We left for our trip on Christmas day as, unsurprisingly, it was the cheapest day to travel on. It was also a very hot day and not a great day for walking around with backpacks. We tried to pack lightly and only bare essentials as we could only bring carry on luggage on the plane (the cheapest ticket) but the backpacks were still a bit on the heavy side. As we walked though the city centre to catch our bus, we marveled at how deserted it was – the only other people out were people like us with backpacks or suitcases. The airport was also only half-full – far cry from the usual bustle of any airport. But we didn`t mind as it meant we were free to explore the cosy airport building without bumping into other people’s luggage trolley.
First, there was a Christmas tree, decorated with jandals (that’s what Kiwis call flip-flops), mussels and clams
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Then there were all things Hobbit: a luggage belt made to look like hobbit houses
And the famous Gollum sculpture
Also, the new name for Wellington:
The flight only took 45 minutes – the shortest one we have ever taken. It seemed that no sooner we took off that we were told to put our seat belts and prepare for descent.
To add a festive note, both the pilot and the cabin crew were wearing Santa hats
When we arrived to Christchurch airport, we had to go on a min-quest to pick up our rental car. While Mike was concentrating on driving on the left, I navigated using maps, print-out and Google map app on my phone
We arrived to our hostel with me singing the song and throwing my arms up in the air (now sing with me: It’s fun to stay at the YMCA) while Mike rolled his eyes at me and patiently took photos.
Seeing as how it was Christmas, absolutely everything was closed. We were pretty hungry by then , so when the receptionists told us about a pub he thought might be open, we excitedly set off to find it and were excited to hear pub chatter, clanking of glasses and smell some food. Unfortunately, they weren`t letting any more people at that point, so we trudged back to the grey walls of the Y to eat our pot noodles which we brought with us for just such an occasion and some Dorritos we had to shake out of a wending machine.
We kept ourselves entertained with Scrabble and went to bed early to prepare for the next day
All the photos from that day are here: https://picasaweb.google.com/113183527320279302018/SouthIslandTripWellingtonToChristchurch?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJrhyL3LgZ3CsAE&feat=directlink