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A Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness

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Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
Where was I? Oh yeah - off to the gate to board and a pre-departure drink or 2. A small delay on departure as we wait for a few aircraft to take off in front of us - Air New Zealand, Norfolk Air Express and Air Calin. Looks like Air Pacific, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Emirates are in behind us in the queue. A busy time for AKL.

We take off to the northeast and as we sweep a lazy turn over the Hauraki Gulf I notice how the sea appears to glow with various colours - turquoise in the gulf itself, lighter in shallower parts of the Waitemata Harbour and Tamaki River, deep navy blue of Lake Pupuke and the green of the Tasman Sea. In all my times flying out of Auckland I cannot recall having such a magnificent vista combined with a great flight path over Waiheke Island, past Rangitoto Island and Whangaparaoa Peninsula before crossing Northland.

We have a northerly track over Australia flying overhead of Brisbane and Darwin - on most trips we pass near Uluru (Ayers Rock) but not this time.

Shortly after take off there's another round of drinks and also hot nuts, followed by lunch. I watch a few movies - there's been a significant change in the programmes offered since I last flew Singapore Airlines ust over a month ago. That's one of the things I like about them.

We encounter some turbulence early in the flight, and again over the top end of Australia, but on the whole it is a smooth flight. The usual headwinds must have been absent as we had a very fast flight time - arriving nearly an hour early despite the small delay on departure.

About an hour and a half before arrival dinner is served. Menu to follow.

LIGHT MEAL from Auckland to Singapore

Appetisers
Smoked magret duck breast and confit of duck with mesclun. Walnut oil and xeres vinegar dressing

Main courses
Seafood noodle soup. Egg noodles with prawns, fish, and vegetables in broth.

Thai style red curry beef served with seasonal vegetables and steamed rice.

Cold chicken with Greek salad.

Dessert
Chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream.

From the bakery
Oven fresh rolls with a choice of extra virgin olive oil or butter.

Garlic bread.

Hot beverages
Freshly brewed coffee.

Espresso or cappuccino.

Selection of tea.


DINNER from Auckland to Singapore

Canapes
Satay with onion, cucumber and spicy peanut sauce.

Appetisers
Chilled petrosian caviar with melba toast and condiments.

Tasmanian gravadlax. Marinated salmon with tomato bush chutney.

Soup
Snow fungus soup with Chinese mushrooms and quail egg.

Cream of asparagus garnished with roasted pinenuts.

Salad
Fine field greens. Soya vinaigrette. Thousand island dressing.

Main courses
Roasted lamb rack with rosemary jus, spiced eggplant with mango chutney and baby vegetables in vinaigretta.

Panfried blue eye cod fillet in white wine sauce, stewed vegetables and potatoes.

Indian rogan josh chicken with spiced vegetables and potatoes.

Seared sweet potato with avocado, globe artichoke, Kenyan beans, quail egg, roasted portobello mushroom and fennel. Red capsicum-virgin olive oil dressing.

Cheese
Selection of cheese with garnishes.

Fresh fruit
A selection of fresh fruit.

Dessert
Panna cotta. Cream timbale with peach and strawberries.

From the bakery
Oven fresh rolls with a choice of extra virgin olive oil or butter.

Garlic bread.

Hot beverages
Freshly brewed coffee.

Espresso or cappuccino.

Selection of tea.

Pralines
To end on a sweet note.

BEVERAGES

Special cocktail
Orange cooler. A light tangy drink that stimulates the taste buds, created from orange juice and ginger ale with a touch of lime cordial.

Cocktails
Singapore sling. A famous cocktail since the early 1900s, made from dry gin, DOM Benedictine, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Angostura bitters, Grenadine, lime and pineapple juice.

Silver kris sling. One of Singapore Airlines' special touches, this cocktail is a delicious mix of gin, Cointreau, orange juice and pineapple juice, topped with champagne.

Gin fizz. A delightful concoction of gin and lemon juice, topped with soda.

Cloud nine. A refreshing tropical mix of rum, Cointreau and pineapple juice, topped with soda.

