So the second trip to Australia to visit our daughter and son in law, Teresa and Kevin. Admittedly it’s only been 17 months since our last visit, but the pull of family means we were eager to get out there again.
The original plan was to be here at the same time as Kevin’s parents but that fell through. Because we had already booked our flights, we decided to go ahead with travelling out on 31st December to arrive on the first day of 2015. We travelled Etihad again, this time in the Airbus A380, introduced by the airline 3 days earlier: no worries then. An uneventful flight to Abu Dhabi for the first leg, followed by a frenzied run through the terminal instead of the promised 2 hour stopover because the aircraft was an hour late leaving Heathrow, and not much delay on the connecting flight. Still, at least they held it for us and slightly disappointedly it was ‘only’ a Boeing 777, but still a smooth flight landing early evening at Tullamarine, the international airport for Melbourne, to be greeted by the family and driven to their apartment in Northern Melbourne.
This time we arrived at the height of summer, whereas the last time was at the end of winter/ start of spring. The difference was very noticeable, with the weather being in the high 30°s, and with the jet lag making us feel tired, that first weekend was a bit of a blur. On the Sunday we went to meet up with their friends to go to a trampolining experience: it was fun but very tiring:
We also visited Brighton beach the day before to watch Teresa and Kev play Frisbee:
Brighton along with St Kilda and South Melbourne are some of the many beaches along the coast of the huge bay Port Philip Sound in which Melbourne sits. After the trampolining ‘experience’ we went to the highest point overlooking the city Bondura Park:
Then we went up another hill (in Kevin’s borrowed car – thanks Gaspare), and walked around Mount Dandenong and Alfred Nichols memorial park:
This was a beautiful place with many interesting views:
We were feeling the heat, but this was not destined to last. Strangely although Victoria, Melbourne’s state, has the summer at this time of year, the weather can vary tremendously, from the aforementioned 40° to a ‘normal’ 20 – 25°, which is normal for night UK summer, nice!
We spent a lovely day on the beach at St Kilda:
Another beautiful day, and there’s where we bought new sandals, pricey but very nice. To be continued…