Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Uneasy arrival in the Edinburgh of the South

I awoke with the alarm at 0600 and, with a plane to catch, didn't fall into the trap of dozing off again. I peeked out through the curtains and was surprised to see that it was still pitch dark outside. I made a cup of coffee in my room and briefly made use of the broadband facilities one last time here to check for any new e-mails. It didn't take me that long to get organised and packed, especially as I had got a large amount of laundry done the previous day, which was, naturally, all neatly folded and ready for my case! I checked out at about 0720 and kept my little promise to myself to take a taxi.

On arrival at the airport, I quickly found the check-in desks. I managed to bag 1A, probably thanks to my LH Silver card, but was disappointed to be told that the lounge was for Golds only   Oh no ... slumming it again!   I thought I'd have a go at brass-necking it, but the 'gatekeeper' was wide awake and - very apologetically, it has to be said - sent me packing. And some people insist on believing that BA and oneworld make things difficult for the aspiring frequent flyer! I wasn't that bothered, really, but did feel that on my next visit to New Zealand, I would have a predisposition to give my business to Qantas. I had a simple breakfast of tea and toast and wandered around for a bit to pass the time.

(Link to flight log - it's an eventful one! - in side panel)

On arrival at DUD, a full hour late after lots of flying round in circles and one aborted landing, I had little trouble in picking up my rental car which, being a dark red Mitsubishi Lancer, was remarkably similar to the first one. I also had no trouble at all in making my way to my lodgings, despite a near miss with an old dear who swung into my lane on the motorway with no signal as I was almost passing her; I had to brake hard   She then slowed to about 30mph (in the outside lane of the motorway, for heaven's sake!!!), dithered around for a bit and returned to the inside lane, again without signalling. When I eventually did pass her, she looked very elderly and, I'm sorry to say, completely clueless. I had the feeling that, if I had been a cat, that would have been two of my nine lives gone today already!

They say things like this come in threes and I didn't have long to wait for the third mishap of the day. I checked into the Shoreline motel and was allocated room 302. I pulled the car round and parked directly outside my room, in true motel fashion. Isn't it odd how you don't always notice some things immediately? I had been in there about 5 minutes before I realised that somebody else's things were still there. A quick visit to Reception and I was re-allocated to 304! This was - and was always going to be - the most basic accommodation on the trip. It was all I could find in Dunedin on the Internet, but to be fair, it would be absolutely fine as long as there weren't noise problems from any of the neighbours.

I decided that, rather than be bothered with potential parking problems in town, I would get some exercise and walk to the City Centre. By the time I got there, I was desperate for something to eat and went into an inviting-looking pub for a surprisingly substantial serving of spicy tomato soup and garlic bread. (There were at least 8 pieces of bread and the soup bowl was the most enormous one I have ever seen!) Suitably fortified, I explored the compact central area, visiting The Octagon (the city's main square, if that's the right word!), the Anglican St Paul's Cathedral, the Presbyterian 'First Church', and at least one 'Scottish Shop' which, mercifully, was not a 'shoppe'   I also noted the statue of Robert Burns.

With regard to St Paul's, I mention in passing that :-

  1. It's the only cathedral I have ever visited that has photos of the bishop all over the place; and
  2. It's the only cathedral I have ever visited, to the best of my knowledge, where the incumbent bishop is a woman.

Any conclusions are entirely up to you, dear reader

But Dunedin's crowning glory is, amazingly, its railway station! The building is magnificent, both inside and out, and you don't have to be a transport geek to feel like that about it! It is almost certainly the most photographed place in town.

When a real downpour started at about 4pm, I decided to call it a day and hopped in a cab to get back to the motel. It did occur to me that I hadn't actually seen another hotel anywhere ... most odd!

I had dinner in the hotel dining room and managed to fit in another movie; I was getting through them, after all.

And not forgetting that Railway Station :-