March 30th - April 15th 2012, Australia ...

Long time planned (flights booked already a year ago) we used our Qantas Miles and flew to Melbourne again ...
 

Melbourne I

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After arrival on Friday morning - and having loads of food in lounges and on the plane - we did the "Aussie" shopping (items we don't get in Germany) and then - more food - had some tapas @ Tender Trap, our favourite restaurant ... fantastic as ever ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We were lucky that we could stay with our friends Caroline and David. It was their son's birthday (Sam), so we could join the birthday dinner @ a Thai restaurant in Warrandyte ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On Saturday we met Sue and Garry, long-time acquaintances ... we went for lunch @ Yerring Station in the Yarra Valley ... here Sue and Cynthia ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and the four of us @ lunch there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here all of us @ the terrace overlooking the area ... it was good to meet them (first time for Thomas)

Hayman Island

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So Sunday morning we got up @ 4 o'clock to get our flight to Hamilton @ 7am ... after arrival we were greeted with a glass of champagne on the boat that brought us to Hayman ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This is the pier of Hamilton Airport ... such a huge Airport, that it is subdivided into East and West ;-))) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here our plane - starting again ... no taxiways there ... so a u-turn must do ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Upon arrival @ Hayman we were picked up by the buggy train ... here a first glimpse of the resort ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and on our way to the entrance ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where we were greeted by staff ... each party had its own staff member who showed everything and guided the guests to their rooms ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). As our room wasn't ready yet, we had a lunch @ the pool ... and some more booze ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After moving into our room we had this spectacular view of the pool area and the sea ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here a little bit towards the evening ... alright it's time to be jealous now ;-))))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After dinner we had a welcome sparkling wine (Yarra Valley) at the Club Lounge ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next morning - again - beautiful blue skies ... all week around 28° ... We were very lucky with the weather as it had been more or less raining for the last two months ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here an overview of the pool ... a huge salt water pool around and a smaller sweet water pool in the middle
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Breakfast and lunch were accompanied by a lot of cheeky cockatoos ... here you see what happens when you leave food on the table ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Sun down view of the beach in front of the resort ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and us enjoying an oriental dinner one night ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). And as you can see, it was stressful work all the time ... lying around, swimming, drying, reading, ordering drinks, sleeping ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... more work ... btw for a whole week the mobile phone and the office email was switched off !!! ... believe it or not, the world survived without Thomas being available ;-)))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Two permanent visitors everywhere was a couple of ducks ... we believe they owned the pool and just allowed us to be there too ... here Cynthia with one of them ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). One evening we had a night walk to spot some animals ... we saw wallabies and - surprisingly close - this possum in a tree ... just lit by a torch light ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Enjoying a pre-dinner drink at the bar ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and - last afternoon - we were brought to a beach around the corner of the island to watch the sunset ... including a picknick with a bottle of champagne and a 5-star-food-supply ... consisting of two (!) pieces of cheese and two crackers ;-))) ... ... but this was the only complaint about Hayman Island ... surely a five-star reference!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This picture you can buy for - friend's bargain - 1.490 Euros ... incl. frame ;-)))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). As a last dinner we had a fantastic seafood buffet ... Cynthia was in heaven with her unlimited supply of oysters ... Thomas suggested to move her chair in front of the buffet ...


So all in all it was a fantastic 5 1/2 days @ Hayman Island ... totally relaxing, doing nothing, just what we needed!

Melbourne II

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Back in Melbourne the catching-up-marathon started ... nearly every day lunch and dinner ... The start was a lunch with Craig, Jared's roommate ... good to see him again after he's done so much for Jared ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... this was followed by a wonderful barbecue @ Joan and Ken ... she's the mother of one of Jared's oldest friends ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Easter Monday was spent with Lucy ... the whole day was one eating-frenzy ... wonderful dishes and terrific company including the whole family ... we were lucky that our hairdryer on wheels (Holden Cruze) was able to drive us home ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day it was great to be able to see Kirsten for a coffee and catch up on news ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We also had a lovely dinner at Taipan (Doncaster) with our friend David ... the food - and again the company - was excellent ... we're looking forward to seeing him again this year in Germany ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). One night was reserved for Sally and Vince, who have done so much for us after Jared passed away ... dinner at our favourite restaurant Tender Trap in Doncaster ... excellent as always!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). The "old" colleagues of Cynthia were not left out ... here at lunch with Heather, Anna, Claire and Tristen ... wonderful to catch up with them and to stay in touch ... (Errol and Greg were missed ... especially by Thomas, the only male at the table ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). One afternoon was reserved for Glynis, Cynthia's sister ... we had lunch together with Cynthia's niece Ingrid and her kids ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). A Thai restaurant was missing ... so we met Jill and Trevor in Eltham ... accompanied by Pam and Laima ... as we could stay with them during difficult times for so long we were very happy to see them again!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Cynthia's friends Alicia and Ivana we met too ... here for coffee in Eltham ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Last but not least, we invited our friends (and hosts for a week) Caroline and David to our - yes it's boring ;-) - favourite restaurant for a wonderful dinner ... thanks a lot for your hospitality ... @Chris from Tendertrap: Thanks for the wine ... it made it to Germany!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Last thing to report is this little project: After seeing a life-size kangaroo @ Healesville Zoo in 2009, Thomas wanted to have one of those at home in Germany ... so after phone calls with Qantas it could be shipped with our luggage ... ... here still in Warrandyte ... firmly wrapped in bubble foil ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and it made its way from Melbourne to Syndey to Singapore to Frankfurt ... it even arrived first thing ... before the bags! So all Aussie visitors have the appropriate welcome in our house now!


Well we really enjoyed Melbourne and Australia again. Hayman Island was a fantastic experience and we loved catching up with all our friends. We had emotional moments when we were at the pier in St. Kilda where Jared's ashes were scattered but also many hard laughs with our friends! We're looking forward to seeing you again ... either in Germany or next year down under!