Screwdriver

Bloody Mary

Daiquiri

Red or white wine cooler

Aperitifs
Campari

Dry Vermouth

Non-alcoholic cocktails
Citrus Royale

Tropical Sparkle

Golden Spice

Fruit Spritzer

Sunrise Surprise

Spirits
Bombay Sapphire Gin

Cognac XO - Hennessy

Chivas Royal Salute Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey

Macallan 12 years old Single Malt Whisky

Absolut Vodka

Bacardi Carta Blanca

Liqueurs
Cointreau

Tia Maria

Baileys Original Irish Cream

Beer
International selection

Champagne
Dom Perignon 1998

Krug Grande Cuvee

White wines
2004 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Meursault 2000

Red wines
1997 Chateau Reynella Cabernet Merlot

Chateau Cos D'Estournel 1998 Saint-Estephe

Port
Warre's Twenty Year Old Tawny

Tea selection
Pure Ceylon Tea

Earl Grey

Darjeeling

Japanese Green Tea

Chinese Jasmine Tea

Camomile

Decaffeinated Tea

Mint Tea

Fruit Tea

Gourmet coffees
Brazil Santos Bourbon

Colombian Supremo

Jamaican Blue Mountain

Kenyan AA Kilimanjaro

Specialty coffees
Brewed coffee

Cafe Royal

Espresso

Cappuccino

Cafe Latte

Cafe au Lait

Decaffeinated Coffee

Mocha

Other beverages
Hot chocolate

Ovaltine

Milo

Mineral water
Carbonated mineral water

Non-carbonated mineral water

Fruit juices
Apple

Orange

Pineapple

Tomato

Soft drinks
A range of regular or low-calorie drinks is available

Iced drinks
Iced Fruit Tea

Iced Tea

Iced Mint Tea

Iced Coffee

Iced Mocha

Iced Chocolate

Iced Ovaltine

Iced Milo
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
LUFTHANSA FIRST CLASS

Arriving at Singapore had enough time to visit one of my favourite lounges, SIN F lounge, where grab a quick shower and a couple of glasses of Dom (yes MAN Flyer - still no Krug).

Then wander over to transfer desk to pick up the boarding pass for later flight. The trip from New Zealand to Europe is so long that, as is usually the case, check-in for intra-europe flights hasnt opened when I check-in for the first leg. Again problems printing the boarding pass, which may or may not be related to them checking me in again for the Singapore to Frankfurt leg (I'm already checked in mate).

As we board a big thunderstorm erupts with heavy rain and "strobe" lightning (ie very frequent flashes every second or so). I wonder if we'll be delayed but we do leave on time. First class is full with just one spare seat.

The F seat is very comfortable but is no suite. The seat base feels strange, though, as it slopes backward pressing body against the seat back. The base is well cushioned so thighs are not uncomfortable in this position. Plenty of nooks and crannies to put stuff. However feels more claustrophobic compared with Singapore F (on 747). Felt seat move slightly whenever seat mate moved :( Bathroom had paper towels not cloth ones!

The meal service was incredibly slow - took more than 2 hours to get to the mains, when for the night flight really want a quick bite then sleep. At least kept the glass topped up frequently. I'll post the menu later.

Amenities included socks, a small kit (toothbrush, comb, moisturizer, etc) and pajamas.

The in flight entertainment was not working until after I finally fell asleep about 4 hours into the flight. By the time I woke up a few hours later it was going. The IFE had changed since I last took Lufthansa on longhaul, and was now a limited form of avod (with small selection and pause/rewind not working), operated by touchscreen. Screen is much smaller than Singapore (only a little bigger than Air NZ's "old" personal tvs).

A breakfast is served before landing. Fairly uninspiring so I skip it (apart from coffee and water).
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
MENU - NEW NIGHT AND LIGHT SERVICE


HORS D'OUVRE FROM THE APPETIYER CART

Caviar with the traditional garnishes (ed note - serving 1 teaspoon if that)

Herbed grouper with pesto

Loin of venison with apple and red cabbage compote

Green tea noodles served with mushroom tempura

Spicy fruit and vegetable salad

Chestnut-crusted tenderloin of beef offered with German-style gnocchi

Bread rolls, toast and butter


ENTREES

Pan-fried guinea fowl with port wine reduction accompanied by shiitake mushrooms, kale and mashed potatoes

Sauteed flathead lobster served with bean sauce, snow peas, tofu and rice croquettes with saffron

Papperdelle pasta in chive butter with porcini mushrooms and asparagus

CHEESE AND DESSERT

International cheese - brie, reblochon, gruyere, port-salut and gorgonzola cheese

