130327 Tullamarine to Nice

Since a rather late arrival for a departure to Canberra some years ago, Lyn ensures that we are almost first to check in for any departure since. Sharlee took us to Tullamarine arriving some 3 hours before our scheduled departure for Singapore.
Lyn had ‘chatted up’ the Emirates sales rep to get us upgraded into Business Class but the effort only yielded 2 hours of eating in the Emirates Business Lounge and a ‘last on’ boarding of our 777 aircraft. (Not happy Lyn). Her response to me was, “it’s my turn to embarrass you”.
Airlines seem to think the best way to fill in your time on a long flight is to supply meals – we have had 4 since leaving Melbourne in just 15 hours after that delicious food at Tullamarine. The cabin service on Emirates has been very good tho.
We were late leaving Melbourne and so we were late into Singapore and a little late leaving for our onward journey to Dubai. You can tell when you have left Australia as Wifi is FREE at Singapore Changi Airport – imagine all those passengers texted relatives and servicing their Facebook pages all at once – and with speed. Who needs a Senator Conroy NBN service – just get good Wifi?
Emirates has 201 aircraft made up of 126 Boeing 777, 31 Airbus 380’s, 18 Airbus 340, 18 A330 and one Boeing 747 for cargo. It has an enormous network covering 130 major destinations around the world and each flight has a minimum of 8 nationalities amongst the cabin staff.
Arriving at Dubai at 5.00 am does not mean you are the only ones to be in the terminal; the day started years ago for Dubai Airport and hasn’t finished yet. Rarely is there a spare moment for the employees to have a rest. Even though the gate opened on time, punctuality was not going to prevail. From the terminal, we had what seemed like a 30 minute drive to where our aircraft was parked. Lyn and I held back and were in the last transfer coach to arrive at the boarding point. Just as we were completing the pre-flight instructions and push back, the lady sitting next to me decided to have a ‘medical problem’. After returning to the boarding point and much mucking around getting her baggage from the hold, we left 2 hours late. Ah … the lady was French – a great introduction. (We never did get to know what the medical problem was.)
We have yet another 7 hours flight to Nice over very arid Middle Eastern countries.
Arrival at Nice was in very low visibility with constant rain. Immigration was quick but baggage collection very slow. Lyn’s new suitcase is not hard to pick in a forest of ubiquitous black ‘boxes’. It was easy to catch the 98 bus that comes right along Promenade Des Anglais to our Hotel West End not far from the town centre but across from a great view of the Mediterranean Sea. Our room looks out over the Mediterranean.

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Author: Colin Spain

The Official Blogger for Grey Nomads Travel and Cruise Group Tours

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