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Glasgow to Hamilton, New Zealand

Glasgow- Dubai – Sydney – Auckland
Distance 3621 + 7486 +1338 = 12445 miles
Transfer to hotel via J1 bus (can also get the Supershuttle at all airports in NZ. Fast and efficient service). Meant to have tickets prebought. We didn’t, and driver waved us onboard, and refused further attempts to pay.  Easy to find stops for the return journey but that driver took our money!

The flights.
What a long journey! Although the 7 and a half hours Glasgow to Dubai flight was much worse than the 13 and a half Dubai to Sydney. It was an evening flight from Glasgow and I guess the tiredness and discomfort of my legs was harder to bear. Might also have helped that I was in a window seat from Dubai which allowed me to lean my cushion on the wall and get better sleep. Despite being impressed by Emirates overall, we felt that the Quantas flight was much better. The on flight entertainment worked better, although that was really an aircraft issue, but also the choice of entertainment and the food was nicer. Some good films overall. Watched The Iron Lady, The Social Network and The Queen on the way out and was delighted with the new films on the way back which included, and I watched, The theory of Everything, The Imitation Game Interstellar and Paddington. One thing I really missed on the Quantas plane was the cameras facing forwards and downwards. Rather enjoy watching the ground on take off and landing. Seem to have lost all that fear of flying.

Food and drink was very nice and ample. airplane meals are so much better nowadays. A curried chicken dish on way back was one of the best meals I had had on the whole holiday!

So all went well on the flights. Except…..one of our bags did not arrive with us in New Zealand. Hold sticker fell off in Dubai and there the suitcase stayed even though they had the whole description on the system and knew where it was headed. Only only connecting flight per day so didn’t  see it for two days. However arrangements made efficiently, compensation of $64 given in the form of a front loaded visa type card with two more owed and claimed.

So we arrived. It was a lovely warm day in Auckland. Sunny with a cool breeze. 24 degrees. Lovely friendly bus driver who welcomed us into the country with dry sense of humour, gave a bit of a commentary and also identified which hotels were served by each bus stop as we approached it.

Streets are usefully labeled with both name and number so easy to judge distance and direction.

Sebel SuitesOur hotel was right in the centre of the city, overlooking the North Harbour, the Sebel Suites. Rooms with city and harbour view. I would recommend a harbour one with a balcony because the view is lovely and of an evening I could easily sit for hours watching the boats, drinking wine in the evening sunshine.

Our room was huge. Kitchenette, bathroom with both bath and separate shower, hidden washing machine and dryer. Huge bed which was really comfortable. Efficient quiet air con. Tea and coffee making facilities, nice toiletries which was useful due to a missing case! Very quiet despite overlooking the street. We could have been the only people in the hotel/ in the city! Oh and dining table and chairs, two easy chairs, TV, VCR and music system. Not that we used any of this. The only thing missing to make this perfect was free wifi!  There is Internet but it’s quite pricey.

SkytowerSpent the evening walking around the harbour and eating there. A very busy place with some kind of late night event going on, the waitress thought it was open air cinema night. harbour night

Ate outside on a warm and sunny evening at the Pescano. Lovely food, reasonable price, quick service. Lamb shank for me, rack of lamb for Ian. Leisurely meal people watching. Then bed early and ready to face jet lag.

Another lovely sunny day, next day, and we wandered outside the hotel to find breakfast. And what a breakfast! Taken at The Fox literally outside the hotel overlooking the marina.

French toast! french toastNothing like any French Toast I have had before. Toast topped with baked banana, maple syrup and cinnamon. Would have that again, although not too often!

Spent the rest of the morning shopping! And then went up the Sky Tower. Auckland SkytowerThis was a great way to see Auckland and reminded me of  Sydney in that I had no idea that Sydney harbour extended so far. Auckland is the same with a huge harbour (Bay of Islands) and the actual housing etc extended a long way too. Bay of Islands They offer a sky walk which is basically  walking around a narrow platform well hooked up and a form of bungee  for those adventurous enough.

That was all we had time for at this stopover flying visit. Might be good to spend more time in Auckland on another occasion.

Then off to the airport to fly to our first cricket match in Hamilton. On a twenty seater airplane flown by a twelve year old! Plane

Oh, and jet lag never happened! We seemed to adapt to the new time zone very easily this time. Although I wrote this portion of the blog at 3am, when I found myself wide awake. But then that happens back home too.