NZ Trip 2006. Part 1 - Auckland

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April 15th 2006
Published: February 25th 2008
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Arrived in NZ - Finally !

After a marathon 24 hours travelling from Edinburgh via Heathrow and a 3 hour "rest" in Hong Kong airport we finally made it to the other side of the planet and our first port of call, Auckland. For those of you who have not attempted 2 x 12 hour flights more or less back to back, let me tell you it is NOT to be recommended. Torture !

My name is Iain, my travelling companions were my wife Jane and my mum Dorothy. This was to be the first leg of our 4 week tour of NZ.

As I was approaching the ripe old age of 40, Jane and I decided to have a holiday a bit different to lazing on a Meditteranean beach for 2 weeks. Mum had been before, 2 years previous during a "round the world" trip when she included NZ in her itinerary in order to see my younger brother Murray, who settled in Wellington after a years travelling in Asia , Australia and NZ. He originally planned to return to Edinburgh after a year or 18 months but has now become a legalised Kiwi national.

So, 10 months of planning finally culminated in our trip of a lifetime in the middle of April 2006.

It was a sunny Saturday morning when we touched down at AKL international airport. We waited patiently in the immigration queue, constantly being reminded not to attempt to take any fruit or other foodstuffs through, which we found quite amusing.

Eventually we hailed our taxi and began our journey to Downtown AKL where we would stay for the first night of our trip.

The Bavaria B&B, in Mount Eden district was an old style house, very quiet wiith nice grounds and run by a German family, hence the name, obviously !

After a short rest and shower we decided to walk into AKL city, not realising it was a good hours walk from our B&B ! It certainly made a change from sitting on a plane for 24 hours. After a leisurely walk around the town, we stopped off at the Playhouse Bar where Jane enjoyed her first "Mac's Stony Red", a particularly sweet, blood red cider. The pub itself reminded me of a few city centre Edinburgh bars, so I felt right at home. It turned out the barman was also from Edinburgh ! We then made our way to the Sky Tower and headed up to the viewing platform for views out over Auckland harbour and the Hauraki Gulf beyond. Jane refused to stand on the glass floor which offered views to the streets and buildings directly below us.

Once we exited the glass lift we headed to the attached Italian restaurant, Rebo's for Pizza and refreshments. This was about 8 pm and as we considered our next move we all realised that the jetlag was kicking in badly, so we decided to retire for the night and jumped in a cab back to the Bavaria. Must have been the first time in 20 years I had been in bed before 10pm on a Saturday night !!

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