After the side trip to Tasmania, I’m finally on my way back home. First by plane from Melbourne to Singapore before continuing to Amsterdam a few days later. Soon after I will be back on the road and start cycling across central Europe towards south and towards Switzerland.
After my return to Melbourne coming from Tasmania, I discovered the city a bit more with Julian (Thank you for everything!). Finally I had again to take apart my bicycle (the last time for this journey) and put it back into the cardboard box for transportation. This always takes a bit longer than thought but I learned in the mean time to start early. That wasn’t always the case… After finishing the packing process, I had to check the weight. The allowed maximum for all checked baggage was 40kg. Therefor, I have sent a few things home by mail. It should take around 3 months to Switzerland. That way I brought the weight down to 40kg. Or that was at least what the scale told me. However, the real check will be at the airport…
Melbourne – Singapore: A bit a longer flight thant planned
Early next morning, I got a transfer by shuttle bus to the airport in Melbourne. After the difficult check-in in Auckland, I was a bit nervous. Luckily my luggage was exactly 40kg and check-in was therefor absolutely painless. I flew with Jetstar and that meant, that there wouldn’t be any free food during the flight. Therefor, I bought lunch with my last Australian Dollars before boarding the plane.
When the pilots finally started the engines and the air conditioning, it smelled like something was burning. And shortly after an announcement followed: An error sign lighted up and we therefor had to get back to the gate to let it check. However, it should only take around 30 minutes. Neverthless, after one hour, we had to leave the plane because they had to fix something. However, we should be in the air again another hour later. I got hungry in the mean time and first got something to eat. When I returned to the gate, they started to distribute food vouchers. It was clear what that meant: It would take a bit longer and I would have to go shopping again… Finally they organized another plane (by cancelling another flight) and we got on our way to Singapore with around 4 hours delay. However, I was pretty relaxed the whole time because I had almost 48 hours spare time in Singapore :-).
It was already dark when we finally arrived in this small state. My plane neighbor was wondering about the heavy fog in the city but I didn’t think too much about it. Also my luggage made it and I stored it at the airport. I wanted to travel light for once. I took the shuttle bus to my hostel and went more or less straight to bed…
I have never been in Singapore before and had to discovered the city by foot. My hostel was situated in Chinatown and I started therefor in this area. It was of course Chinese but it also reminded me of Japan. After a longer lunch break (it was definitively warmer than in Melbourne), I continued along the Singapore river to the CBD. I was suprised by the heavy smog: The sun showed up deep red and this way before sunset. Together with other tourists, I was waiting till it got dark. Those kind of cities are most impressive in the darkness. Additionally to the normal lights, they showed a show including some laser at the Marina Bay Sands complex. Singapore seems to be Las Vegas with banks. After a dinner at one of the central booths, I went back to the hostel.
I was reading in the news the next morning that air pollution in Singapore was the worst since at least 16 years. They also wrote about the reason: Men made forest fires in Sumatra in Indonesia (e.g. for the production of palm oil). And yes, there was a smell of burnt wood. Pretty impressive if you are seeing all that and not just reading about it…
Singapore – Kuala Lumpur – Amsterdam
In the afternoon I went back to the airport for getting my luggage, changing the terminal and checking in again. The question was again how much extra I would have to pay for the extra weight. This time I flew with Malaysia Airlines and they include 30kg for economy passengers. I was also 10kg too heavy. It took a while but it was finally clear how much I would have to pay: Around 90 USD. I was pretty happy with it because it could easy cost up to 200 USD.
After a short flight, we stopped in Kuala Lumpur and continued a few hours later towards Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Both flights were on time and also my luggage made it safely to the destination. That’s it with flying for now. I won’t miss it. And the climate probably neither.
Now I’m the Netherlands and it’s pretty cold here. I thought that I’m getting from the wintery Melbourne to the summery Europe. However, somehow summer didn’t arrive yet. On the other site is it also easier to cycle if it isn’t that hot :-).
Soon I will be on the way to Switzerland. This will be a real tour of Europe: The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France and Switzerland are on my list. For Femke, with which I will cycle, Italy will be added as well. This of course if we don’t change plans on the way… That’s also the last part of my journey. Luckily it’s a slow one. I already know that I’m going to miss it :-).
All the best from the Netherlands,
PS: Pictures from Singapore can be found in the Gallery.