We have finally made it! Four people, 6 pieces of checked luggage and 8-ish pieces of hand baggage have reached Melbourne, after spending almost 24 hours in the air. We’re home.
And what a trip is was..
It all started Sunday evening, when we left the house of my parents-in-law. They, together with my dad, took us to a hotel across from Schiphol airport, where we we spent the night. This allowed us to beat the rush-hour traffic in the morning and be on time for our departure.
In the evening we went to Schiphol for dinner, and to mail two boxes of extra stuff to ourselves in Australia, that did not fit into the suitcases anymore…
What we did not count on was the amount of people with similar plans, trying to get to the airport at 7:20h in the morning. The shuttle bus was full even before we tried to get it, and no-one was prepared to move. So we ended up taking a taxi (bus), which turned out to be a blessing after all, as loading our immense amount of stuff took a bit longer than expected.
Checking in took about an hour – most of it waiting – but was a lot less painful than expected. The agent at the counter, and her supervisor, were very nice and helpful and were not quite as strict when it came to checking number of pieces of hand-luggage and weight of the checked pieces.
We made our way through customs, through security and to the gate with relative easy, thanking whoever runs this airport for the foresight of providing luggage carts after security. Happily, as of June 3rd of this year, Schiphol went back to a centralized security check, which makes life a whole lot easier at the actual gates.
Our first leg to Melbourne was to be a flight from Amsterdam to Singapore – 13-odd hours in the air, in a fairly dated airplane from Singapore Airlines. But what the airplane lacked in entertainment system and seat comfort was more than made up by the great and helpful staff. Definitely recommended.
The flight was not only very long, but also pretty bumpy. This, in combination with little sleep and too much TV time, made Luka’s stomach very unhappy. So she ended up filling several of the blue bags provided for just that eventuality. Not a happy trip for our little one. 😦
The transfer in Singapore was also pretty uneventful and the second leg from Singapore to Melbourne fairly short – only six and a half hours. But, since it was a day flight, we at least got to see quite a bit of Australia. That was pretty spectacular.
Having landed in Melbourne, it was first through customs (again, no hassle, and another customs official with a sense of humour) and then on to baggage claim, where our bags promptly arrived. This time we loaded four baggage carts and headed out. – It is great to have kids that are a bit older and that can help out. Without them, everything would have been twice as difficult. – The border patrol was nothing like the TV show and we were waved right through.
Then it was just a matter of finding the transfer-bus-stop that would take us to the hotel where we’ll spend the night. And here we are.
The kids are having a well-deserved jump in the pool, while mom and dad took a long shower and are about ready to get to bed. In the morning we’ll get the rental car and head into town to pick up the keys to the house and complete this long, sometimes bumpy, but ultimately happy and exciting journey.