Friday 9 March 2018

Flights of Fancy

Speculation about the remains of Amelia Earhart has been in the news again, reminding us of the bravery and determination of the pioneers of aviation. Despite the perilous prospect of leaving the safety of terra firma, imaginations ran wild with possibilities in The Olden Days.

Something rather more prosaic is where we have ultimately ended up but along the way there was a short-lived glamorous interlude that existed between what was the stuff of fantasy and what is today's reality.

Mr Pipistrello and I had a delightful champagne lunch with friends J & P, celebrating P's birthday, at the Empire Lounge, on the water at Rose Bay in Sydney and so-named for the 1938 Empire Class Flying Boats that plied the Kangaroo Route between Sydney and London.

Covering thirty stops over 10 days and at a speed of 150mph, the Flying Boats carried fifteen passengers on a silver service experience akin to the Orient Express. It was the height of glamour!

The cafe and cocktail lounge is both terminal for today's tourist sea planes and a compact museum celebrating this Golden Age of flight. There are fantastic images of life on board and menu cards and other memorabilia left by the rarified few who flew this route at the princely cost of around a working man's annual wage.

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Bats In The Belfry