Monday, August 07, 2006

A Repreive

This is my final day in Auckland (for real this time) and I woke up to blue skies and birds singing.

To celebrate, I grabbed breakfast at the Vulcan Cafe on... Vulcan Lane and ended up with a ginormous omelet and a very pretty cappuccino. The cafe was great, all funky with bright colors and punk waitstaff, but I couldn't stick around too long, as I was a woman with a mission.

Mount Eden.
The volcano in the "center" of town. I grabbed a bus and it just happened to be the same bus driver as yesterday, which was great, since it made me feel like I had my own personal chauffer. He dropped me at the trail head and a short while later, I was looking down the cone of a volcano.

Awesome.

It was just me and the other tourists hanging around, but the view was great. This is the highest spot of land in the area at 196 meters. After hiking the perimeter of the cone, I made my way down towards civilization. Just as I was crossing the street, the rain came. Today, it was OK though, since I felt like I had seen what I'd come to see. I got off the bus at the university and made the walk back to the hotel in time to check email and then it was time to head back to Oz.

This time, everything went right.
The shuttle to the airport was great- early even!
My flight back to Melbourne was on time (all that praying to various gods has been paying off!)and I made it through customs and immigration with no problems, though I had to chase down an official to get another stamp in NZ and I forgot to get another in Australia. Dang.

My next flight was on Virgin Blue, discount brainchild of Richard Branson, and it had it's own terminal in the Melbourne airport. The cafe/bar has concert posters and plays techno music. (The Fray (a Denver band I am way too old to follow- these kids are 19 if a day and their big hit is based on the lead singer's brainfart at the knowledge bowl in high school. I love them anyway.)is headlining NZ and AUS in September. How cool is that?!)

The gates have video games and pinball machines and TVs that play bad Australian soap operas (are there good Australian soap operas?) which I'm sure is different on the weekends when the whole state becomes footy crazed. (On the way over from Melbourne, an NZ native borrowed my sports section to find his rugby scores. (NZ is all about rugby.) He didn't find any.)I'm thinking this Branson guy has got something! If you are catering to cheap fliers (and cheap=young) this is the perfect terminal. He may have to come up with Virgin Blue-Hair though, since everyone over a certain age looks really bored. Maybe they're just drunk. Nah.

1 comment:

Grahamanda said...

Is there such thing as a "virgin blue-hair"? I don't think so... okay maybe nuns and priests.