EuroTrash 2018 - France, Estonia, Croatia, Romania and Bavaria | Australian Frequent Flyer
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EuroTrash 2018 - France, Estonia, Croatia, Romania and Bavaria

ozmatt

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Time has just run away from me and I am opening this trip report the same day it commences. Between work, family and my social life it has been a hectic last month. Later tonight I am jetting off on the annual Euro jaunt. This year sees me flying EK F to and from Europe for the first time. After all the trip reviews on here, youtube and around the web, to say I am excited is an understatement. My first EK flight BNE-DXB is on a 777 but the rest are A380s.

EK Flights to and from Europe
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This year I am starting with some time in and around Nice to defrost after the bitter cold of a Brisbane Winter ;) I am then flying up to Estonia when I will be based for the rest of my trip. Estonia holds a dear place in my heart and is essentially my ‘Euro-home’.

European Flights
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I have a couple of side trips to Croatia and Romania from Estonia. On my way home I fly out of Munich so I have scheduled in a week travelling around Bavaria. I didn’t actually plan to go to Oktoberfest, when I booked, so it was a nice surprise when I realised I was there at the same time.

My return to Australia is via SYD where I had originally booked a connection straight home to BNE. Being AFL Grand Final weekend though, coupled with Richmond’s form this year, I have cancelled that flight and am instead heading to MEL for a couple of nights. #carntigs
 

ozmatt

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I arranged for the chauffeur to pick me up at 7pm for the 11pm flight. I hadn't been in the BNE Emirates lounge before so wanted to ensure I had a bit of time there. Food was good but not photo worthy. There was an earlier Emirates flight and once this cleared out the lounge was very empty.

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ozmatt

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My first Emirates flight - wow what can I say. It was everything I thought it would be and more! My plan was to stay awake for the first 4 or so hours to attempt to get my body clock on Euro time. The ICE entertainment system was probably too good with too many options as I spent more time browsing than actually watching movies.

The food was fantastic and the drinks were pretty special too. I especially loved when the cabin lights dimmed all the stars on the inside of the cabin. I am easily amused. I found it curious that on the ground in BNE we were offered Moet as the champagne offering but once airport the good stuff came out - 2009 Dom Perignon - yummo.

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ozmatt

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On arrival in Dubai we taxied for a long time! We eventually stopped way out of the way on the apron and had to bus it to the terminal. The bus trip was epic! I would estimate we were on the bus for close to an hour! We were going circles at one point - I have no idea why. In saying that - I really enjoyed it! It was great to be down at ground level having what seemed like a private tour on our First bus.

It was ridiculously hot and humid outside but the inside of the bus was like an icebox. All the windows were fogged up so I didn't bother with any snaps of tarmac life.

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I only had a couple of hours between flights so I didn't have the time to do a lot of the things I would have liked in the lounge. I have a longer connection time on the way home so will take full advantage then. I did pop into the lounge restaurant to have some breakfast. No bacon for my eggs benny but it was fine. I wasn't confident on the ability to get a good flat white so opted for the expresso martini (don't tell my mum)...

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VPS

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Glad you got photos of the first class bus. I was just a zombie and didn't get any photos. F in EK is just the best
 

rock86

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Even just those few posts has got me excited again for a few months when I will be booking some EK F legs!
 

ozmatt

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The second leg from DXB-NCE was even better than the first leg. The crew were just amazing. Couldn't do enough for me. It started off well when they told me they have a better champagne on this flight than my last one.

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It was good - like REALLY good! As soon as that seatbelt sign was off I headed to the bar down the back. The parting words from the girls in the F cabin were don't drink their champagne - we will bring you down a bottle and a better glass than the ones they have in the bar.

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Being a day flight I spend most of my time back in the bar just chatting to people. I really made the flight go too fast! I hardly spend any time at all in my 1A seat! I eventually thought I had better go and have some food and a shower just before landing.

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I also wanted to try a red so paired it with a lamb dish that I must have forgotten to photograph. I know I should have had champagne with the caviar but I was running out of time.

The shower was almost surreal. Who would have thought a shower on a plane! I had asked to have the last shower slot before landing so I was all fresh once I arrived in Nice.

The airport arrival was one of the best I have had. It took me less than 20mins to be out the door looking for my driver. It was a pity it wasn't a 'pilot' I was looking for though. Emirates offers helicopter transfers to passengers in First, which was one of the reasons I flew into NCE. Unfortunately though, it is only offered to fare paying passengers :( I rang up the Emirates call centre a few times and they always came back with the same reply. Not to worry - my wheels were nice in any case.

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ozmatt

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My first night in France was spend out at the delightful little town of Menton. It is a gorgeous little spot. The weather was hot and everyone was on the beach.

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One of the tips I read somewhere online was to make the trek to the cemetery on the top of the old town. It has some stunning views and is also the resting place of William Ellis - the founder of rugby.

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My hotel was nothing flash but it was close to the train and close to the beach. I hardly spent anytime there so I think it was a good choice. I had a top floor apartment with beach 'glimpses' at the end of the street. It is a shame I only had the one night in Menton as it was a very cute little place.

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ozmatt

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The next day saw me getting ready for one of the biggest challenges of this year's trip! For the first time in Europe I was going to be brave and hire a car! I drive a little Renault Clio at home and was hoping to get the same here in France. I ended up with some Toyota hybrid which was actually okay.

The main reason I needed the car was to get up into the countryside. I was staying two nights in Valensole and did a couple of day trips in the area. I only had the car for 48 hours.

The whole driving on the right, sitting on the left was really a non-event. I am not sure why I had built it up in my head to be a major thing! The most difficult thing ended up being the crazy skinny little streets / roads I was driving on. Some were only wide enough for one car so no chance of driving on the wrong side!

Valensole is up in lavender country. I had missed the flowers by a month or so. The air though was still thick with the scent of lavender.

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I stayed in a beautiful little chateau in Valensole - Chateau du Grand Jardin. It was in a great location allowing me to walk to the village square for dinner each night. I had a beautiful top floor room. I would love to stay here again. The breakfast spread in the mornings were great. I am not really much of a breakfast person so after these breakfasts I hardly ate again that day.

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ellen10

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Wow your F flight on Emirates looked amazing and that champagne and wines, oh my, they look good!
I love Provence and last year we were there in the heart of the lavender season, beautiful rows and rows of purple. I notice you also had a nice glass of Provence Rose ...... such a lovely pale colour of deliciousness!

Looking forward to your next instalment.
 

Straubs

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Oh my, oh my ... this is already looking amazing. Menton looks gorgeous. I love it when you find a little spot that's a surprise. Following with interest ...
 

Straubs

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Also, am interested in everyone's methods to obtaining enough points for their F flights. Have you shared your methods on any of the other forums?
 

ozmatt

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Also, am interested in everyone's methods to obtaining enough points for their F flights. Have you shared your methods on any of the other forums?
Hi Straubs - I can't speak for everyone but I keep an eye for anything I can do to get points. Cycling through credit cards seems to be the biggest bang for bucks. I also changed electricity provider recently and any other random thing I see on the forum that makes sense for my situation, I jump at.
 

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