The Long Way Round

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December 17th 2011
Published: December 22nd 2011
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Not so much an Apple as a Blueberry.
Hello and welcome back to the blog!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly four years since we arrived in New Zealand. That also means it’s been almost four years since we’ve had a big adventure. Aside from a couple of visits across the ditch to Australia on my part and travels in our adopted homeland, it’s been fairly quiet of late. And so it is with much excitement that we’ve dusted off our backpacks, crammed our vacuum bags full of winter clothes and booked ourselves a trip to Germany!

Our two-day journey began with an 11 hour Air New Zealand flight to Tokyo. As ever, the in-flight service, food and entertainment was fantastic (all eight Harry Potter movies – yay!!) and we even got three seats to ourselves after the elderly Japanese man seated next to me decided to move. I guess he wasn’t a Harry Potter fan.

We arrived in Tokyo with 19 hours to kill before our connecting flight to Munich. Our plan was to hang out in the airport overnight. This worked well until about 9.30pm when security did a sweep of the terminal and moved everyone along. We had read conflicting reports

Jude and Jish relax before the first flight.
on whether it was possible to sleep in the airport overnight and clearly we had followed the wrong advice. With no option but to look for a hotel, we hefted our bags outside into the freezing cold and hoped to find something quickly.

Thankfully Glynn had previously looked up some hotel info as a back-up plan and remembered one that was about 15 minutes’ walk away. Miraculously we found our way there and were relieved to find there was a room available. We were a little less relieved to hear the price but it beat being stuck out in the cold all night. It was bliss to have a shower and get some sleep, although the beds were barely any softer than the benches in the airport would have been and the décor was waiting for the 70s to come back into fashion.

The next day, we checked in for our 12-hour Lufthansa flight to Munich. This time we had smaller seats, a poor selection of movies and had to wait over 30 minutes to be given headphones, which were then collected 30 minutes before the end of the flight (with 15 minutes of my movie still remaining).

Kimono here if you think you're hard enough!
I can’t say I was impressed.

What did impress me though was the amazing welcome from my sister. She ran over to us so fast as we entered the arrivals hall, that I was nearly bowled off my feet. Then she hugged me so tight and burst into tears before handing me a rose and a beer! In fact it was such an emotional welcome, I half expected the people around us to burst into applause!

We caught a bus to our base for the next few days, the friendly Hotel Antares, and checked into our room on the third floor. It was good to offload our packs, freshen up and head out for some local food and of course several beers. I was amazed that Glynn and I managed to stay awake as long as we did but it was just such a buzz to be back in Germany with the people I love. And as if that wasn’t enough, it was also snowing :-)

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Judo ChopJudo Chop
Judo Chop

She's going to kick your ass!
Jish Was HereJish Was Here
Jish Was Here

Look who it is!
Tokyo SunriseTokyo Sunrise
Tokyo Sunrise

View from our hotel room of the sun rising over Narita Airport.
Three CheersThree Cheers
Three Cheers

Three cheers for three beers!
Down the HatchDown the Hatch
Down the Hatch

Glug, glug, glug.

Jude shows off her big dumplings.

Glynn shows off his special sausage.
Tired JudeTired Jude
Tired Jude

I think there are bags under my bags!
Tired GlynnTired Glynn
Tired Glynn

I think someone has beer lag.

Jude's fresh-faced sister, Esther.

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