If it’s Wednesday it must be… where am I again? Koh Samui? No that was Monday. Bangkok? No that was yesterday. Los Angeles? No, that’s tomorrow. Ah, that’s right, I’m in Melbourne.
In fact, sometime late last night I opened up The Moodie Davitt Report Interim Victoria Bureau at the lovely, olde world Hotel Windsor here in Melbourne. That’s me arriving by horse and carriage in the photo above. OK, it’s not (I came by cab) but the picture is worth it just to show the elegance of this wonderful building.
Anyone who read my last Blog on visiting Australia will know that I am not at all partial to the millions of spiders, snakes, crocodiles, jellyfish, sharks and other deadly menaces that inhabit nearly every inch of this land and practically every drop of water surrounding it. So as I checked in late last night, I reeled for a moment when I saw what looked like a very big, very shiny spider on one of the receptionist’s jackets.
Oh my god, had she seen it? Was this a new, clearly upscale (5 -star hotel only), version of the funnel-web spider, a creature that can kill by staring at you from 100 metres? Fortunately it turned out to be some kind of brooch, though quite why anyone would wear funnel-web jewellery baffles me. Personally I have always found giant spiders completely unabroochable.
I’m here for the opening of Dufry’s ‘new-generation’ store at Melbourne Airport, which I understand to have raised the bar very significantly on anything the travel retail giant has done before. Look out for my report in coming hours.
Arriving at Melbourne Airport is a breeze. My bag was on the carousel within minutes; the e-passport gates are brilliantly fast; and Customs – despite my fears that I would be the subject of a high-profile expose in popular TV programme ‘Border Security: Australia’s Front Line’- smooth.
You can’t miss the Dufry arrivals duty free store (well, if you do, you have taken a seriously wrong turning and won’t make it into Australia), very much part of the shopping culture for returning Australians. It’s not one of Australasia’s most-expansive arrivals offers but the pricing is keen, the promotions (mostly value messages) and the range good. Tempted as I was to pick up a bottle of Grange, I settled for a Wynns ‘The Gables’ Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany my inevitable late-night working moments here at the Interim Bureau.
That’s it for now, I have to rush back to the airport for a meeting. Not with any millennials but certainly with a new generation.