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Published: March 8th 2016
On the Road Again.
Two and a half years in the planning and just as long working and saving money, the BBA V3 is ‘On the Road Again’, well not quite, more like up in the sky as the first leg of our adventure gets underway.
It had been a very busy weekend after we left Tauranga on Saturday what with our eldest grandson’s 5th
birthday on Sunday and then his first day at school on Monday. All great fun and a very memorable time. We do hope he finds enough time to eat all his lunch that his parents have so diligently prepared. On picking him up from school on Monday afternoon a couple of hours before we needed to be at the airport he informed everyone that he had been so busy he hadn’t had time to eat all his lunch at the lunch break !
We always knew we would miss our 3 grandsons and our daughters and sons-in-law too of course as we embarked on our near 6 months of adventure to places we haven’t been before and a few old favourites to reacquaint ourselves with and indulge ourselves again in what those cities or towns have caused us to come back.
The plan for the BBA V3 is to fly to Paris touching down in Brisbane and Dubai flying Emirates A380 all the way.
Then pick up a Peugeot 308 and basically tour western Europe in an anti clockwise direction staying on or near the coast with a few diversions inland all the way to the southern tip of Spain and then north on the Med coast into France and roughly east to Florance.Then north through Switzerland and into Germany and back into France before heading north to Holland and onto Norway as far as Trondheim taking the coastal route before returning to Paris via a more inland route through Norway,Denmark,Germany and finally France.
We leave the car in Paris and fly to Ireland for a week and then back across the Irish Sea to England,Scotland,Wales and finally back to England before returning to Paris for the flight back home at the end of August.
The flight from Auckland was pretty well full and after an hour and a half into the first sector to Brisbane our tearful parting from all the family at Auckland Airport we settled into our first dinner of two that we will be served before we arrive in Dubai at around 5.30am local time on Tuesday morning. The parting being dulled a bit by a rather good sav blanc and a generous amount of brandy and Jack Daniels served with dinner.
One can only marvel at the technology that makes the huge Airbus A380-800 fly with a full load of somewhere in the vicinity of 400 + passengers, their luggage and goodness knows what else in the hold of the aircraft. In fact it’s best not to second guess how this mega plane gets off the ground so smoothly and seemingly effortlessly.
The short stop at Brisbane is a bit of a pain but it does give one time to stretch the legs before the next sector of 14 hours to Dubai. We were offered a change to the new nonstop service from Auckland to Dubai a couple of weeks ago but we decided to stick with the 4 engines of the A380 over the Boeing 777’s 2 engines and 17 hours in the air all at once.
The need to go through security at Brisbane when you have clearly just come off the same plane you are going to reboard seems a wasted exercise but it is keeping people employed and we tried to humour as careful as we could the rather dour Australian security people checking hand luggage. Thankfully this time I didn’t get picked to be ‘scanned’ in the clear compartment where a scanner whizzes one way and then the other while all the other bemused passengers wait and watch probably hoping they won’t get hauled out of line for the treatment.
While we waited to reboard and Australians joined us as fellow passengers we were given an insight as to what people carry in those mini suitcases that some people just have to have with them in the cabin .A woman and her husband sitting nearby had the occasion to open the suitcase and on top was a sizeable rug, folded neatly to take up roughly a third of the suitcases interior. We wondered whether we had missed something and that Emirates wouldn’t be handing out blankets to keep us warm if the cabin gets a little chilly during the night. Perhaps as we take a stroll along the aisle as some exercise during the night we might see whether the woman is any more snug than what we can make ourselves with Emirates issue blankets.
Enough for now as midnight NZ time has struck and we can smell dinner #2 and now we shall try and send this first BBA V3 blog from 30,000 feet an hour northwest of Brisbane near Mt Isa heading for Dubai.
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