So, I’m very aware I’m a bit overdue with a post. Sometimes, work and life get in the way, and there are priorities to regaling folks with tales from magical places and magical flying machines.
Other things that get in the way? Waking up the day before your birthday, looking at award availability not really intending to go anywhere, and eight hours later you’re sitting in Lufthansa First Class headed around the world. Totally normal. I know all y’all have done it. Almost took four days too….so, that’s where some of the time has gone. Anyways, back to writing!
Landed in Sydney at 0h-dark-thirty, had no queue at immigration and the train to the hotel was super quick, and soon I was in the lobby of the Marriott begging for a room at something like 6am. This was a new property to me, having stayed for years at the old Four Points Darling Harbour, then at the Westin, and now with Bonvoy…trying something new.
Not only did they allow me a 6am check-in, I was upgraded to a nice bridge-view room. Got to the room, quick shower, napped for about three hours, and woke up to this. They’re not kidding – what a view:
After a slow start the first thing on my mind was coffee, so I set out to find that…with no real plan for the day. After coffee, I found my way to the Manly Ferry, and got an even more close-up look at the bridge on this cool late morning:
Bit of a walk around Manly and I was getting a little hungry, so stopped for some salt and pepper squid and a beer at Four Pines Brewing:
Wandered a bit, and the single beer had made me sleepy, so I stopped for what I was sure would be the first of many, many proper flat whites over the coming days:
After a couple of hours walking along the coast I eventually caught the ferry back to Circular Quay, and ended up lazing around for an hour before walking out to dinner.
I’m not sure if everyone else is the same, but when I go back to a place I tend to spend most of the first day visiting places I’d been before that I really enjoyed and missed. This time, it was dinner at the Australian Heritage Hotel for some crocodile, emu, and kangaroo pizza:
Fairly early night after the pizza since despite the nap I was definitely feeling the impact of two straight “nights” spent trying to sleep on planes, and I was out cold for a good long time.
Woke up relatively early the next morning, headed out to get some coffee, and on the way realized that someone is trying to Make Australia Great. Seems a rather sad situation, since at least America has been great before and we’re trying to make it great again! *wink*
After a nice relaxing coffee it was time to pack up and head back to the airport. It was time for my whirlwind tour of Australia to begin!
Quick stop in the Qantas lounge in the domestic terminal which was nice, but really nothing special, then off to the gate to board my widebody with proper business class to Perth.
Qantas flight 577
Sydney, Australia (SYD) to Perth, Australia (PER)
Depart 12:20, Arrive: 15:25, flight time: 5:05
Airbus A330-200, Registration VH-EBA, Manufactured 2002, Seat 07K
Miles Flown Year-to-Date: 61,017
Lifetime Miles Flown: 2,753,655
Can you imagine if US airlines had seats like this on domestic flights frequently? I was surprised when I booked a month out that the last row was the only window seat left on this flight (indicating that a good number of folks book domestic business class way out) but despite a seat next to the aisle instead of next to the window, it was a treat for a relatively long domestic flight:
Wow, even a proper menu! I had heard Qantas had been slipping, but there was no sign of that yet:
Plus, a footwell even in the last row with plenty of space for the feet…despite the seat being a little bit beat up.
Delicious roasted almonds to start. Everyone seems to get excited by the “warm nuts” on US airlines, but I often find them kind of mushy, as if they’ve been severely overheated. These? Nice crunch to them and just a little bit of salt.
Soup and salad to start…with artisan butter…and super tasty fresh bread…not like the poor excuse for bread we often get in the US. Stop me now, before I go on a rant about the quality and “realness” of food in the US compared to Australia, Canada, etc….
Presentation sure wasn’t beautiful, but the chicken tagine was really flavorful and a great meal: (yes, with a big more of the good Australian shiraz, of course):
Wait what, a proper cheese course? By this point in the US you usually get a cookie if lucky, and if luckier it’s “freshly-baked” and not pre-packaged. (Though I do love me some Dancing Deer Cookies…are you listening Delta?)
Everyone knows I love a good cheese plate, and while small it was perfectly appropriate for a domestic flight, especially with dates:
…oh yeah, and there was delicious chocolate and salted caramel Maggie Beer ice cream as well. I was in Heaven.
All in all, it was an amazing domestic flight, probably one of the better ones I can remember ever taking, and I arrived in Perth feeling relaxed and rested despite the rather terrible jetlag I was surely dealing with. The sunny and cool day probably didn’t hurt, but I was wide awake and feeling great!
Used Uber to get to my hotel which was a piece of cake at the relatively quiet Perth airport, and soon I was ready to head out on a walk and enjoy the late afternoon in Perth. But first….time to end this post and move on to the next.