March 22nd we spent the day in Auckland, New Zealand, after 37 hours of traveling (25 flying).

2 hours in the Valencia airport + 1 hour flying to Barcelona + 2 hours layover in Barcelona + 12 hours flying to Hong Kong + 8 hours layover + 12 hours flying to Auckland… it was a long trip. Considering my wife’s limited mobility due to an accident, I reckon a trip like this would have been impossible without airport special assistance; and I guess it would have been much harder to endure had we flown economy class. Fortunately, this time, we didn’t.

The 8 hours in Hong Kong were supposed to allow us a quick dash to downtown, but the MTR accident made it less convenient, and not having my wife’s mobility device with us made it almost impossible. So we settled for relaxing, showering, working, and enjoying delicious baozi and dim sum at Cathay Pacific’s Lounge. Although, I must say I was more impressed with Air New Zealand (and their legendary sense of humor, even in the bathroom’s wall paper) than with the always excellent Cathay Pacifc, which does have an unbeatable customer service.

As soon as you land in New Zealand, you see how the topic of green hills, cloudy skies, and friendly people is absolutely true. We took a taxi to the amazing and brand new SO Sofitel hotel, which has a very dramatic contemporary interior design.

Although we were extremely tired, we decided to take a short stroll along Quay St. all the way into the Wynyard Quarter to see Waterscape, an immersive installation by British artist Gayle Chong Kwan at Silo 6, part of Auckland Arts Festival. Then we ate a delicious IkaBowl at the Fish Market, and went back to the hotel to catch up on sleep and get ready for some excitement the next day.