Maybe it was the fact that we were moving to the other side of the world, but it occurred to me the day before our flight: how will we survive this travel?
Our journey looked like this:
12:08 Bus from Xlendi to Victoria (15min)
13:43 Bus from Victoria to Mgarr (15min)
14:15 Ferry (25min)
15:00 Bus to Airport (1h 25min)
18:55-22:15 Flight Malta-Istanbul (duration: 2h 20min)
01:35-17:05 Istanbul-Hong Kong (duration: 10h 30min)
20:55-12:15 Hong Kong-Auckland (duration: 11h 20min)
16:05-17.30 Flight Auckland-Christchurch (duration: 1h 25min)
17:45 Taxi (15min)
So I packed books, color books, three different kinds of card games, paper with colors and 1kg of almonds as the power food. We didn’t need any of it.
When your kids are five and six years old, and if they enter a plane where they can freely use touchscreen computers, you are good to go. On Turkish airlines, they got wooden toys, but they came into use only after the flight. Turkish airlines also provided more than enough food, which was actually good to eat. I was impressed with wine as well. I was drinking Merlot from France. They didn’t pour it into your plastic cup, but you were given small bottle which you opened yourself. After two of those, sleeping sitting-up wasn’t a problem anymore.
On long flights, they served a meal soon after take off. Then they turned off the lights and let us sleep in peace. Two hours before landing they brought another meal. Kids were doing fine; they even overslept some meals. We had some difficulties with sleeping arrangements, but after my decision to sleep on the floor all went on smoothly. I highly recommend sleeping under seats in front of you, but only if you are not claustrophobic. Unfortunately, it’s only possible if you have four seats in the row, like we had, so you can squeeze yourself where feet supposed to be. You get so many blankets that I made myself the quite exquisite bed. It was so nice to straighten my legs after 13 hours of flying.
I thought that waiting on the next flight will be exhausting, but it was just enough time to stretch and freely walk around the place.
The third flight was the hardest for us. We were already traveling for two days; we weren’t sleeping enough, there were way too much TV and sitting. But the worst thing was that first two flights were from Turkish airlines, and those guys know how to build your expectations. After them, we were flying with Hong Kong Airlines which were losing in comparison. Seat spaces were smaller, food was not-as-good, and coffee was horrible (wine as well). It is not fair to judge after sleep deprivation, but we became really cranky at a time. Flight from Hong Kong to Auckland seemed to be never-ending. Nevertheless, we witnessed the most extraordinary sunrise. The whole sky was burning orange - beautiful.
When we finally reached our destination, we had to declare our almonds. We were dragging them all the way from Malta to New Zealand, not needing them.
We were already in New Zealand but not quite there yet. We had still a short flight to Christchurch where the most needed apartment was waiting for us. Kids couldn’t handle the last trip anymore - they fell asleep, and it was almost impossible to wake them up again.
We were in no condition to study bus schemes, so while we were walking towards taxis (yes, I accepted taxi ride, go figure!), I realized my head is spinning. I wasn’t sure if it was tiredness, but the feeling was like I am still in the air, floating around. This feeling didn’t leave me for some time; it was there even the next day when I got up from the bed. Finally, after walking around on the solid ground, my body realized it doesn’t need to hover.
Half an hour taxi ride and we were in our cozy temporary home. It was there that we genuinely relaxed and were unable to function for three days properly. We were sleeping during days and were awake during nights. Slowly we are trying to conquer new time zone. Emphasis on slowly.
P.S. We so don’t understand New Zealand accent it’s ridiculous! :D