Thursday, 1 September 2011

NZ travelogue: Arrival Christchurch

We arrived at the Christchurch international airport at about 11pm. Considering the number of passengers on board the AirAsia X flight from Kuala Lumpur, I was anticipating a slow check-out through New Zealand Immigration and Customs. To my surprise, the process was relatively quick unlike my previous experiences in Perth and the Gold Coast.

So after passing the obligatory process of picking up some bottles of New Zealand wine from the duty-free outlet at the airport, I telephoned the Airport Gateway Motor Lodge to have them pick us up. To our surprise, a lady soon turned up in a stretch limosine. It certainly made us feel like VIPs as we clambered on board the car.

Five minutes was about all it took to arrive at the motel. And there, we found our supper waiting. Our first meal in Kiwiland. An assortment of bread, pastries, meat and cheese, and quite a lot of them. Just what we were looking for. But as we weren't feeling that particularly hungry, we decided to leave the food until the next morning. This would be our breakfast before we leave on our own grand tour of the South Island.

I should say something about our accommodation. The Airport Gateway Motor Lodge was quite comfortable. It had been recommended to us by my travel agent who, if you remember, had asked me to do all the bookings by myself. Not that he did not want to do my business but he was correct: it was more fun to arrange everything by ourselves (or myself).

So back to our accommodation for that first evening in New Zealand. The downside was that since we were not driving, the Motor Lodge had allocated us an apartment on the upper floor. So it meant having to lug our baggages up and down the uncovered staircase. I would presume that anyone who had a car to park would have been given an apartment on the ground floor.

Nevertheless, we were quite satisfied with the allotted accommodation. As you can see from the picture above, this was the main living area. Very spacious, neat and clean. We had no time for niceties though and ended up just leaving our baggages opened up on the sofa.

So was the main bedroom. It was wide and spacious too, but more importantly the kingsize bed was comfortable. And it came with electric blankets. Electric blankets, by the way, was a pre-requisite from my wife. The apartment or accommodation must either be heated or at the very least, have an electric blanket.

This was the scene from the apartment window the next morning. Admittedly not much of a scenery but it was the very first sign of autumn for us together. Maybe I should also show below the Motor Lodge's super-cool s-t-r-e-t-c-h limosine.


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