It still seems so surreal to me that I was headed to Australia. My flight left in the evening, so I still had the whole day to go about doing things, getting ready, playing with my pets, and making sure I left everything cleaned up.
I flew down to Tokyo, but once there I had nearly 4 hours until my next flight. This meant I had plenty of time to enjoy dinner at a sit down restaurant. I almost went with sushi, but then some horror stories popped into my head where people got sick from the raw fish and had to suffer with that on the plane. Certainly it wasn't sushi from Japan, but the idea still made me a little uneasy. No worries because there were plenty of other places. As soon as I spotted this pizzeria, I knew I had to go in. The gentleman was in the front cooking pizzas in a wood burning oven. The who visual process really drew me in.
Before I knew it, my white pizza topped with salmon, shrimp and onions arrived. Wow, this was amazing!
After some looking around, I headed to my gate. Next stop...Singapore! I was flying on Singapore Airlines, which is one of the best airlines in the world (and now I know why!) and is part of the Star Alliance, which is where I earn my travel miles. Lots of airlines I use regularly are part of the Star Alliance. I have been collecting miles for some time, and that even helped me purchase these tickets to Australia.
Since I spent the good portion of 24 hours either on a plane or in an airport, there isn't a whole lot to share, but I will go ahead anyway in case anyone is curious what the veggie meals from Singapore Airlines looks like.
First up was a snack. I actually didn't like this and therefore didn't eat more than a few bites. It had been refrigerated, and as a result, the buns were hard, just like stale bread. But I did like that it was egg with tomato.
I found my seat to be really comfortable and managed to get a few hours of sleep. I was awoken by the flight attendant letting me know it was time for breakfast. This meal was much better, however the picture is not the best. I was a bit tired and couldn't see too well, and sadly the light just hurt my eyes so I couldn't keep it on too long. But the food was good. I had a fruit cup, OJ, blueberry yogurt and an omelet with veggies and hash browns.
Once we got to Singapore, I made my way to terminal 3, not just to catch my next plane (I didn't need to rush, I had ~4 hours), but to check out this:
I was so excited when I discovered just 2 days before leaving for Australia that there is a Hard Rock Cafe in the airport in terminal 3. For those of you that don't know much about me, I collect Hard Rock shirts. Ever since I was 16, I have been collecting them. I am happy to say, I bought one here and I love it! But, I also decided that I really want to come back and actually visit Singapore next time, and we won't even need to go to a Hard Rock.
I made sure to get a coffee from Starbucks, and then I spotted a Dunkin' Donuts. These do NOT exist in Japan. Starbucks, yes, but no DD. So I ended up with a chocolate pudding donut...and it was so worth it!
Before I knew it, it was time to go to the gate and board my flight to Melbourne.
I know, before noon is a tad early, but I couldn't say no to the free wine! I made sure to get some water too.
These seats weren't as comfortable as the first flight, but they were still more comfortable than most planes I have been on. In fact, I even fell asleep for probably 3 hours on this flight.
Here is my lunch meal. This was actually really good. It was a marinara sauce with mushrooms, zucchini and rice. I also had a salad, fruit, a roll and some cheese.
Then came the WOW factor! After we finished eating a flight attendant came around with this ice cream. That is something I have never experienced before.
Just before landing it was time for the snack (this flight was just under 7 hours long). It was pretty good too, but the English muffin was a bit soggy. I loved the tofu scramble on top of it though.
Before I knew it, we were on the ground and I was officially down under. In fact, this marks the first time I am in the southern hemisphere.
To get to my hotel from the airport I went with the Skybus, which in the end saves a lot of money. If you are ever coming to Melbourne and flying in, I highly recommend the Skybus. The transport went to a train station, and from there I got another shuttle, as part of my initial payment and ticket, and this took me right to my hotel.
Locating reasonably priced hotels in Australia is not easy, but I did manage to find some for my trip that I was comfortable with, as far as price and amenities, coupled with location. I really wanted to be centrally located and near many things that I could walk to. So for Melbourne, I picked the Victoria Hotel.
Upon check in, the front desk attendant notified me that they had upgraded my room and it would be much larger than what I reserved. Boy, they weren't kidding. I am in a newly renovated room with 1 queen bed and one twin (actually slightly larger), and a huge open space in the middle of the room. I am here for nearly a week, so this turns out to be really good for me. I don't have to be cramped.
You can see that it is nice and wide open.
I almost couldn't find the bathroom, and nearly panicked, but then I saw a very well camouflaged door along the back wall. Whew, because I needed a shower after about 27 hours of travel! Flight times weren't so bad, but I did have a few layovers.
Once I was in my room and settled in a bit, I realized it was 10 pm and I was starving. I walked down the street and spotted a falafel sandwich. It was not the best, but it certainly did the trick and I won't go to bed hungry!
QUESTIONS: Have you ever been to Australia? Have you ever been to Melbourne? Have you ever been in the southern hemisphere? What is your favorite airline? Have you ever flown on Singapore Airlines?