April 2018 – A wedding, Frankfurt and Spain

The first two weeks of April saw us completing two house sits before continuing our travels overseas with a special Business Class flight! A few days prior to our departure we attended our niece’s wedding on an unseasonal and bitterly cold Autumn afternoon. Wedding’s are very special days and this one was no exception. However, the planned outdoor ceremony and nuptials in the local Botanic Gardens were spoilt by a screaming Southerly wind straight off Antarctica!!! Nevertheless, we had a great time and Glenn was able to be the weddings’ embarrassing Uncle!!!

Our last two house sits in Oz

We still had house sitting commitments to finish in April before leaving Australia. One was for our friend Andrew with two sweet little dogs in the growing South Eastern suburb of Cranbourne. You can read about it on our house sitting website here. The other was at a house in Mount Martha with spectacular views over Port Phillip Bay caring for two cats and a Golden Retriever. You can read about that house sit here.

Following our niece’s wedding we had a couple of days in Australia to tie up some loose ends and say our farewells to family and friends. We were heading back to Europe and a visit to one of our favourite cities – Valencia in Spain. Our initial destination, however, would be Frankfurt and our flight would be very special.

Back to Europe in style

Our travels by plane are usually the cheapest we can find and always in ‘cattle class’. However, whilst searching for flights google suggested another option. There was a Business Class flight being offered by Oman Air for a very reasonable price. After speaking with Jacqueline (the financial manager!!!) we decided to pay the extra and see how the “other half” travel.

There were three legs for the journey – Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur (KL) with Malaysian Airlines. KL to Muscat (the capital of Oman) and then Muscat to Frankfurt, both with Oman Air.
The Malaysian Airline flight was an afternoon flight and quite comfortable in our individual booths. During my research I had read reviews stating that on this particular Malaysian Business Class flight the lay flat beds were not great and you may feel like you are in a coffin. The footwells become narrow and there is not much space for your feet (under the video screen area). This was absolutely correct, I didn’t like it but Jacqueline thought it wasn’t too bad. I’m only short (with small feet!!) and I felt quite confined once the seat was converted into a bed. Fortunately, this was a daytime flight so we didn’t need to sleep!

Oman Air

The next flight (overnight for 7 hours) on Oman Air was out of this world. The seats were massive with only 4 per row and very wide. The video screen was also huge and when the seats were in their lie flat mode it was like sleeping in a comfy bed. The food and service were impeccable and the head flight attendant made a point of introducing herself to each passenger individually. This was my favourite flight. Even though it was after midnight I still took advantage of the beautiful food provided.

The massive Oman Air Business Class seats. So much leg room.

The final leg with Oman Air, from Muscat to Frankfurt, was in a totally different aircraft to our previous flight. As such, it had a different seat type and configuration and not as much space but was still very comfortable. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos on this flight.

The experience of being up the “pointy end” of the plane is definitely worth it. However, we cannot justify the cost of a standard Business Class ticket which can sometimes be 3 to 4 times the cost of an economy ticket. If a special deal is available then I think we would have a serious discussion about doing it (particularly for long haul overnight flights).

Europe’s financial centre

Our 3 days in Frankfurt, Europe’s financial capital, co-incided with a burst of warm April Spring weather with temperatures in the high 20’s. We were told that just days earlier the weather had been quite baltic so the locals took full advantage of the sunshine. Frankfurt lies on the Main River and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than sitting by the river with a bratwurst or currywurst sausage and a cold pilsener beer. I certainly didn’t need too much encouragement to join in!!! We rented bikes and rode along the River and through the city centre taking in the sights.

Flying over the Alps

From Frankfurt we flew to the Spanish Mediterranean city of Valencia. The flight was great as the flight path meant we were able to enjoy a fantastic close-up view of the snow-capped Swiss and French Alps. I went a bit crazy with the camera but here’s a short video and a few pics.

Valencia – a favourite place

As mentioned earlier, we absolutely love Valencia. We can’t put our finger on why – we just do. We had spent a week here two years earlier and hoped to return one day so when we picked up a house sit here it was a bonus. You can read about our time that house sit here. We had a very enjoyable 9 days staying in an apartment just a short walk from the historic centre. Before we knew it our time was up and we were boarding a train from the ornate Valencia Nord station to head North up the coast to our next destination – Tarragona. And that is where our May post will continue our 2018 review.

So, let’s take a look at our expenses for April. You’ll see by the graph below that it was our most expensive month for the whole year.

APRIL expenses – $6,517 AUD

April was well over budget primarily because we decided to spoil ourselves and fly Business Class from Melbourne to Frankfurt. If we exclude this extravagance then our costs would have been about $4,000 which is still an expensive month.
Attending our niece’s wedding and going out with friends and family before we left certainly added to our costs as well.

NOTE: Cash expenditure includes groceries, eating out, tourist attractions, entertainment, public transport, parking fees, fuel, local SIM, etc. It does include alcohol (though Jacqueline doesn’t drink) and we eat out perhaps once or twice a week.

Monthly reviews

Here’s the links to our reviews of the rest of 2018
January – 2018 in Review
February – Ancient Kingdoms and Modern Metropolises
March – Australia

Other information

We did an article back in August 2018 that covered our first full year of travelling for the period April 2017 to April 2018. If you’re interested in reading that then click here – Travel the World full time for less than $100 per day

If you’re retired (or not) there is a way to have an exciting life with the world as your oyster. We’re proof that it can be done.
If you want to learn more about how we achieve this feel free to contact us or take a look at our Introduction to House Sitting page.

If you’ve found this post useful or interesting then please leave a comment or give us a like.
Feel free to share this post too so more people can be aware that there are alternative ways to spend your retirement. Glenn & Jacqueline

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