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Australia to Germany the long way

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boomy

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It's the holiday season again which mean it's time to visit the family overseas. Some relatives live in the US, some in EU and myself in AU. This year the meeting place is Germany.
When planing this trip I knew my departure will be from BNE and my destination is FRA on Xmas eve. As I strongly believe that flying the most direct route is wayyy to boring, my goal was to make a few stopovers in Asia on the way to Europe and some more on the way back. The plan was to book all flights using points in F and J (apart from the domestic leg which I managed to get a sale fare in Y).
BNE-SYD QF Y (last flight on the B767)
Layover in SYD.
SYD-HKG QF J+ (seating in the A380 F cabin)
Stopover in HKG include short trip to Macau.
HKG-BKK TG F B747
Layover in BKK.
BKK-ICN OZ J A330
Stopover in Seoul include short trip to Busan.
ICN-FRA OZ F B747
Destination FRA.
Return:
FRA-OTP LH J A320
Stopover in Bucharest.
OTP-MUC LH J A321
Layover in MUC.
MUC-CDG LH J A319
Layover in CDG.
CDG-BKK TG F A380
Connection in BKK.
BKK-HKG TG F A380
Layover in HKG.
HKG-SYD QF J+ A380
I will update the TR during my trip and post photos to keep it interesting.
 

boomy

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8,205
BNE-SYD Y QF B767
This is my last flight on QF B767 and it's a special moment as I remember my first ever QF flight when I had 0 points and SCs and knew nothing about seat selection, that flight was on B767 and I sat in 24F which became my favourite Y seat on Domestic flights. I still remember the positive first impression with QF Y and the unlimited legroom space they provide ;)
I was lucky enough to know the CSM on my flight today. With a shadow next to me and free flowing wine from J, it was an excellent start to my long journey.
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Vale B767!
 

boomy

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Rydges Sydney Airport.
This is my preferred hotel to stay before an overseas trip which always seem to start from SYD lately.
Rydges offer free shuttle from Domestic terminal to the hotel and from there it's a short walk to International.
My platinum status got me an upgrade to airport view room (as requested) and two drink vouchers at the bar.
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Love the vintage look of the mini bar
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I enjoy plane spotting (my missus will never understand that) so I got up early to view the morning traffic in SYD.
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China Southern A380
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The Air India Dreamliner doesn't look so good
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boomy

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May 10, 2013
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QF F lounge SYD.
Check in was a breeze, the fastest I ever had in SYD. I may even get to like this airport one day.
The F lounge was crowded but I managed to get a seat in the dining area and had light breakfast of Corn Fritters and a cup of strong latte to wake me up before moving on to the more serious stuff...
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QF A380s, one to HKG, the other to LAX.
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20 minutes massage was booked upon arrival and it was very relaxing.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418693000.468954.jpg
 
Last edited:

boomy

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May 10, 2013
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SYD-HKG J+ QF A380
I admit that I was excited about this flight. Not every day you get to fly in J and sit in the F cabin. I got to sit in the old B747 F cabin when flying in J on the same route before but this time it's the flagship A380 F cabin, the best product QF has to offer ATM.
Boarding was smooth and I found the cabin was almost empty.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418696283.851639.jpg
When I checked the seating last night only 4 seats (plus mine) were allocated and those 4 pax were in the cabin when I boarded but eventually the cabin became almost full, maybe some lucky J pax got onboard "upgrade".
The CSM introduced himself and said I'm lucky to sit in F today. When I told him I was originally booked in F and was downgraded to J his reply was that he will make sure I will get the F service today and indeed he kept true to his word, checking up on me frequently to make sure my glass of wine is never empty for too long.
A glass of champagne before takeoff.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418697312.131538.jpg
There is only one thing I can say about my seat, it's THE BEST J SEAT EVER :p I loved the privacy feeling which gives a totally different flight experience compared to the J cabin. Although the cabin lacks the 'wow' factor that other F cabins have, it provides more then enough space and comfort.
The best feature of the seat is by far the massage. I enjoyed it so much that I kept it on the whole flight, switching between the various options.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418697451.904006.jpg
His and hers J amenity bags by Kate Spade.
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Waiting in the queue for takeoff.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418697759.888037.jpg
 

boomy

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The service was exceptional and made me feel I was actually flying in F. On a good no one can beat the QF service and this was a very good day. I can't remember their names but the Japanese FA and the Spanish CSM did a great job taking care of us.
Stairs leading to the upper cabin
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418721522.029173.jpg
The menu
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418721612.448189.jpg
Blackmore's Wagyu for starters
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418721671.375521.jpg
Merrylands Lamb Rack for main
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418721720.202327.jpg
Coconut and Lime cake for dessert
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418721745.453917.jpg
The Reds were 2013 Clonakilla Shiraz which was too young to drink now and 2009 Wynns Can Sav that was better.
Food was good but not outstanding, I hope the "real" First Class have better food.
 

