Home sweet home for the next five weeks. My apartment is perfect.
It's funny the way travelling to the other side of the world can feel both a harrowing ordeal and incredibly easy. Planes and airports are awful but suddenly I'm sitting on a very fast, quiet train to Chambéry looking out at the French countryside and it's hard to believe I was in Australia yesterday.
As far as I'm concerned Dubai airport is hell on earth and I'm assuming the city is an extension of that hell. Outside it was 35°C at 5am and shrouded in a thick haze of pollution/dust. Inside it's like some kind of highway strip mall. Every thoroughfare is also a shopping centre and for some reason everyone was shopping. Every food place served caviar. It was a 20 minute ride on a stifling bus to get from the plane to the gate.
Dubai aside, flying Emirates was great. I managed to sleep for a good 7 or 8 hours into Dubai and my meals were delicious.
Made a friend the moment I stepped off the plane in Geneva: Rob from Melbourne. He's going to follow the tour around for a while and ride the Etape which this year follows the route of stage 11. We split a cab from the airport into the city.
The train from Geneva to Grenoble was three times as fast, twice as comfortable and half as noisy as any train I've ridden in Australia.
Literally 10 minutes after I walked in the door I get an email from a mate who's been in Italy for a couple of weeks: "I'm in Grenoble and dying for a beer, let's go!". We caught up over a huge beer, a delicious meal and a 9:30pm sunset.
It's late now, I haven't slept for a long time and this crappy photo of the street outside my apartment is the best I can do but I think I'll have done a great job resetting the body clock by morning.