Holidays „down under“ always start with a delay. It is an insanely long journey until you finally reach the other side of the world. This time we had booked the route Munich-Singapore, Singapore-Auckland with Singapore Airlines. The first part of the flight takes about 11 hours, then another 10 hours on the second plane.
You don’t really travel comfortably in economy class unless you could earn your living as a contortionist. For this long duration of travelling the seats definitely are too narrow, the guy in the row before you on principle leans back as far as possible, and if you have to get up from your window seat the other two passengers in your row also have to struggle to get into the aisle. The time for the manoeuver has to be tactically well considered so you won’t collide with the stewardess and her trolley.
It does not take very long for your sense of time to get confused. You just had your lunch served and watched two movies when shortly before landing in Singapore they already serve breakfast. The connecting flight has hardly reached its flying altitude when you get another breakfast. Repeated views to the watch – how late is it here and how late is it at home? Brightness and darkness are changing too fast. The seats are too uncomfortable to really fall asleep and besides this time we are permanently crossing turbulences.
Stress in Singapore. Our plane hasn’t landed yet when the connecting flight has already started boarding. Doesn’t matter – going to the restroom is a must-have! We are dressed much too warm with our jeans and long sleeves. Though the airport buildings in Singapore are air-conditioned you can also feel the 25°C inside. And then “Silent Night, Holy Night” – freaky! We didn’t bring our Christmas feelings.
Finally we reach Auckland, a quarter to midnight local time, 11:45 a.m. back home. It is a long way from the gate to the passport control, the baggage claim and through customs. The Airport is designed very affectionately. I enjoy the first impressions with a constant moronic grin on my face. Passing the stereotype Maori-gate the way leads along walls neatly combining the typical John Howe Middle Earth pictures with terrific landscape photography from real New Zealand. We are allowed to pass without problems.
Easily we find the station for the free shuttle bus to the Ibis Budget Hotel, the bus already arrives after just two minutes. It takes us directly to the reception, only ten meters to go. A quick check-in and then upstairs to our room – the shower is gorgeous! There is only one thing left to do: outstretching on the bed.
Conclusion: We would always fly Singapore Airlines again – great service, very friendly staff, good films, meals are o.k. The Ibis Budget – well, to find rest for just a few hours before travelling on it is fine. The rooms are tiny but very clean.