On our way

I’m starting this while waiting in Dubai for our connection to Paris because I’m not sure how long I’ll stay awake once we get to our hotel. It’s been a long time on the go.

Yesterday started with the last clean up around home — laundry, cleaning, some pruning and mulching of stray avocado branches, a trip to the laundromat to dry stuff that would not dry on a cloudy day, email triage, and final packing. We were ready when Hannah, Matt and the kids arrived a bit after 3:00 pm to take us to Wellcamp airport.  We were able to fit all 6 of us and our baggage in our car, so Hannah drove us in that and took it home after. 

Internal stairsClaire is a hot chocolate afficionado and enjoyed one while we waited for our flight. Callum was interested in whether we would be flying in a double decker plane. Our flight from Toowoomba to Sydney was in a Dash 8 but Sydney to Dubai was in an A380-800 that would have satisfied Callum. We were downstairs but that was comfortable and well serviced by cabin staff throughout our flight. I can’t imagine what luxury is offered upstairs but it must be significant to justify the price differential.

We arrived in Dubai at 5:30 am with the temperature already into the mid-30s or beyond. Stepping out of the plane to board the bus for a roundabout trip to the terminal was a shock to the system. In contrast, the terminal is almost too cool for Majella. The 2 hour wait to board our next flight was filled with a walk around the terminal and using the free WiFi to catch up with the world.

Our flight to Paris was comfortable. We watched movies and dozed a bit between second breakfast and lunch and did more of the same until landing. Clearing immigration was quick and easy. Waiting for our baggage took some time and from landing until clearing customs took a bit more than an hour. The latter involved no more than walking out the door while officials watched.

Navigating the ticketing system for the RER train to the city was a challenge but we eventually managed and were on our way. The bigger challenge was finding our way from the RER platform at Denfert-Rochereau to board the 6 Metro. There were stairs to negotiate with bags and no obvious way to buy tickets. Somebody helped us through the barrier where our tickets from the RER worked and we managed to board. At Cambronne we were able to exit without tickets. Apparently our tickets covered the full journey for 10 € each.

Our hotel was just 100m or so from Cambronne station. We checked in to find a room suited to two relatively small people who intend to spend little time in it. I booked it at a time when we planned to collect our car on Thursday to avoid holiday closures and needed a hotel with parking close to the venue for our Friday night party. It will do.

We headed out for a walk to set our body clocks and explored in the direction of Friday night toward the Eiffel Tower. We found the address but it didn’t correspond to a photo Majella had seen on Facebook. She is planning to get that clarified before Friday.

On the way back we stopped for happy hour drinks at L’Oustal. My beer was refreshing but Majella’s rosé went to her head. We wandered on toward the hotel but stopped at Cafe La Place for a simple meal. We shared the mixed planche of charcuterie and fromage (cold meats and cheeses) with bread, pâté and a little salad, washed down with small glasses of white wine for Majella and red for me.

That was enough after eating our way from Toowoomba to Paris on aircraft. We walked back to the hotel and were in bed soon after 7:00 pm, planning to make up for lost sleep on flights. This is being finished on Wednesday morning.