Monday, February 6th and Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Distance flown – about 20,000 kilometres

When we woke up, it was raining hard and, if the weather forecast was to be believed, some really torrential rain was on the way. That was quite handy in a way because it meant we were not really tempted to do anything major.

There was a nice and seemingly quite extensive rose garden, just across the road, from which the Auckland Rose Park Hotel gets its name. We had thought about giving it a quick look. But, while we were having our breakfast in the hotel restaurant which overlooked the gardens, the rain intensified to the point where some gardening contractors who were working there simply packed up all their gear and left.

The breakfast passed without incident or injury to me, but Lucie was, for some reason, kind enough to make my toast.

We sat around for an hour or so and then our driver arrived to take us to the airport. In daylight, it was possible to see some evidence of the flooding that had occurred during our absence, but it was hard to reconcile that with the cataclysmic scenes we had heard so much about in the media. At the airport, you would never have known anything had happened at all – and we had seen that flooding on television.

Then it was just a fairly normal flight experience – made a trifle surreal, as east to west long haul flights are, by the time zones. There was a slight(ish) hiccup in Singapore, where there were two Singapore Airlines flights leaving for Frankfurt at almost exactly the same time. Needless to say, the departure lounge that we sat outside was the one for the other flight and we needed to scurry to another one, in the distance, to board the “right” one.

Flights are flights. The service was excellent, we had secured seats in the central block so getting in and out was simple – and the in-flight entertainment was excellent. I usually sleep on flights, but sadly there was was an unusually large number of babies on the flight which took it in turns to cry for its entire duration. As a consequence, I did not get much sleep at all. Ask me any question about “Young Sheldon” Series 3 – I dare you !

We transited at Frankfurt, leaving all the babies to fly on to the USA.

My friend picked us up at the airport in Prague and we were soon home.

Now we could begin planning our next jaunt !