G’day everyone! I am so excited to touch down on firm, solid ground and I am in Auckland, New Zealand! So all in all, I spent 30.5 hours physically in airplanes, plus layovers, connections, etc. made for two long days of travel. However, it is totally worth the flights to finally come to New Zealand. It’s an absolutely beautiful country- clean, friendly people, and just an amazing place. Also, being in the Southern hemisphere, it is now summer here (opposite seasons) and so I am looking forward to some WARMTH!
Flashback to Korea…the airport in Korea is truly like a museum. I believe it is either new or renovated, but it really was elegant and fancy. The shopping there looked to be pretty decent, but of course I wouldn’t know or care! My flight boarded on time and I was on the upper deck of a 747- which is my absolutely favorite place to sit. Unfortunately there were no personal TVs on this flight, but all I wanted to do is sleep anyway. Since it was Korean Air, the menu had a western choice or Korean. If you know me well enough, you would know I am not adventurous and went with the western food. I was so tired of airplane food though, and this would be like my fifth dinner in 2 days. All the flights kept serving dinners and suppers, so I think I missed a day or two of breakfasts, oh well. I was exhausted that as soon as I finished my beef, I skipped dessert (and it was Haagen Dazs ice cream!) and went to bed. All in all, I slept about 6 hours, which is pretty good and woke up to an omelet and croissant, finally a breakfast!
Just a note on my observations of the Koreans. They were so friendly and kind. I sat next to a high school student who was coming to New Zealand for a year of study. She was going to be linked up with a host family and spend a year in high school here in NZ. I thought that was really neat. Her English as fairly choppy, but we were able to converse nonetheless. The flights attendants were so attentive. They felt horrible when they couldn’t understand my English. Every time you would ask for something or they came to ask for your order, etc. they would bow to you. In addition, they cleaned the bathroom after EACH passenger went in. I was shocked and impressed at both the courteousness and cleanliness of Korean Air.
Once we arrived in the Auckland terminal, my bags arrived pretty quickly. I was nervous about them because I checked them in Philly all the way through to Auckland, and that was back on Tuesday! Luckily, they arrived and I was met by our agency representative. Of course she joked around that it wasn’t too hard to spot me because coming off of Korean Airlines, I definitely stuck out amongst the crowd! I came straight to the hotel, jumped in a quick shower and it was around 12:30PM.
Of course I could sleep the day away, but I forced myself to go downtown and explore Auckland a bit. I wound up going on a harbor sightseeing cruise, where we went to many of the different islands around Auckland. We stopped and walked around one of the volcanos here. It erupted from the ocean about 500 years ago and created the land mass. Now it’s inactive but an absolutely stunning place to visit. I walked around downtown a bit and then hiked back to the hotel. By hike I mean scale a mountain! Well, not quite but the city is extremely hilly (is that a word?) and it made for an interesting/intense walk back.
I am now at the hotel updating all of you and then headed out to a group dinner. There are about 10 other camps here in Auckland and we will be having a dinner tonight. Tomorrow is the staff recruiting fair and I will hopefully be meeting up with Euan McKee (from the wall) and possibly some other staff.
One final comment- I am so excited about all of the people emailing email@example.com with guesses as to where I am going! Jaycal has been receiving a lot of emails and its really great to know that so many of you are enjoying the challenge. By the way, if you haven’t joined in yet, that’s OK, there is still time. Keep up the good work and here is your next clue!