Showing posts with label A380. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A380. Show all posts

05 April, 2011

A weekend in Auckland PART III of III

Auckland - Sydney Emirates EK413 A6-EDM

Ok, I know it has been MORE than a little while since posting parts I and II, but here is the third enstallment of a weekend away in Auckland.

The day started early, VERY early. A wake up call wasn't needed, but a coffee certainly was! We packed our things, checked out and loaded the car (Toyota Hilux 4WD) and were on our way to Rotorua. It was an uneventful drive down, memory directed mostly where we needed to go, but the occassional look (for reassurance) at the GPS on the phone, always helped!

We arrived somewhat early, so we had a quick look around the city. Once we got to the visitor center where I had to collect some tickets, we then headed back to Skyliner for the morning adventures!

Rotorua Oval
Rotorua Overview (Gondola) from Chairlift
Half way

We had booked the 'Skyswing and Luge package; what fun! Now, you can ONLY ride IF you're over the sign!

Skyswing Height Board

After this, we then jumped back into the car, and headed back to Auckland Airport for our flight home. Check in was painless, being Gold on a dedicated line (thankfully) and there as also pre-immigration screening at the counter as well! Cleared immigration and got through security easily and then headed for the Emirates Lounge to relax...

Boarding was also great, but this time, we were heading upstairs on the A380 into Business Class; a suitable reward for my flights and for my birthday! Again, I was greeted personally by the Cabin Manager by name, no-one else up there, and was asked if I needed anything, to contact her. I like being a Gold Status holder! Pre-departure drinks was served as with menus, and we soon taxied out for our departure to the north...

Entrees were soon served, where I had the Smoked Salmon, a main of Prawns in a Lemongrass Sauce with rice and veges and a dessert of White Chocolate Mousse. We also had a visit to the bar in the rear of the upper deck!

AKL Spoters Park
AKL Overview
Smoked Salmon Entree
Prawns Lemongrass Sauce with Rice Veges
White Chocolate Mousse
EK A380 Business Bar

All to soon we arrived back into Sydney, where after coming through rain and crosswinds, we made a very hard landing... Clearing of immigration was of course painless, and we were collected on the outside...

Coming up next, is a trip to Belgium, and for a couple of days before and after, in London!

Hoo roo for now...


26 March, 2011

A weekend in Auckland PART I of III

Sydney - Auckland EK412 Emirates A380 A6-EDC

Well yes, ok it has been a while, but this weekend was hectic enough... Throw in a major headache, and it made it even worse, but I got through it all... Just!We arrived at the International departures at Sydney Airport early. There was both J and myself going to Auckland, but N was leaving the same day to Vietnam via Singapore. His flight was leaving 30 minutes after ours... Or so we thought! It was not to long later when entering the Emirates Lounge, we were told that our flight would be delayed due to its inbound also being late! Oh well, more time to enjoy the lounge, right!

We entered the lounge, got a couple of seats that outlooked over onto the ramp, and then hit the food. It was an interesting array of hot foods, Western and Middle East, there was also cereals, fresh fruit, juices, coffee/teas, and of course, champagne and drinks! Here is my breakfast.

Breakfast Emirates Lounge
Emirates Lounge Sydney
Emirates Lounge Sydney Entrance

We arranged to meet back up with N prior to his boarding, now that he's leaving before us, and we said our goodbyes. It was at this stage, we walked up to our departure gate (lots of people after all, it was an A380) and we saw the flight crew sitting waiting as well. We politely asked if it was possible to visit the flight deck upon arrival into Auckland, to which we were welcomed without any problems!

Our flight was called, and being a Gold Skywards Member, I could board at anytime, through a dedicated line, even though we were travelling in Economy on the way over! This was not my first EK A380 flight, but for J it was on both counts. I had organised a window seat each, just forward of the wing. It wasn't too long, and we had started our pushback...

16R Holding

There was stormy clouds about Sydney this morning, and our departure took us off 16R and on an almost straight heading across the Tasman Sea. Flight time was a relative short 2.35 hours! We were soon served our breakfast; for me I had the Cheese Omelet while J had the mixed grill. Mine had potatoes, mushrooms and a capsicum sauce. It was very good! There was also a croissant and a fruit bowl.

EK412 Breakfast
Cheese Omelet Mushrooms
A6-EDC Econ Interior
A6-EDC Mid Galley

Our arrival into Auckland took us on a downwind leg in-between Auckland City and the airport, a right hand turn for a final over Manuka and not to long afterwards, touchdown into Auckland, which was very much like we had left Sydney, cloudy! A short taxi to the gate, maybe 10 minutes, and it had started to POUR!

Before we got off the flight, the cabin staff took us up to the First Class Suites, and also showed us the First Class Shower. Again, whilst I had seen/experienced this before, it was still very good to see it again.

EK A380 First Suites (Credit - J Laing)
A6-EDC First Shower

We then headed up to the 'Office', where the Captain was waiting for us, the First Officer who actually flew the leg, had already left the office, but was waiting in the entrance of the aircraft. The Captain was great, we were there for a while, and whilst I sensed our stay was becoming onerous, he still answered questions and allowed us to get a photo in the 'Left Seat'

A380 Left Seat (Credit - J Laing)

Immigration was painless, as with collecting the car. Finding the hotel though, was a little less easy as I took a turn one street to soon, but painless all the same! As we had arranged earlier to meet up with D, we quickly got our bearings and went for a short drive (in the pouring rain) before heading back to meet up. We headed into the Auckland Pier for a couple of beers, before getting geographically challenged to the Angus Steakhouse for dinner. J had a 1.3kg steak, D an Eye Fillet, whilst I opted for the Lamb Rack (what ELSE would you have in NZ?) which was AMAZING! We had a great night chatting about lots of stuff, and then headed back to the hotel (more chatting in the lobby) and to bed...

Angus Steak House AKL
Lamb Rack

So, that's part one, I will get parts two and three up as soon!

Hoo roo for now...


26 October, 2007

Big Bird comes to Sydney...

Well, with all the hype she finally arrived, it was a pity that it was only two years late! Not to mention, the lovely weather Sydney put on, not only for its arrival yesterday afternoon, but for its departure back to Singapore this evening.


Today was to be a day that L and the MIL were going to Art Sydney. I had been give two tickets to go from the Paddington Contemporary as I had recently purchased a book and a doll (Lulu, L's alter ego) that Rebecca Cool had made and her artwork was throughout the book Woman Hood. But, as I had managed to swing around a busy week into a flex day today, I was going to go out to Sydney Airport to have a look at the beast, but instead decided to 'tag' along with only one request, that we drive past to have a look.


So, as we headed off along the Motorway that goes along the perimeter of the airport, under the smaller of the three runways, I was expecting a lot of traffic. We had heard that there was already a lot of traffic there, but I was surprised to see not much at all. At least, nothing like when APEC was on when you were not aloud ANYWHERE near the fence. People were parked along the fence line just near the runway's 'blast fence' near where she was parked, so we decided to swap spots (I was driving) and if need be, we can get back into the car in a hurry and drive away as there was both security AND Federal Police in the area moving people on.


So, I took a couple of shots, changed to my long lens, and sure enough, we saw a Federal Police car coming with his red and blue lights flashing. Now I was atop a very small roadside barrier fence (about a metre high) and as L quickly jumped in the car, I got my last shot (above) and got into the car and we headed off. The last time a cousin of the bird was in town, I copped a fine for an 'Obstructed' Number plate (there is bound to be a post about this in the coming weeks/months, as I am contesting the infringement!) and was not about to get another one!

L will make a following blog regarding the day of Art Sydney!