March 22nd - April 9th 2013, Australia again ...

This year we could use Thomas' Lufthansa miles to fly to Australia again ... nearly three weeks!
 

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So we flew to Melbourne ... here the sunrise before landing there ... arriving Friday morning and doing all necessary shopping in town ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next morning, early wake-up call, we flew to Hamilton to spend 6 days at Hayman Island again. We booked the transfer by ship but - a nice surprise - we were taken by water plane to Hayman Island ... here @ the start ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... the most photographed beach at the Whitsundays ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and landing on water in front of Hayman Island ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So here's the first of many pictures of us, just arriving @ Hayman Island ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). First dinner at the Trattoria, good wine and food - a wonderful experience again!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We were very lucky with the weather, basically 27-28° every day ... here a photo from our balcony ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and - as last year - the cockatoos at breakfast were lurking over the sun umbrellas for food ... Btw.; on the tables there was a little ceramic pot (incl. lid) for the sugar. These birds are so clever to open the pot and (!) put the sweetener aside and just open the sugar packets and eat the sugar in it!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Second night we went to the seafood buffet, where - as you can see on this photo - Cynthia was VERY happy ... we stopped counting the oysters after around three dozens ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). The pool is just great there; we managed five rounds there ... took us 31 minutes ... so it's up to you to decide if the pool is big or we're slow!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Cynthia performing one of the five work packages: sleeping, eating, drinking, swimming, reading ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We met a nice couple from Mar del Plata, Argentina there ... Claudia and Carlos and had two lovely dinners with them ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here on our last day ... seafood buffet again! So after six nights we flew back to Melbourne to start our "lunch-dinner-marathon" ...

Melbourne

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Easter Saturday we met Glynis and Ingrid and had lunch @ a winery close to Sunbury ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... Glynis in a good mood (that's the result when you go to so many rock concerts) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and Cynthia in a good mood ... that's about the reactions you get after one (!) glass of wine ;-)))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here we were approx. 35kms away from the city centre, just before Sunbury ... amazing shot with Melbourne skyline ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We also met Craig for lunch, the former room mate of Jared ... good to see him again and looking forward to his visit in 2014!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Another invitation to dinner we got from Joan, mother of a good friend of Jared ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and we spent a whole day eating at Lucy's ;-) ... with her Italian background it's always a huge danger for your figure Anyone who reads this and knows her: Convince her of coming to Germany!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Another - new - friend we made was Jo, a good friend of our host David. She owns a boutique winery on the peninsula ... we had lunch with her and David and tasted some of her wines ... they were so good, that two of them made it to Germany ... if you're interested, it's Winbirra Winery, Red Hill ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). That night, we had the first of two dinners at our favourite restaurant Tender Trap, where we were spoilt by Chris with fantastic food.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was great to - again - see Kirsten, Jared's long-term girlfriend ... we had a nice morning coffee and were able to catch up ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Lunch with Heather and Errol, Cynthia's old work colleagues, was on the agenda this day ... unfortunately some work-mates and friends were on holiday. Lot of changes there, but also lots of "hello there, what are you doing here?" ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Dinner with Caroline, David and family followed that day and - as always - it was great to catch up with them ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Also this year no luck with kangaroos ... when they saw Thomas they hopped away ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... to watch him closely from the safer woods ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). One dinner was at the Railway Club Hotel @ Port Melbourne ... here the steak display ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... one of the best steaks ever we had there with Sally and Vince. Just cooked to perfection. You have to book in advance, but it's worth it!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We also had a "stop-over" at St. Kilda's Beach to say hello to Jared.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Sadly while we were in Australia, Geoffrey passed away (here a photo of our visit in 2009) ... way too young. He always stood by Cynthia in difficult times and will always be remembered ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). One night we went out with our "new" friends Chihiro and James, including David and Paul to the Japanese Restaurant "Kanzan". Superb food and a really good evening ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... which was extended with Champagne on the 38th floor of the Sofitel ... here a picture taken from the men's restroom (oops) ... skyline of Melbourne at night with reflections ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was also great to catch up with Sue and Garry again ... they took us to a winery in the Yarra Valley, Helen's Hill. Being a car maniac as Thomas we're looking forward to a visit in Germany too!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was wonderful for Cynthia to be able to see Noel again after many years.  Noel and Lindsay (sadly now deceased) Alexander were a very big part of Cynthia's life, having started work at Alexander and Spencer in 1979 and finally leaving the Firm for good in 1991 .... there was much reminiscing and good memories ....
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Last day we decided to have a trip to Melbourne city centre. We were invited by David to the RACV club for lunch ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and we finished our trip by going to Tender Trap again to thank David for his hospitality. Here a photo with the owner Chris ... two visits, four recommended wines from his "friends list" ... and four fantastic wines (incl. superb food of course)!


So next day we made our way to the Airport again and arrived safely approx. 24 hours later in Frankfurt ... it was Thomas' 18. visit to Australia and we hope that more will follow in the future!