Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Auckland to Guangzhou, China

The first leg of the flight was lovely - new plane, plenty of leg room and it was empty!  I was able to stretch out over 3 seats and get some sleep, but I didn't sleep as well as I usually do on the plane, as I had forgotten to pack my sleeping pills.  Usually I have one of those and sleep like a baby on the plane and arrive refreshed.  This time it was not refreshing at all when I woke up - I don't think I really went to sleep at all.

Arrival in Guangzhou - was very confusing. Hordes of people and long queues everywhere.  I thought the lines in Singapore were bad when I was there last-year, but this took the prize of the most people and longest queues!  I finally managed to get into the right queue and got an exit visa for 72 hours and went out the doors. I was quite nervous doing this because I didn't want to miss my plane connection to the Netherlands. But I had 7 hours and this beat sitting around in an airport for that length of time.
Kitto met me outside and together we caught the train into the centre of Guangzhou. It took about 45 minutes and with one change. I would never have been able to do it on my own. What I saw of Guangzhou was vry beautiful. We walked along the Pearl river then got some Vietnamese French food for dinner.   Then we wandered along the river again up over the bridge. All the lights were continually changing color and it was very beautiful. It was really hot too - about 32 degrees C and humid. Unfotunately, because it was going to be cool when I arrived in the Netherlands I was wearing jeans and consequently was sweltering!

There were some market stalls along the side of the road, and a few people fishing, but generally it was quite quiet. Much quieter than I had imagined it would be.

After a few hours, I started feeling really jetlagged. Probably the heat as well - it just hit me. So it was back to the train station and back to the airport although the trains were busier this time around.

I said goodbye to Kitto - hopefully we wil be able to do this on the way back as well as I have another 7 hour layover to get through!  At the airport there were more long queues to get through to the departure lounge. I was beginning to get really tired. Watched Muslims pray facing mecca in my departure lounge on their prayer mats, not once but several times. I wondered why it was so important to do this so many times!

The flght to the Netherlands was awful - no leg room and very uncomfortable seats.  It was one of those planes built to get as many people in as possible.  The flight was also completely full so there was no chance to stretch out and sleep. I did manage a few hours sleeping sitting up, but the rest of the flight was a very long haul (12 hour flight)!

I was extremely pleased to finally land!

No comments: