Visiting with Susann ;-)

Monday, October 07, 2013
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
We went in to today's flight not with trepidation, but a renewed respect for choppy weather. I ensured that there were no Sigmets issued for our route and was told upon filing the flight plan that the ride should be smooth, but with some headwinds. They weren't kidding. We had our strongest headwinds of the trip and even though we started early didn't get in until the early afternoon.

Flying over Canberra was interesting, as was the mountainous tree-covered countryside . Where was the evidence for my preconceived notions?? In the distance we even saw some snow covered mountains. It was very pretty, and we had plenty of time to enjoy it as ground speed was pitiful against the headwinds. The most investing part of the flight, for me at least, was the dive-bombing approach we made into the airport. We didn't receive clearance to descend lower than 3000' until shortly before the airport so had to lose altitude quickly. Speed brakes, gear down, flaps full, and down we went! The controllers on the ground were friendly and laughed when we opted to cut the engine on the grass parking as opposed to risk another taxiing prop strike. Once we parked, a beer at the airport cafe was called for.

We dropped Johannes off at is hotel and then continued to Susann's. She was gracious enough to let her stay at her place. It was really good to see her again as it'd been more than a year since she'd been to visit in Berlin. She hadn't changed ore aged a bit . We headed off to a local pub for drinks and dinner and it was fun to catch up. Caroline also enjoyed hearing other versions of stories I'd told of the Fat Tire crew ;-).

We had ambitious plans to see Melbourne in a day following Susann's recommendations, but a) woke up late and b) spent way too long enjoying a fabulous breakfasts at one of Susann's recommended restaurants. Catching up on work emails also played a role. Once we did get motivated, our first mission was to get a metro ticket for the tram. Easier said than done in Melbourne. I must say, after everything else progressive that we saw in the city, the odd system of needing to buy and recharge a scan card as the only way to travel by public transport was complicated and difficult to grasp.

The rest of the city, however, didn't disappoint. I'd heard many Australians comparing it to a Berlin or San Francisco, so had high expectations. We started with a walk through downtown, the Laneways, and then along the river . From there we went to the Victoria Museum of Art. The mix of old and new buildings with fun shops did indeed remind me of both other comparable cities. Caroline and I spent a couple hours in the art museum and were quite impressed (although little of the art was from Victorian artists). It was just a fun "start" to the day.

We met Johannes at the Fish Pony bar under a pedestrian bridge smack in the middle of the river that Susann had recommended. What a great place to grab a drink! Unfortunately we got a good grasp on Melbourne's constantly changing weather when one minute we were in the sun enjoying a local beer and the next in a cold overcast. Off we went.

Susann met up with us after work, and then Freddy met us for dinner as well. We ended up at a bar reminded me a lot of Tacheles in Berlin with funky outdoor seating on palettes and graffiti and stencils everywhere. The rain reminded me of Berlin as well ;-). It was a really fun night and really fun see some of Susann's favorite spots and hear what Freddy was up to.

Routing from Sydney to Melbourne:
TONTO GLB CB CRG ELW and got the Bankstown6Dep. 10,000' and 3h30m
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