8 countries visited: Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Singapore.
27 cities visited*: Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Auckland, Wanganui, Ohakune, Orlando, Boston, Montreal, Quebec City, Munich, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Würzburg, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Leipzig, Berlin, Potsdam, Osnabrück, Wuppertal, Bonn, Cologne, Aachen, Maastricht, The Hague, Singapore.
(* I define visited as having deliberately gone to that city for work or leisure. Transiting through a city is not counted.)
16 train journeys taken between cities in four countries (Canada, Germany, Austria, Netherlands).
Experienced jet-lag in 7 time zones: AEST, AEDT, NZST, EDT, CET, SGT.
Virgin Australia’s 737
15 hotels slept in for a total of 36 nights and 14 nights spent staying on friend’s couches, floors and spare rooms.
Finally, some good and bad highlights from the year:
Missed connections: 1 due to late inbound flight.
Best Airport: Gold Coast – due to Virgin Australia’s fantastic ground staff
Worst Airport Terminals: Abu Dhabi terminal 1 and Boston terminal B.
Best food: Etihad Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi (dinner) and Eithad Abu Dhabi to Sydney (breakfast).
Best flights: Etihad Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi and Scoot Singapore to Sydney (both red-eyes!)
Worst flight: Air Canada Boston to Montreal – grumpy cabin crew.
Best planes: Etihad’s A340 and Scoot’s 787-9.
Worst plane: Air New Zealand’s 767-300.
Best ground staff: Virgin Australia at Gold Coast.
Worst ground staff: Delta at JFK.
I have now caught the travel bug, nine years ago I had never been on a plane, six years ago I’d never been outside of New Zealand, less than three years ago I had never been outside of Australia or New Zealand.
I’m unlikely to repeat this much travel in the coming year, or years. But I’m scheming plans for more amazing places I now want to visit. Returning to Europe remains high in first place in those plans.
On my visit to Singapore I went to the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.
As we arrived quite late in the afternoon we only had a little over two hours to quickly race around quite a large zoo. Overall the zoo was quite interesting with lots of animals that you don’t generally see in Australian zoos. However I left feeling that the zoo was a little over-hyped.
In mid-April I went up to Singapore for three days. This was my first time in Asia and the decision to visit Singapore was mainly made because of friends who live there and great airfares on Singapore Airline’s budget carrier Scoot.
The flight from Sydney to Singapore left just after midday and arrived almost an hour early around 6.30pm local time. By the time I had collected my bags, cleared immigration, and caught the MRT to my hotel it was quite late in the evening so I had an early night.
The next morning I met up with an Australian workmate who was also visiting Singapore and we explored around Little India. This was a little bit of a culture shock as it was not what I was expecting Singapore to be like.
Scoot’s 2nd 787-9 Dreamliner aptly named Barry
Those aren’t Jungle animals
Streets of Little India
After getting lost a few times we found a MRT station and headed through to the Marina Bay area which is a complete contrast to Little India. At Marina Bay we met up with another friend at the Merlion and walked around Marina Bay to Marina Bay Sands where we had lunch.
It has just taken me around an hour to try and insert some previous and next month navigation links to the blog monthly archives. It seems that WordPress doesn’t have any real native support for this time of navigation which is odd.
Anyway the code below is my very hacky version of how to do it. I placed this in my theme’s archive.php file