Incredibly but true, what seemed like a neverending journey from Vienna, Austria, to Christchurch, New Zealand finally came to an end after just over 29 hours of travelling.
Despite our arduous trip we weren’t too tired. None of the flights had been extra-long (the lengthiest leg being Bangkok – Sydney), we’d chosen our seats wisely and had always had good (and mostly unobtrusive) company – from Sydney to Christchurch we’d been literally surrounded by the team of Canterbury Crusaders (one of New Zealand’s rugby teams).
Immigration and customs were relatively quick and painless and we were picked up by our rental car company Ace Car Rental a couple of minutes later. We signed the necessary papers and were shown to a bruised white Nissan Micra, that – apart from severe superficial scratches – seemed to be fine. Ezzie (that’s what the number plate said) would become our trusted companion over the next couple of weeks.
Before hitting the road more seriously, we aimed for the nearest supermarket to stock up on the essentials I’d written down in-flight and then went to find our hostel where we’d booked an ensuite double room to ensure the most possible comfort during the first stationary night of our holiday.
Needless to say, since we were in New Zealand, everyone from airport officials to rental car guy to the person at Freshchoice checkout to the lovely girl and guy who checked us into the hostel was super friendly, making us feel terrifically welcome in Aotearoa.