Just back from a very relaxing week in Fiji. This was our third visit; last time was to Suva in 2013 and the first time, around 2009 we also spent a week at the Wyndham Resort on Denarau Island. So it was with many fond memories that we made the return trip.
After so many years, there were many improvements. The airport is no longer like a big shed, we drove through Nadi (pronounced Nandi) which now has good roads and actual footpaths and the “air conditioned” little buses (meaning no windows) with wooden bench seats have been replaced with regular yellow buses. There are many more shops and a cinema and it’s now compulsory for children to go to school.
All these changes mean that it is more expensive than before but it is still a very nice place to holiday and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. The weather was good, our apartment spacious and comfortable and located close to the beach and pool. Swaying palm trees, swim up bars in both pools, tropical breeze and cocktail in hand …. I’m talking “Fiji Time”, which relates to just relaxing and enjoying the moment. Very nice to leave our fast-paced Aussie lifestyle behind for a little while.
The only two words you need to know are Bula and Vinaka; Bula is a Fijian greeting which is very easy to say and is heard everywhere and Vinaka means thank you. Put the two words together and you have a warm “hello”!
Apart from two trips into nearby Nadi, we were very lazy and stayed at the resort, which is something we seldom do. But after our very busy time in New Zealand we didn’t feel it was necessary to visit all the places we’d already been to in Fiji, so the payoff was that the week passed nice and slowly and we’ve come home feeling rejuvenated for the start of the Christmas season.
We were very excited to find ourselves upgraded to Business Class on the plane – both ways. What luxury – priority everything!!! We flew Fiji Airways which is a partner airline with Qantas, so as we’re all required to be at the airport 2-3 hours ahead of departure time these days, we felt very lucky to be able to spend that time in the Qantas lounge.
Once seated, we were served with welcome on-board cocktails before everyone else filtered through the plane. Fine wine and good food, high quality headphones and individual IPads to watch movies, all while seated in extra comfy lounge chairs with lots of buttons to press! We certainly felt like VIP’s with the flight attendants offering such excellent service. Now that I’ve had a taste of sitting up the pointy end of the plane it’s going to be very hard to return to “cattle class” next time!