At this moment six years ago I was on a Qantas 747 en route to Heathrow Airport and thence to Paris for our honeymoon. It was our first of three trips to Europe. Earlier today I put down a deposit on a fourth.
Yesterday Flight Centre held a European Travel Expo at Darling Harbour. This year the days of the week corresponded with those of our wedding and I thought that the event had a nice element of synchronicity about it.
The day before I had looked up in the sky above my head and saw a Qantas 747-400. I wish I could say that it was Qantas that we would be flying with but sadly they were prohibitively expensive. I would like to have picked our holiday out of their European travel booklet, our honeymoon hotel, the Victor Masse was still in there. That we could have flown out the next day would have been even better.
Sadly, we do not have that much freedom. And experience tells us that we can do it much cheaper by researching our own hotels.
I paid instead for flights with Air China, via Shanghai and Beijing. Yes, despite our experiences in China we would fly back through there. It's not that it's a bad country or that there is anything wrong with the airports (except the toilets). In fact, we found the airports very efficient for domestic flights. I would just rather a stopover in somewhere comfortable like Japan, Hong Kong, Seoul or Singapore. We want to visit Thailand as well. Oh well, this might be our chance to visit Suzhou or Huangshan (Yellow Mountain).
In Europe the idea is that we will visit Eastern Europe and France again. I have notions of going to Scandinavia, but who knows?
Then again, we may find the whole trip is called off or greatly delayed. We have a decision point arriving soon and one of the advantages of the Air China fare, apart from its price, is that full payment can be postponed until after that point.
Travel is what, along with B, keeps me sane right now. I'm finding myself bored with work. I find life stressful, work rather unchallenging and am frustrated with Australians. Our holidays are something to look forward to and there is no doubt I love the planning element and other intellectual challenges associated with them. So maybe we'll be back to Europe and China in the new year. Or maybe not. Nothing we can do now but to wait.