The Journey en detail

Thursday, May 20th 15:30 CEST: Leaving home by car. We decided to start early as we expected to hit the rush hour in Bremen.

Thursday, May 20th 16:30 CEST: Check-in at Bremen airport. I was hoping my luggage wouldn’t exceed the weight limit as the scales at home showed almost 23 kg (the max weight for the Qantas flight) for the bag and the backpack combined. Fortunately with 22kg it was within the limits. Lufthansa didn’t even charge me for the 2kg I was exceeding their weight limit. My father and me passed the waiting time at the airport bar and on the visitors terrace. About an hour later it was time to say goodbye for a year and board the plane.

Thursday, May 20th 18:10 CEST: Timely take-off to the short 45min flight to Frankfurt.

Thursday, May 20th 20:00 CEST: Check-in with Qantas in Frankfurt. Lufthansa forwarded my luggage directly to Qantas so I just needed to get my boarding passes. For the flight to Singapore I had already reserved an exit row seat. When I asked for such a seat on the flight to Adelaide I was told that since recently Qantas always charges an additional fee for these seats. Well, for a mere 6.5 hours a regular aisle seat will do.

Qantas 747-400 at the Frankfurt airport
Qantas 747-400 at the Frankfurt airport

Friday, May 21st 00:10 CEST: With a slight delay of 15 minutes I’m leaving Germany. My examination of the onboard entertainment system resulted in the sobering conclusion that I watch too much movies, already saw most of what the system had to offer in recent cinema news.

The next 12 hours were filled with dozing, chatting with my seat neighbours, watching movies and walking around.

Friday, May 21st 18:00 SST (12:00 CEST): Arrival in Singapore and the first fresh air for more than half a day. I went straight to the swimming pool on the roof of terminal 1 and had this funny conversation with the Asian girl at the pool bar:

Girl: Hi, would you like to use the swimming pool?
Me: Yes please.
Girl: You have to pee over there first.
Me (puzzled): What?
Girl: You have to pee $13 at the reception over there.

After PAYing the fee (little over 8 EUR) I got a towel, a locker key and a coupon for a free drink at the pool bar. Taking a swim after the long flight was just incredible. And weird, how often do you swim on top of an airport building surrounded by palm trees? Weather was a nice 32° C in the shadows btw.

The rest of the airport is really impressive as well. Lots of bars, restaurants and shops. And friendly guides everywhere. When I asked one of them about wireless internet access he lead me to a counter where I had to register with my passport and got a username and password for their network. I asked where the next access point is, got a surprised look and the answer: Everywhere! I love this airport.

Friday, May 21st 22:30 SST (14:30 CEST): The last part of the journey starts. We took of in time and arrived in Adelaide a little over six hours later. The Aussie girl in the seat next to me was from Adelaide and gave me a list of bars and places to visit, very nice!

Saturday, May 22nd 06:20 ACST (22:50 CEST): Finally, Australia! Took me about an hour to get through border control, pick up my luggage and clear customs. My friend awaited me already and after stopping for a coffee and a muffin we headed to his place. He lives in a nice three room place with a little garden in an Adelaide suburb.

Australia welcomed me with a warm (20° C) and sunny day. We spent the day with talking, sitting in the sun, shopping and cooking. I decided to stay awake for the day to fight the jet lag. After more than 40 hours of real sleep I went to bed at 7pm and was asleep before my head even hit the pillow.

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