Australia story starts with Sydney Opera House

Australia story starts with Sydney Opera House

Australia story starts and ends with Sydney Opera House

My dear followers probably already know that, we had a 10-days-trip to Australia last October, with our son. I think it is time now to start the story of our Australia adventures, right?

My dear followers who already read about us part of my blog also know that, we are a conformist family. We do not like hassles, we do not like, early wake up day trips, we like wine and dine, we like to have our car, we like modern countries and modern people, we like good weather. Well, there is only two simple weakness of a trip to Australia. First, they drive from the wrong side, and second, it is a bloody long way… Every other thing we like exist in Sydney.

View from our room

View from our room

We woke up, on a nice Saturday morning, overlooking the Sydney Harbour area of the town from our hotel, Quay West Suites Sydney. Unable to rent a car and drive by ourselves, I organised a car and a driver for our group to go around the city and explore. As you may have already guessed a day in Sydney starts and ends in Sydney Opera House, which was celebrating its 40th birthday, in the very same month with me.

Celebrating to be 40

Celebrating to be 40

In one of the travel magazines I’ve read recently, there was a result of a recent survey, about your dream of once in a lifetime experience you would like to have. One of the most wanted experience was to watch a performance in Sydney Opera House. I wish I could contact those people and say that, it is not anything you would dream of. The outside of the building is fantastic, different, contribute to the city view soo much and you know, people think that there is so much more inside. Unfortunately there is not. The inside of the opera house is a normal gray walled ordinary 70s building, dark, cold and no frill at all. Nothing like Moscow or Vienna or London.

Watching South Pacific Musical

Watching The South Pacific Musical

The South Pacific Musical performance was a really good one to watch, if only we were at home, not jet lag, and not with our son. By the end of the first half of the performance, our son was so bored and tired that we had to leave the opera house and walk back to our hotel. On the way back, we saw lots of people enjoying their drinks at the nice bars and restaurants, outside of the opera house, overlooking the harbour view on a Saturday evening.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Next: Sydney botanic garden.

Which was your best hotel room?

I’ve been to more than 200 cities in more than 20 countries, and stayed in more than a 100 hotels. I suppose my dear followers, you too like to travel. Here is the question: Which was the best hotel room you have ever stayed? Probably, like me, very many hotels come to your mind, right?

I think all three of us in my family would answer this question differently. my husband’s answer was straight: Polonia Palace Hotel. Why? Because the best sleeping quality is his only concern.

Polonia Palace Hotel

Polonia Palace Hotel

The room was very ordinary at the first sight. One double bed, a bathroom, a sofa turned into a child’s bed, and a little free space. That’s it. But my husband has a saying: Never decide about a hotel before 24 hours. So after 24 hours, his decision is “the best”.

For my son, I guess would be Hilton, Las Vegas. (I can not ask him now, he is out with his friends, but I’ll ask and let you know if I am right) Why? Because there were 3 televisions in the room, one of which was just in front of his bed, with a wall-to-wall screen of barcovision. Of course he spent hours watching Formula 1 and some other staff. Plus a good hotel for our son means a high hotel, preferably some floors over 20th is the best for him.

My answer to a best room would be, Pullman Cove Hotel in Cairns, Australia. I will probably write another post, sometime later about the hotel, but just to give you some hints, here are two photos.

Living room and kitchen

Living room and kitchen

Terrace and private pool

Terrace and private pool

Yes, our room was a 2 bedroom flat, with a big kitchen, living room, a laundry room, two bathrooms, a terrace and a private pool and the sound of ocean waves. A room you wouldn’t want to go out.

On the other hand, when we think of a “best room” we also tend to think of a room with the “best view”. What if I asked the best view room you have ever stayed? All the answers would change and the only answer would be Francischiello Hotel & Spa Bellavista near Sorrento, Italy. A view of Italian farmlands, the Mediterranean sea and the Capri island beyond.

Our room view in Sorrento

Our room view in Sorrento

And the view in the evening
And the view in the evening

 

Now I understand that, I have been to very few hotel room with a “best view” other than the sea views.  I think a hotel would not have much chance in terms of “best view”, if it was not by the sea. Maybe some mountain views in the Alpines of Switzerland, some of the Golf Hotel views, maybe a desert view, or some room overlooking the city lights, or a view of unlimited wine yards in France, or a Christmas market in Austria, or a medieval Piazza in Toscana,  or a castle in Germany, or… whatever, I should note to make sure some stays in “best view” hotels next time.

PS. Please share your best hotel experiences with a link to my post.

 

A Business Class flight with our son

While travelling for holidays, we almost always fly at Economy class. Of course we very rarely appreciate a free upgrade or use our frequent flyer points for a Business Class. But once in a lifetime (or maybe more than once in a life time) we like to pamper ourselves with a business class flight especially if it is a long haul flight. Thinking that Australia is a longest haul flight that might ever be, that’s what we did and flew with Ethiad Airways Business Class to Sydney. That’s a journey that you wish it never ends. Almost unlimited space, almost unlimited in flight entertainment, almost unlimited fine wine and dine.

Our Business flight included a 4-hour-flight and than another 14-hour-flight, with a good 2 hours waiting in between in Abu Dhabi. Another excitement of the travel was, it was our first time ever flight with Ethiad Airways. Another excitement of the travel was, my shortest ever birthday.

Sooo, after a nice waiting in the lounge (with our son eating lots of sushi) we got on the plane with a nice surprise seeing how each of us had a tiny room for ourselves.

Almost unlimited legroom

Almost unlimited legroom

Need time to find out all

Need time to find out all

 

Nice cushions to relax and magazines to read

Nice cushions to relax and magazines to read

And a side table with my famous orange juice

And a side table with my famous orange juice

Here I answer the ever wondered question: Yes, this orange juice tastes much more richer than a Tropiacana in our local market and yes you are not allowed to sit in Business unless you drink the orange juice.

After a 4-hour flight with a very nice dinner included, we arrived to Abu Dhabi, late in the evening, and our planned 2 hour waiting, increased to a 4 hour waiting with a few hours of delay of Sydney flight. Thanks God we were travelling in Business, and thanks God that meant to wait in the Business Lounge of Abu Dhabi airport. So we had another dinner at the lounge with Arab mezes and varieties of Baklava deserts.

Afterwards, our longest ever flight and my shortest ever birthday started. We got on the plane almost at midnight, flew 14 hours, included a good nights sleep, a birthday cake with birthday celebration and a fine breakfast, which was meant to be in the morning, but was actually in the afternoon of Sydney. When we finally got off the plane, finished with the passport controls and a security control (just as shown in the “Border Security” documentary series) it was already late in the evening and my birthday was already over.

Fine wine and dine

Fine wine and dine

Celebrating to be 40

Celebrating to be 40

Here we go again

20131009-231638.jpg

We are off to Australia tomorrow morning, for 10 days trip. Keeping my technology friendliness in mind from my previous trips, I have to say until I return, good bye. We’ll see, maybe I can manage to share some events. Detailed program will be after our return.