Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Sights for Sore Eyes; after a Long-Haul Flight All You Want Is a Shower and a Lie Down. Alas, the Rellos Have Other Ideas

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Sights for Sore Eyes; after a Long-Haul Flight All You Want Is a Shower and a Lie Down. Alas, the Rellos Have Other Ideas

Article excerpt

TRAVEL

with Ann Rickard

YOU know how it is. You've travelled from Australia to the UK or Europe - what is it, door to door, 30 hours? More? It feels like a week.

All you want to do when you arrive all gritty-eyed and smelly is get to your hotel room and shower.

Oh, the loveliness of that first shower after a long-haul flight, that shedding of sticky clothes and tight shoes, that delicious feeling of pulling back the bed covers and finding clean sheets, and then the glorious anticipation of climbing between them.

So, think then about the well-meaning friends, acquaintances or hosts in, say, London or Paris who have come to meet you at the airport and have planned a full day's activities for you.

It has happened to us more than once. What do you say to a generous friend or kind-hearted relative who has come to the airport and waited excitedly in the arrivals hall for you, armed with a list of sights to see, places to go, things to do?

Some time ago in London at eight in the morning, after flying from Brisbane to Bangkok and through to Heathrow in one gulp, there was the cousin, all chirpy and bushy-tailed and insistent that we get out and do the town. No stops at the hotel to unpack, not even to splash water on the tired and grubby face.

Off we were taken, first to Harrods, barely open at that hour and quite empty except for the staff who seemed surprised to see customers so early in the morning.

Then off to the British Museum, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's, London Bridge. These are London must-dos and by Jove, we did them, even though each place is now a blur, none of them truly appreciated, all seen through slitted eyes in a fuzzy head.

In Zurich, another time, another long-haul flight, there were locals who wanted to show us the sights and drive us around all of Switzerland, or so it seemed. …

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