A Travellerspoint blog

NZ 2016 – Day 1 - Christchurch – Part 1 – August 2016

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Transfer from the Airport to the Ibis

On the afternoon I arrived, I was met at the airport by the transfer arranged by AATKings. I also met another couple that was on the same tour as me. The first thing I did was get a Vodafone card for my phone so I could access data. I paid $49 for a package, but to be honest, I burnt through it quickly and didn't top it up and just relied on the bus, hotel and other free wifi I found.
The bus driver took us on a magical mystery tour around Christchurch and showed us some things I had read about and decided to go back to.

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Once we were dropped at the hotel I had to get the guy from reception to break into my suitcase as the lock was stuck. I then got my walking shoes out of the suitcase and hit the pavement!

Walking Christchurch

Avon River

I headed from the ibis on Hereford St down to the Avon River.

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Construction

After crossing the river I came across some of the new construction sites (that were probably demolition sites the last time I was here). There is a lot of construction being undertaken at the moment, and it was great to see, as the last time I was in Christchurch it was primarily a demolition site.

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Arts Centre

Continuing along Hereford Street, I came to the Arts Centre. This was badly damaged during the earthquakes and it is currently being restored.

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Walking Map

This is the map of where I walked - This post covers points 1-4 and 6

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Photos of these sites in 2013

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Posted by Shona Travels 23:32 Archived in New Zealand Tagged bridges buildings bridge new_zealand damage Comments (0)

Heading to New Zealand - August 2016

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Leaving Sydney

Getting to the airport

The first part of my journey was to get to the airport. As I live in Western Sydney, and the trip to the airport can take at least an hour (depending on the time of day), and the fact that I had a super early flight, I decided to get to the airport the afternoon before I was due to fly out, and stay at a hotel at the airport.
I'm glad I did, as the trains weren't running in the Blue Mountains, and there were buses replacing trains to Blacktown. Luckily I had a friend drop me off at Penrith Station, where I hoped to catch an express bus to the city, however, it wasn't running, so I just waited with the others that were stuck like me trying to get into the city.

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Once I got to Blacktown I got off the bus and changed to a train. Unfortunately, this wasn't an express train, so it took over an hour just to get to central station.

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Once at Central, I change to the airport line and got the train to the International Terminal, where I walked about 5 mins to my hotel.

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Initially I got the wrong room (I had booked a room with a view over the runways, but got a view over the car park), so I changed rooms (and got locked out in the process...) but it all worked out in the end.

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I had dinner at the hotel, then went to the terminal to Oliver Brown for dessert.
Then I hit the hay and slept quite well, considering I knew I had to be up early the next morning.

Waking and getting ready for my flight

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I woke up before sunrise and set my iPhone up to take a timelapse of the sunrise. Here it is - isn't it great!?!

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It was then time to head over to the terminal and drop off my bag and begin the wait until boarding. Fortunately, I got to wait it out in the Amex lounge so I had my breakfast there.

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I had a great view of some planes coming and going, and I took some time-lapses for my nephew, who just loves planes!

I had booked a flight with Qantas and it was code-shared with Emirates, so I got to experience my first Emirates flight.

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It was then time to board and I had chosen a window seat on the right-hand side of the plane, as I had remembered the views landing in Christchurch were out that side, and having flown out of Sydney many times, I always sit on the right-hand side, just in case we take off to the north, which this time we did! This means I got to see views of Sydney as I left.

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The flight was typically boring and uneventful, but I got my gluten-free meal.
I'm glad I chose the seat I did because the views over the mountains were spectacular as we were coming in to land in Christchurch.

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We had a nice safe landing at Christchurch, and I easily spotted my bright orange suitcase.

Posted by Shona Travels 23:14 Archived in Australia Tagged mountains skylines sky snow sydney airport train Comments (0)

Day 7 Berlin – Alexanderplatz and Potsdamerplatz Markets

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In the evening, I headed out to explore the city. I came across the Alexanderplatz markets and checked out the Galeria Kaufhof (department store) as well.

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I then headed over to Potsdamerplatz and checked out the markets there.

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When it was time to head home, I took the S Bahn via the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, where I came across a cool bear.

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Posted by Shona Travels 08:21 Archived in Germany Tagged buildings markets shopping germany berlin europe2013 christmasmarkets Comments (0)

Day 7 Berlin – East Side Gallery

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I never knew this existed, and was so glad I went. It was a bright colourful contrast to the dull grey sky. It is part of the original Berlin Wall.

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To the east I could see the Oberbaumbrücke.

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Some people had taken a tour in the old East German trabant cars. I kind of wish I had too, so it’s on my bucket list for any future Berlin visits.

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By this stage my room was available, so I headed back to the hotel for a shower and to get warm (and put on good thermals).

Posted by Shona Travels 07:54 Archived in Germany Tagged germany berlin wall europe2013 Comments (0)

Day 7 Berlin – Checkpoint Charlie

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When I crossed into East Berlin in 1988 I went through the Friedrichstraße train station, so going to Checkpoint Charlie was something on my bucket list. I went into the museum when I was there.

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The picture of a very young soviet soldier actually shocked me – I thought he looked about 15 years old!

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Posted by Shona Travels 07:43 Archived in Germany Tagged landscapes buildings skylines people sky germany berlin europe2013 checkpointcharlie Comments (0)

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