Just an insight into my two day journey spanning several time zones
22.11.2011 - 24.11.2011 18 °C
My mother doesn’t like to be late, so to make sure I would arrive in time for my flight from Heathrow she booked me on the 14:00 coach from Portsmouth which arrived at terminal three at 17:00, leaving me five hours to burn before my flight took off.
The coach wasn’t overly bad; it was just like a coach really, strange that. Midway through the journey, the seat next to me was occupied by a woman who kept dropping her paperwork. The first two times it was mildly amusing and I helped her pick up the paper, as you do, but then by the fifth time it was a bit tedious. I mean, you would have learnt from your mistakes by then, wouldn’t you? But no, each time she dropped them she would put them back in the same spot, dangerously overhanging. Our time together was short lived though, as she got off at terminal four, I only hope she took better care of her paperwork on the plane… probably not. I did quite like her shoes though.
After the coach journey was a five hour wait at the airport. I’d eagerly checked in online in the early hours of Tuesday, so all was to do was to quickly drop off my rucksack at the check in desk. After checking in and passing through security I had about four hours left in the departures lounge. The first two hours went fairly quickly as I had a walk around and grabbed some food, but waiting for the gate number to appear seemed to last forever.
After boarding the airplane I found my seat, I’d picked an aisle seat as I’d feel trapped if I was on an inside seat or window seat. The seat to my right was empty which was nice as I could stretch my legs into their footwell, although on my right sat by the window was a rude African woman. Not rude as in she thought she was above people in economy or anything, but rude because she had no manners and asked for every possible thing. She was strange; she even had to ask me which socket you put the headphones in. The first time the drinks trolley came through I think she asked for two drinks then as it passed she called it back and ordered three more drinks, including two Bailey’s. After she’d drunk these she started singing and dancing, at this time I was glad I’d spent the best part of £200 on headphones – they blocked her, and the droning engine out completely. This flight to Dubai took six and a half hours, of which I managed to sleep, after trying to for over three hours, for ten minutes then was woken up by a nudge on the knee from the breakfast trolley.
The next flight, from Dubai to Melbourne, took around thirteen and a half hours. Again, I’d chosen an aisle seat and again the seat next to me was empty so I could spread across to that. Although this time I was sat next to a nice Indian chap heading to Melbourne. As for my sleep count on this plane I managed to rack up two hours. The seats with Emirates are quite narrow so I found it hard to sleep and kept waking up due to my pillow falling down and my head then banging into this tiny piece of plastic, which the pillow was cushioning.
The final plane of the journey was the same plane as Dubai-Melbourne but we had to leave for a new cabin crew to take over and for the previous crew to refresh the plane for the next step in the journey. Annoyingly we had to make our way to gate 118 which was opposite to the gate we arrived that, and so a large loop around the airport and through security bag checks ensued. Fortunately this plane onwards to Auckland only took three and a bit hours, I managed to sleep for two hours and before I knew it we were being told to fasten our seatbelts in preparation for landing. This plane was a bit busier than the previous two and unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury of a spare seat next to me again, an elderly couple filled the gap between the window and myself. We touched down in Auckland just before 1400 local time, it wasn’t the smoothest of landings but it was a successful landing so I’ll take that.
Overall despite getting barely any sleep across my journey, flying with Emirates was a good experience. They have a really good in flight entertainment system, the best I’ve used before and it has actually won an award for it for the past three years, or something along those lines. The food was pretty good too, ranging from a smoked salmon salad for my starter to chicken breast in a sauce with vegetables.
After customs and waiting for my baggage (I was a little worried that some guy opposite me on the plane wearing the same bag had taken mine by mistake) I got to my hostel in Auckland around 15:30, local time. It’s located Queen St, after arriving and showering at the hostel I went out for an hour or two walking the length of Queen St, then around the harbour and then back up Queen St and outside the Sky Tower. Queen St has shops ranging from Louis Vuitton and Gucci to little souvenir shops just a few doors down, so it has a broad range.
I wrote this in my hostel room, which I quite like as it reminds me of New York, well not the room, just the view down on the busy streets below.
In my room we have Felix the German, Felix’s friend who I haven’t met yet, Johan the Dane, Matt the Uruguayan and some other guy I haven’t met yet either.
Now just to find some (free) Wi-Fi to upload this piece…
(I would have added a picture or two but this wi-fi took five minutes to load up twitter so I'll pass on uploading a photo for now.)