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from . Wednesday April 7

The months and months and months of saving and planning have come to fruition - they always do !   :-)   It's time to stop working with our exhaustive and absolutely wonderful spreadsheet in preparation for the trip, and just — do it ... again , lucky us !

So . We drive in comfort and style out to Sydney Kingsford Smith in a hire car, and fly out on Austrian - or is it still Lauda ? They put an ad. in "The Sydney Morning Herald" very recently, to say that Lauda doesn't exist any more (not that it has, anywhere other than in Oz, for a looong time); but there's nothing at the airport, at the check-in desk, on the staff uniforms or in the actual 'plane that says anything other than Lauda ! Still, that's not exactly important .

Enjoyable flight. But I've contracted a colleague's cold, and it is, by Wednesday 'evening', really brewing - sore throat, cough, etc. Wouldn't be a problem but for one thing: my right ear, with each landing (and we have three !), causes me quite serious pain. The hostesses on the first and third legs have a solution that does help ease it; a plastic cup containing a HOT towel pressed over the ear. On the second leg we have male stewards, and they are worse than useless. Please note.

Thursday

Passing east-west through Austrian's hub stop, and arriving in Paris .

CS has previously told me of stories regarding Vienna airport; these are not madly complimentary stories, you understand — and they are true ones, alas ! The gate listed on the main departures board turns out not to be the correct one; and when we eventually find our way, the flight is half an hour later than notified (both on our tickets and on the board). However, as I said, the flights themselves are really good; so it's all down to priorities .

Memory: brief moment of panic, soon abated, as we miss our camera while in the gate-lounge waiting for the Paris flight. We've changed seats, and left it back there . and, surrounded by honest burgers, there it still is !
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