We took off from Zurich at 11:30 with Singapore airlines. After some 17h we landed in Singapore in a thunderstorm. The airport was a disappointment, it was meant to be modern and airy, instead it contained miles and miles of swirly beige carpet (carpet in such a busy space is NEVER a good idea) and lots of very boring designer shops. The only fun bit were the souvenir shops, which contained lots and lots of very tasteless glittery objects.
Ended up in the hardrock cafe for some nachos after visiting the very empty butterfly house (we saw one), then boarded Air New Zealand to fly to Auckland.
I watched the first part of the Lord of the Rings movies in preparation for our visit to Hobbiton,then tried to get some sleep,not helped by the small child being roasted over a small fire (or so it sounded) about 10 rows in front of us.
We finally landed in Auckland at around 11:30pm, declared our chocolate, were sent through the ‚Biohazard‘ channel (after 30h travelling we could certainly have qualified for one), where Wim got his boots cleaned and finally headed towards our hire car (or so we thought)…
Btw: The US immigration lot should certainly get take some lessons from the NZ lot on how to meet and greet visitors, we were welcomed really friendly and without beeing treated like Orks…
Anyway, back to the car: it turned out that there was some kind of misunderstanding and the office of our car hire company was closed. Their ‚emergency number‘ didn’t work either (it later turned out that they forgot one digit), so we ended up having to take a taxi into town. Thankfully the daughter of our Air b’n’b hosts was still up to welcome us and show us into our cosy little room, where we gratefully sank into our bed. Stefania is a graphic designer and we immediately hit it off. She had been working on the posters etc, for a modern dance company, who had the opening of their new piece that evening, so we were invited along. But first we decided to have a brief look at Auckland.
Auckland is not really a pretty city, there was a huge building site in the middle of it and lots of shops seem to be Chinese owned. We had a look at some tourist shops, I bought some New Zealand themed fleece and then we headed off back to Stefania’s to go to the theatre with her and Greg.
The dance was called ‚Insolent River, a tango‚ and roughly told the story of a relationship from birth to death. It was very well done, the two dancers were really good, but sadly both Wim and I were really suffering from jet lag by then and had trouble staying awake (the rooms was quite dark as well).
So after the show we went straight off to bed.