I flew from Sydney to Melbourne on Sunday to attend the 2016 Melbourne F1 Grand Prix, in doing so I literally fulfilled a childhood dream.
After arriving at the circuit as the gates opened, I headed to the “Melbourne Walk” to watch the drivers arriving for the day. This is a great way to get really close to the drivers for photos and their autographs. I then met up with a friend who had also come down from Sydney for the day and we watched the support races from various areas close to the pits.
Wondering “where am I?” and “how do I get to my next point of interest” became a recurring theme in the few days I spent in Vienna.
After getting lost trying to find my way back to the Vienna Hauptbahnhof following a day exploring the city surrounds, I met up with my friend who had just arrived from Berlin. Our first task was to get back across the city to check into our hotel. We travelled on the U-Bahn to Schottenring station which has exits on either side of the Donau Canal. Naturally, we exited on the wrong side and were unable to find the exit for the other side of the canal. After ten or so minutes of looking like muppets trying to figure a way across, and after deciding that swimming across wasn’t a great idea, we jumped on a tram that went over a nearby bridge.
The second week of my adventures across Central Europe took me to Vienna.
My Monday morning began very early as the friends I was staying with had appointments before their work day even began. This resulted in me being kicked out of their house before 7am and I was on the first train from Munich to Vienna at 7.30am
Sundays in Germany are quite different to Sundays in Australia. No malls, supermarkets or convenience stores are open. At first this seems really old fashioned and boring but after a weeks you start to really appreciate how relaxing it is to have a day a week where you are essentially forced to take a day off.
After two and a half days in Innsbruck I caught a train back to Munich, first for a business meeting and second to spend the weekend with friends.
After my meeting had finished I had a few hours to kill while waiting for my friends to finish work. The great thing about Munich is there are so many great roads, buildings and shops to get lost in around the central city. Once my friends had finished work we went to the Hackerhaus for dinner where I had a great Sauerbraten (pot roast). We then rounded out the evening at a small hipster bar.
On my third day in Europe I was up early enough and awake enough to go skiing. Each of the ski fields around Innsbruck runs a free tourist shuttle bus from various areas around the city directly to the ski fields. Find the area where the ski bus departed from was a little tricky even though it was essentially across the road from the hotel as it wasn’t very well sign posted, however, the buses had very clear labels on them and made the hour long ride out to the ski field very comfortable.
Arriving in Innsbruck after almost 40 hours of travel, one would expect to fall straight into bed, but as it was such a beautiful afternoon I decided it go up to the top of Nordkette instead.
To get to the top of Nordkette you catch a very modern Funicular from the edge of the Innsbruck city centre to the suburb/village of Hungerburg. From here you switch to two cable cars which take you to the top of the mountain. At the top I walked around for at least 30 minutes in snow that was literally knee deep. The ski runs off the top were the steepest I’ve ever seen. After deciding against trying to get to the absolute summit of the mountain in the deep snow I headed back down one cable car to grab a traditional Austrian lunch – Apple Strudel and Red Bull.
For the second February in a row I jetted off to Europe for a holiday. Unlike last year this trip had a little more planning and was close to twice as long. Over the month of February I visited five countries and caught up with many friends.
To get to Europe I chose to fly on Etihad, whom I have flown to Europe with twice before. However, getting to Europe this time around was slightly different to previous trips, while I could take the usual Sydney to Abu Dhabi flight I chose instead to go first to Perth and then to Abu Dhabi. This allowed me three hours to stretch my legs in Perth and reduce the length of the ultra-long haul Australia to Abu Dhabi leg of the journey.
Once again I spent my New Years Eve on the edge of Sydney Harbour.
The plan for this year was to watch the fireworks from Blues Point. However, despite arriving before 11am the site was already totally full. So my friends and I ended up next to the Northern Pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Bradfield Park.
As seen in the series of images below the fireworks off the bridge just kept on increasing in size as the performance went on and eventually the bridge was lost in a ball of white.
Many of these goals are a continuation of goals from previous years
- Continue learning German
- Read 30 books
- Travel and/or move to Europe or Singapore