My most recent trip was a 5 day one which took me to Sydney and Auckland. I’ve been to Sydney before but never to New Zealand, so I was quite excited!
The flight to Sydney took 13 hours, which is the longest I’ve worked on the plane since joining. We do get a couple of hours of rest in the bunks, but it is long and tiring! We arrived in Sydney early morning and arranged to meet around lunchtime which would let us have a bit of sleep first.
We decided to walk from the hotel and do a bit of sightseeing, so headed down towards the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We got so lucky with the weather, even though it is supposedly winter in Australia, it was beautifully warm and sunny!
By this time we were all feeling quite hungry, so decided to have some lunch sitting by the opera house. We probably could have picked somewhere slightly cheaper, but the allowance in Australia is pretty generous and we had a gorgeous view! After lunch we walked up to the opera house to have a look around, and soon discovered there was free wifi….which lead to us sitting in the sun for at least 45 minutes catching up with everything we had missed in the past 24 hours! (Wifi in the hotel would have cost 30$ – ridiculous!)
We then walked along past the opera house to the botanical gardens, which are more like a huge park. They would have been perfect to sit and have a picnic or just relax. Whenever I go to a country where there are lots of parks/trees, I realise how much I miss that in Dubai. We strolled around enjoying the sunshine for a while and then headed up back towards the hotel.
The other girls went back up to their rooms, and I decided to walk around Sydney a bit more on my own and try and find somewhere to have a coffee with wifi! I walked around for a while but as it was getting dark it was also getting colder so I went into the first place I could find with coffee and wifi which happened to be McDonalds. Not my first choice, but beggars can’t be choosers! I must have stayed in there for about an hour or so skyping and catching up with Joey, then I had a little bit more of a walk around Sydney and headed back to the hotel.
Jet lag finally hit me for the first time since I’ve started flying and even though I went to bed around 9pm I woke up every 20 minutes…eventually I gave up around midnight and watched re-runs of The City on MTV until the wake-up call at 4:30am! Luckily the flight to Auckland is only a quick one – just under 3 hours 🙂
I forgot to mention I was duty free operator for the trip, which meant I had to count all the duty free items, try and sell them (not really time for that on the quick Auckland flights though) and then fill out any paperwork and seal it all back up. Once we got to Auckland we arranged to go out to dinner and as a couple of the crew were fasting for Ramadan we decided to go quite early so they could break their fast as soon as the sun set.
We went to a Belgian Beer Cafe, where a lot of the crew had their infamous mussels. I’m not a huge fan of seafood (apart from fish and prawns – I think it’s all a bit too slimy!) so I had good old sausages and mash! I did however try my first mussel, and wasn’t too impressed!
We stopped at Starbucks (the only place that was still open at 8pm; not used to that in Dubai!) for a hot chocolate on the way home and then headed straight to bed. The next morning 4 of us girls met up for breakfast ….and what can I say, it was easily the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever had! I would put up with the crazy long flights and jet lag just for the breakfast in Auckland any time!
There was a pink chocolate fountain! (I didn’t actually try it in the end because I was too full :D) As well as all the normal things, there was a waffle and pancake station, any type of egg imaginable (I had eggs Benedict but with smoked salmon – so good!), even ice cream if you wanted it!
After breakfast I went back up to the room to let it all digest a bit, then decided to go for a walk around the city to pick up the obligatory fridge magnet. I walked down towards the harbour and to be completely honest I was fairly disappointed – the city was nothing special in my opinion. The weather probably played a part in that – it was grey and drizzly and reminded me too much of any ordinary day in England! The harbour was also mostly just a load of ferries, so not particularly exciting.
Soon enough it was time to get the uniform and make up back on and fly back to Sydney. A whole group of us went out to dinner once we got there in the evening and then I went straight to bed to try and catch up on lost sleep!
The next morning I had arranged to meet up with a family friend, Philippa, who I haven’t seen in years – she’s currently travelling around the world and has now stopped in Sydney for a while. I walked down to Darling Harbour to meet her where a bit of rain came out, but luckily it cleared up again within a few minutes and the sun came back out! We had lunch overlooking the water and catching up!
All too soon Philippa had to head back to work and I had to go and get ready for the evening flight back to Dubai. It was a long night flight (14 hours instead of 13!) but I did manage to sell some duty free which is great, as I’ll be getting some commission along with my pay check next month! 😀
After finally landing around 6am, I handed in my duty free pouch and got straight on the bus home. A long and tiring but fun trip!
In the evening Joey came to meet me at home and we went to the Madinat hotel where he had been invited to an Iftar, which is the meal Muslims eat at Sunset to break their fast during Ramadan. I felt very cultural! Now I’m packing for my flight to Moscow tomorrow afternoon, which I’m pretty excited about as it will be my first time to Russia. I’m also (extremely) impatiently waiting for my August roster to come out, so I can finally book my flights to England! 🙂
P.s. If you want more regular day to day updates of what is happening in my life, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @rachelwwilson!