Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Adjusted hemisphere

Melbourne, I've arrived and survived the long-haul trip. Schiphol, Heathrow, Hong Kong Airport and Melbourne Airport.
Just to get to Schiphol we rented a car and left at 4.45 am because that was much better than taking the night train at 4am. Our first leg of the trip lifted off at 7.25 on time.
I've never been to Heathrow and after hearing the horror stories I expected the worse. This dread would most certainly dull the edge, was my thinking, my hope. Well, in the end, it didn't. Heathrow is truly an awful airport. To be fair airports are not very nice places anyway. Some have done very well and I do like Shiphol. Dublin and Manila Airports are a bit of an embarrassment on the one end and on the other Kuala Lumpur airport is actually very good. Very good signing (as good as Schiphol), beautiful architecture and nicely laid out like a modern day village. Nothing felt complicated and dare I say it, it felt comfy and easy going.
For some reason I was expecting Hong Kong Airport to be similar. It wasn't. The signing wasn't as good and the shops and restaurants felt disjointed, not connected. As if they were all there temporarily. The airport building was as I had imagined it after seeing some of the construction on the Discovery Channel, stunning. The vast open space does relax and I felt a ease and safe. If they could get more of a community or village atmosphere going it would be an outright winner, despite the flawed signing.
Melbourne Airport reminded me of Shiphol, not a open clear as Shiphol but still modern and European. Easy entry and exit for departures was a nice surprise and is better than most.

Jet lag mostly dissipated and still a bit bemused with the wonderful weather I'm starting to settle. The lack of public transport will be something to get use to. Melbourne is vast and sprawled out city and so having a car is effectively mandatory. One thing is exactly as I had expected. Australians are in sense louder.



Blogger contrarybear said...
Congrats on getting there in one piece! Keep up the impressions, I'm keen to find out more. And of course, pass on our regards to C & D in Sydney.

1:24 pm


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