Fifa

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Loving it thanks boomy.
I would have chosen those same three courses :D. Keep the pics coming!
 

boomy

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May 10, 2013
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Hong Kong to Macau
Landed in HKG just before 6pm, good time with no queues at immigration and my luggage was among the first to come out.
I wanted to catch the ferry directly from airport but the departure schedule didn't work out in my favour so instead I took the train to Central and walked about 10 min to the ferry terminal. There is a bridge connecting the train station to the ferry terminal and it's an easy short walk, no need to take taxi.
The terminal was very busy with a few Chinese groups who made a lot of noise. I had a choice between the ferry to Macau and the one that goes directly to Taipa (closer to my hotel) one hour later. I chose to go to Macau and take the shuttle from there to Cotai.
I decided to spoil myself and get a Premier ticket which proved to be a wise decision as the main cabin was packed and Premier was almost empty and very quiet.
The seats were comfortable with generous recline (no one sat behind me) and service was very attentive, as soon as I finished my beer I was offered another one.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418859998.065469.jpg
Seafood pasta tasted better then it looks.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418860032.913225.jpg
After one hour we could finally see the city.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418860058.358408.jpg
 

boomy

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Cotai.
I heard good things about Conrad Macau so I was keen to check it out next time I visit Macau. It's a part of bigger complex that includes Holiday Inn and Sheraton. All 3 hotels are connected and located next to City of Dreams (Crown, Hard Rock, Hyatt) and Venetian.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418860283.488553.jpg
James Packer and Lawrence Ho's complex.
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Venetian - the biggest hotel in the world ATM.
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It's even more impressive when going inside.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418860820.531554.jpg
 

boomy

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Conrad Macau.
When I got to the lobby to check in someone came and asked me to follow him to my suite and do the check in there. I liked the casual way they treated the upgrade from base room like it's goes without saying a diamond member gets a suite in this hotel.
King Premier Suite 156sq m.
Living room
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Work desk and dining area
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Media room
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It's not a joke, they actually call it like that. I guess two TVs in the living room and bedroom are not enough... It reminded me the awkward looking lounge on QF A380, unnecessary extra space that no one is going to use.
 

boomy

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Bedroom
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418864898.945595.jpg
Bathroom
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Complementary bottles of evian water.
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A few additions to my Conrad zoo :)
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View of the Venetian from the bedroom.
ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1418864976.313106.jpg
 

boomy

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May 10, 2013
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8,205
After starting the day at 6.30am and taking a long journey of flight-train-ferry-bus I started to feel tired by the time I arrived the hotel at 9pm.
The lounge was closed for renovations but I didn't mind because I would have missed it anyway. I was offered to go down to the bar and order anything I like on the house. Very generous offer but I politely declined. I have consumed too much alcohol today and what I really needed is a double espresso to keep me going a few more hours. The Nespresso machine in the room did the job and after quick shower I went out to explore Cotai at night.
To my disappointment there was not much to do beside shopping and gambling, two things I don't really like. There were no shows, no nightclubs, I was wondering what the young people do there for entertainment (there were many young Chinese all over the place). I finally managed to find a nice bar with live music at Hard Rock hotel and met some interesting tourists from Portugal who came to visit their former colony.
I didn't feel like drinking too much so later I went to check out the casinos. I don't like to play any game against the house because the house always wins, everyone knows that. I do like to play poker with other people. The casino in this case acts as the host and only gets small % of the earnings. Well, unfortunately poker is not popular in Macau. Most people play Baccarat, Caribbean Stud or three cards poker. All three games are against the dealer so the chances to win are small to none. Eventually I decided to go back to my room, have a good night sleep and do some historic sightseeing tomorrow.
 
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