difference to have someone to chat to.  Last year I sat next to a man on the flight from Athens to Dubai and we barely spoke a word.  Funny thing was we got talking just as the plane was landing, and he was fascinating.

Goal this year: to be more friendly….. not weird or creepy, but friendly.

Emirates are known for their entertainment system, with the unfortunate name of ICE, (Information, Communication, Entertainment).  I am currently flying between Dubai and Rome and listening to Lourde’s new album.  Between Australia and Dubai, I decided it was time to see the Bette Davis and Joan Crawford classic from 1963 “What ever happened to Baby Jane”.   Well, that was a lot heavier than I was expecting and made all the more interesting by the fact that the two stars hated each other.


Anyway, more soon, It is now just on 11pm Melbourne time and as I said I have been up since 2.30am…. It’s about 3pm in Rome and we are due to land at 8pm.


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