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January 3rd 2013
Published: January 5th 2013
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So, here we are at Changi Airport, Singapore with about three hours to kill before we can board our on bound flight to Istanbul. Might as well start the travel diary!!

We were up early this morning to take the dogs for a nice long walk in the cool of morning before a 30°+ day. It was weird to think that we would be leaving Melbourne in the grip of a heatwave to fly to Istanbul where the forecast is for days between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius!! Definitely a first for us to head to the Northern hemisphere in their winter. Usually we miss several weeks of winter Down Under and head to the Northern hemisphere in their summer.

The other weird thing about this holiday has been the long break between finishing work and actually heading off overseas. With both of us finishing at the office on 21 December for the Christmas/New Year break we have had 12 days to finalise our preparations for this trip. That makes quite a change from working until just one or two days before a trip and then heading to the airport before we've had a chance to wind down.

Between the 21st and the 25th we had Christmas to focus on, but since then we have felt very much 'in limbo' just waiting for the 3rd of January to roll around so that we could get our holiday started. It has to be said, though, that we are both feeling pretty relaxed after nearly two weeks off work already. Having the Christmas/New Year shut down immediately preceding our holiday has made for a good break from the office to re-charge for 2013.

The Rivers catalogue in the newspaper this morning featured a pair of sandals that I really fancied. So when we left home just before noon, we drove down to the local Rivers store to check them out before heading over to Tullamarine. Unfortunately, the sandals were just not right for my feet so I didn't snag myself a bargain pair of shoes before going on holidays. Maybe I'll find some nice shoes in Turkey or Egypt??

We arrived at Jetport Parking just before 1.00pm to drop off the car. After handing over the keys it was straight into the mini bus and over to the airport. I think we were dropped off just on 1.00pm so ridiculously early for our 4.45pm flight. Even so, we weren't first in the check-in queue!

We could not believe the amount of hand luggage that people had with them. There was a girl just ahead of us in the queue who had two carry-on bags and then five more shopping carrier bags. They were being pretty strict about weighing carry-on bags too! We were called to our check-in counter before we could see if she was challenged over the amount of carry-on luggage she had. I think it is bad enough keeping track of one carry-on bag without having to worry about all of those separate bags!

Boarded on time and departed on time. Yay, it finally feels like we are on holiday! We ended up seated in a window seat and a middle seat on the side of the plane. Not our preferred seating, because of the need to disturb the passenger on the aisle if we needed a comfort break, but it was OK. We enjoyed a fairly uneventful flight during which Bernie watched 'Code 37', 'Deadfall' and 'Snow White and the Huntsman'. I only watched 'Deadfall' ... in which Eric Bana plays a rather nasty sort of a character who is running around murdering people all over the place as he makes a run for the Canadian border after a casino heist gone bad.

Towards the end of the flight there was a child on board starting to get very unsettled and upset. We think it was when the flight crew insisted that she be buckled into a seat belt because of anticipated turbulence. She really did not like the seat belt!! And ... the turbulence never eventuated. It might have been better for all concerned if they hadn't bothered with the seat belt??? By the time we started our descent into Singapore she was being accompanied by a chorus of crying children.

There was no mistaking our arrival in Singapore. First the landing gear went down with a bang and then the pilot slammed the A380 onto the runway with teeth rattling impact!! Then it was about 20 minutes before they could start unloading the place due to a fault with the auxiliary power supply. Even though engines three and and four were still being run to keep the air conditioning going it was starting to get pretty stuffy by the time we disembarked!!

Once we were in the terminal, we went to check out the transit lounge, but decided it wasn't worth the expense. Perhaps if they had had two napping cubicles we would have forked out the $$, but they only had one and we thought the same amount just to sit in the lounge was too much. So we're slumming it on some fairly uncomfortable lounge chairs beside the koi pond which we found adjacent to the butterfly garden!! We went into the butterfly garden, but they were all asleep. Bernie is trying to nap and I have used the time to make a start on the travel diary.

Steps for the day: 11,870 (8.51km)


Tot: 3.408s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 34; qc: 133; dbt: 0.0847s; 3; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.7mb