So we have finally arrived in Aus, probably 6 months later than planned with the help of extra uncertainty of the last nearly three months under lockdown.
I have to say the journey here was spooky – empty roads, empty airport terminals, empty planes. The Doha to Perth leg was extra luxurious as we had a great offer for upgrade to Business Class. The staff were dressed in full protective gear with goggles, masks and full body suits – for the full 11 hours flight. I was especially impressed with the camera views on the plane which gave much better views than we could get through the windows. Delia was especially impressed with the champagne on offer at her whim!
The first leg of the journey from Paris to Doha, started in daylight flying over Epernay in Champagne, Germany and then the Carpathian Mountains, before flying near Baghdad and on to Qatar.
I would certainly recommend Qatar Airlines, business class especially.
Landing at Perth was enhanced by being able to see the view from the underneath cameras. Arriving just at dusk we got to see out first actual traffic jam for 3 months.
De-planing and heading into the terminal led us to a physically distanced queue to have our temperature monitored and a brief few questions about our state of health, then onto another queue awaiting our police interview. The two of us positioned at the end of a long table with the fully gas-masked policeman at the other end. This was played out in a row of about thirty tables. We were interviewed about all the details we had already provided in our Exemption Pass but also had our IDs confirmed. We were the led outside the terminal building and across tarmac to waiting buses. After a (physically distanced) wait of a further half hour or so we finally left in a convoy of four busses with a police car escort.
Arriving at The Westin hotel in central Perth we were escorted in through the back door (like celebrities, our hotel escort quipped) and straight up to our twenty first floor room. To see a view that would become familar, very familiar, very very familar over the next two weeks. We came to know the Perth skyline from one view only, from quarantine.
As you can see above, its a very well appointed room. A fantastic view which below are some variations – the view doesn’t change, just the time of day and the weather. As confinment spaces go, this is pretty cool. 20 paces long 12 wide. Why do I know this? Because we pace it between 250 and 500 times a day. Food is OK, airline quality mostly (economy!). Delivered at 8am, 12pm and 6pm every day, they knock on the door and we wait 10 seconds for them to scuttle off somewhere out of site. We did have a care package (biscuits, crisps, chocolate and fruit) brought by Delia’s Dad via hotel security,
We have kept ourselves busy, more or less as we have since lockdown started in France 3 months ago – me doing web stuff and Delia art and youtube training (and other) videos by day and much the same during the evening but more entertainment focussed. For the first week, the view from our elevated eagles nest was of mostly deserted streets but this week Perth has opened up much more and cafe tables are appearing on the pavements as well as many more people. This makes us much more impatient to get out and back into… well… Life.
We have just had a nose and throat swap (yuck) which heralds our exit. If we test negative we exit on our 14th day of quarantine. We really don’t mind since the few cases that have occurred in WA have been from people in quarantine and the restrictions imposed here seem to have worked.
Below I have posted some of the many photos I have taken of the view. And at the very end a timelapse of one of the many beautiful sunsets that we liked to sit and watch. On 4 occasions sipping Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (courtesy of the expensive hotel service).