Warning: picture-heavy post ahead, the photos might take a while to load!
The vacation was perfect. It was the first time in 2.5 years that I got to get away from home and relax (going to my parents' place for a weekend - while it's nice - doesn't really count). I got to breathe through, leave everything behind me and relax. We actually stayed all the time - 3 weeks - in Melbourne, despite having planned on going to Byron Bay for a couple of days. But in the end we scraped that, as there were too many friends to catch up with and too much to see; and we really didn't want a completely planned out holiday where we had to stick to a schedule.
We had to leave Munich early in the morning, the plane left at 7am so we got a taxi at 4.15am. On the way to the airport, I turned on my mobile phone and received a message that our flight to London (our route was London-Hong Kong-Melbourne) had been cancelled and that I should either go online or call the service number. Okay, online I couldn't do, and I knew that calling the service number wouldn't help because no one was working there until 8am. So we went to the airline's service counter at the airport and waited there with a bunch of soccer fans - Bayern Munich had played Aberdeen FC the night before, and Aberdeen had lost. Many of the fans seemed to have stayed the night at the airport, and now they were told that their flight was cancelled... you can imagine how pissed off they were. Fortunately, an airline employee found a batch of like 30 seats on a different plane for them, so most of them left and the line got visibly shorter. Then, however, travelers to the US got taken care of first (apparently, it didn't matter much to the airline that we had a plane to catch as well), so we had to wait in line until we got to the counter. They ended up putting us on a plane to Cologne, and then from Cologne to London, cutting our stay in London just about 1 hour short (we should have had 4 hours, so it wasn't too bad).
I took this picture on the flight to Cologne because the sight was so beautiful... it really marks the start of our holiday!! Then in Cologne we had to rush because we had to get our boarding passes and only about 1 hour time. The lady at the airline counter was really sweet to us, and while we waited we saw 2 TV-celebrities (we only waited about 20 minutes)! This can only happen in Cologne as quite a few TV channels are headquartered here. Then, after security (the guy there even made me take off my hooded cardigan! I was about to ask him if he wanted me to take off more of my clothes), off we went to London Heathrow and caught our plane to Melbourne without any problems. Even our luggage arrived in Melbourne with us, I was really happy about that because I feared that our stuff would get lost somewhere in transit.
And before you might wonder, no, I did not knit on the various flights; I didn't even pack any knitting! Now stop looking at me like this, I knew I wasn't allowed to take knitting needles on board and I didn't feel like trying to bring wooden needles. Plus I knew that I probably wouldn't feel like knitting because the flight was so long (about 12 hours to Hong Kong, 2 hours at the airport there, then about 8 hours to Melbourne), and I was right about it. After about 2 hours on the way to Melbourne I just wanted to get off the plane and lie in a real bed. So, no knitting on the plane, and no knitting for me in 3 weeks. To be honest, I didn't even miss it. But then again, we were so busy and hardly stayed a night in; over here, I usually knit in front of the TV (which I didn't watch in Melbourne). And I only went to a yarn shop once, but only because K took the initiative and made me go. It was the same shop he took me to when I lived with him 5 years ago, so it was kind of a nostalgic visit.
It was so good to be back in Melbourne! I hadn't been back in 4.5 years, and it was a bit weird because it felt so normal. So... right, like I was meant to be back. Anyways, even though we were there for 3 weeks, time was too short to see everything we wanted to, but we did get to see lots of new places. I noticed a lot of graffiti (like the one below), probably because there's hardly any in Munich.
The graffiti is in a side street in St. Kilda, an inner city suburb of Melbourne at the beach. Not too far from the graffiti is Luna Park, an amusement park with roller coasters and stuff. The entrance is just beautiful:
Right next to Luna Park is the Palais Theatre, (sorry, no link!) a very beautiful building but I think it's empty now after the neighboring Palace nightclub burned down just a few years ago. I hope they renovate the place and reopen it, it's just a very nice place.
And finally, a photo with knitting content! It's a close up of the cardigan I've been making all fall and winter, and it won't be finished until spring is in full bloom. Talk about perfect timing... I really like the pattern and the yarn (100% alpaca...), but I'm starting to hate the cardigan. I had to rip the first sleeve to the cuff because all of a sudden, the tension wasn't right any more and the sleeve would have fit an orang-utan; I made a mistake with the cabling of the second front-half, so I had to rip most of that too; I didn't get the waist shaping right of the first front-half and some of the back, so I had to rip some there as well. I'm now knitting the second sleeve, and I can't wait when I'm done with that! Hopefully without ripping it. Then, there's "just" the button band left and sewing it together and all that stuff. And hopefully, it'll fit after all that!
Coming up soon: more vacation photos, and a stash sale including a couple of books! My stash is just too big for my apartment and I have quite a few mispurchases that I'd like to get rid of. There's nothing wrong with those yarns, I just don't like them any more or wouldn't knit with them... you know how it goes, sometimes you just have to have a certain yarn, then it sits in your stash and when you look at it again it's suddenly not as nice any more. So, stay tuned for more!