We had a most pleasant journey to Melbourne largely thanks to Qatar Airlines whose Club Class, in the humble opinion of my beloved who spends his time circumnavigating the globe, is considerably better than either BA’s or Lufthansa’s First Class. We started in a promising fashion, leaving home, at my insistence, with time to spare to reach Malpensa from whence we flew via Doha to Melbourne. Obviously, we weren’t the only ones heading for the World Championships as we espied a number of riders and plenty of press.
I had looked forward to having a bit of a film fest on board, catching up with all the latest movies. What a sorry bunch they all were! I ended up watching two delightful French movies. One was filmed in Cannes and the other in Monaco. It helped to stave off any incipient homesickness.
It’s only a short hop to Doha but I slept most of the way from Doha to Melbourne. As usual on red-eyes, I eschewed dinner in favour of a glass of my favourite beverage and then it’s ear plugs in, eye shades on and lights off. I slept like a baby on the most comfortable flat bed ever. While one never flies for the on-board refuelling, I liked that I could eat whatever I wanted, from an extensive menu, whenever I wanted.
It was late when we arrived, but my beloved managed to find our way to the hotel which is on the Melbourne shoreline. The place puts me very much in mind of Northern British seaside resorts: more Southport than Blackpool. We had a quick trek around Melbourne today and collected our hire bikes. The older architecture in the town is again reminiscent of Northern towns such as Manchester or Leeds while the new stuff is your average American highrise. The feel of small town USA is reinforced by the roadway grid-system.
We’re still not on Oz time. We felt fine today until just after lunch when we decided we both needed a quick power nap which inexplicably turned into a rather longer sleep-in. Now, of course, we’ve become night owls. We’re off to Geelong tomorrow to check out the course.