Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hello from Down Under!

We have safely arrived in Melbourne, after a long but surprisingly bearable journey! We travelled from Heathrow to Melbourne via Singapore and Sydney, making a total of 26 hours on the road (well, in the air). Our journey was, on the most part, hassle free, but got off to a very stressful start at the Heathrow check-in desk. Given the nature of our journey (ie one-way) we had a LOT of excess baggage (55kg to be precise). I’d already checked up on the charges that we’d have to pay, and so the BA levy of £110 for our additional bags was no surprise and didn’t seem unreasonable given the weight. As the final leg of our journey (Sydney – Melbourne) was a domestic flight with Qantas, the BA check in staff informed us that we would have to pay Qantas excess baggage fees also.. charged at £33 per kilo! If you do some quick maths, that works out at £1815. Cue major panic for both Tom and myself. After what felt like an eternity (but was probably about 3-4 minutes!) of discussion with the check in staff, we agreed that they would only check our bags as far as Sydney and we would deal with any Qantas charges when we got there. A problem delayed is a problem solved, right? In this case, yes! When we got to Sydney we re-checked our bags for the Qantas flight and they didn’t even comment on the weight, let alone charge us extra. Phew!

Our BA flights were excellent, with lots of on-demand movie choice and plenty of food. Our BA pilot friends Kate and Chris had put in a word to the Captain that we were on board, in case he could offer us an upgrade. Unfortunately the flight was full (we were actually offered £550 each to travel on a later flight!) so we didn’t get upgraded, but the cabin crew did bring us some champagne! Then when we boarded the plane for the second leg from Singapore to Sydney we got a surprise upgrade to premium economy. Ooooh the leg room was very welcome.. thanks to Kate and Chris for their efforts and for making our journey much more pleasant!

Here’s the proof that we arrived in one piece with all of our bags:

Tom "before" in Walton, and "after" in Melbourne!

Almost everything was in one piece when we opened the suitcases. Unfortunately one photo frame had broken (Claire it was yours, but the picture was not damaged).

Melbourne has been wonderful so far – warm sunny days and plenty to explore. We are staying in a hotel suite with river views, which of course is located right opposite the PwC office! We are battling terribly with jet lag (its 6am as I write this, and we’ve been awake on and off since 2am!) but have time to get over it before work starts. Today we are viewing 7 or 8 properties to rent, and hope to be able to report back with some positive news on that front soon!

I’ll sign off with some photos of our first 48 hours in Australia...

Our hotel room

Proof that I'm still smiling!

Tom on the balcony

Lovely sunny Melbourne!
PS.. public apology to Tom for accidentally taking our very nice toaster to Walton tip!!!

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