Cheese strudel with passion fruit coulis

Chocolate brownie

Coffee, cappuccino, espresso and tea

Specialty dessert wines

HOT BEVERAGES

Jacobs coffee

Espresso

Cappuccino

Latte macchiato

Tea specialties of tea gschendner

Darjeeling tea

Ceylon tea

Gunpowder (no not the stuff that will get you into trouble with the TSA, but rather a chinese green tea)

Rooibusch vanille

Ayurveda tea "kraft"


WINE LIST

CHAMPAGNE

"D" de Devaux Brut, Champagne Veuve Devaux, France

1996 Cuvee Grand Siecle, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, France

MONTHLY PROPOSAL

2004 Westhofener Bergkloster Siegerrebe Beerenauslese, Weingut Neef-Emmich, Germany

WHITE WINE

2004 Keltic Terre, Pinot Blanc Spatlese trocken, Krug'scher Hot, Germany

2002 California Chardonnay, De Loach, USA

2004 Aphrodine Petite Arvine, AOC Valais, Albert Mathier et Fils, Switzerland

RED WINE

2000 Il Langobardo Rosso, Provincia di Pavia IGT, Cantine di Casteggio, Italy

1999 Chateau Bouscaut, Cru Classe, Pessac-Leognan, France

2001 Cochagua Valley Carmenere Reserva, Casa Silva, Chile

SPIRITS

1994 Alter Yuger Etter Kirsch

Campari

La Ina Sherry

Lufthansa Cocktail

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Old No 7

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Glenfiddich Single Malt, Special Reserve 12 Years Old

Smirnoff Red Vodka

Bombaz Sapphire Distilled London Dry Gin

Cognac Lheraud Cuvee 30

Calvados Coeur de Lion VSOP

Fernet Branca

Tequila

Schladerer Williams Birne

Etter Quitte, 41% Vol

LIQUEUR AND PORT

Baileys Irish Cram

Niepoort Portwein LBV 2000

MINERAL WATER

FRUIT JUICES

Apple juice

Tomato juice

Orange juice

SOFT DRINKS

Coca-cola, coca-cola light, sprite

Kinley tonic water, Kinley bitter lemon, Kinley ginger ale

GERMAN BEERS

Warsteiner Pils

Clausthaler, non-alcoholic


-----

No breakfast menu. From my unreliable memory - muesli and cereal options, toast, criossant, muffin, fruit, tea, coffee, juice, eggs.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
BOO DOO TWO

On arrival at Frankfurt I walked from the end of pier B to end of C, to meet GoingAway off her United flight which arrived minutes after mine. Then we headed through immigration to the first lounge near our departure gate in A. Just had enough time for a shower and a juice before flight shows as boarding. Shame didnt have longer in this new lounge, which is very nice despite lacking computer terminals (has wireless).

As it turns out we ended up waiting at the gate for a while as they're in no hurry to board with air traffic delays and also waiting for 20 more connecting passengers. We take off a little late. For this leg we are flying in business class on a (fairly full) Lufthansa A320.

Since we'd arrived in Frankfurt a fog has settled in, but it is only a shallow layer and soon we're through it and the dawn sun is reflected on the fog top. The flight path takes us just west of the Alps. Breakfast is quite nice.

Several Boo Doo Two'ers were due to arrive at around the same time so we'd arrange to share cabs. Flight delays and some misunderstandings of where we were to meet caused chaos but eventually we met up (well most of us) and shared 2 cabs to our hotel.

Once I'd checked in I set off for a long walk, figuring to collect a ticket for a couple days' time and also to tire myself out so I can siesta before revelries tonight. Being in Spain, and also an infamous Barcelona do, I didnt expect much sleep while here.

I wont go into too much details (to protect the guilty), but the 2 days and nights at Barcelona were a blast - great food, fantastic company, lots of drinking and no sleep. Days were warm and filled with walks. Nights, well lets just say you can see some of the evidence in the Boo Doo thread.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
A TOWN AND/OR A COUNTRY

Arriving back at the hotel just a few hours before I needed to head out, and worried about oversleeping even a wake up call (yes its happened before) I decided to stay up.

So it was a woozy Kiwi Flyer who met up with myefre at the bus station for the ride to Andorra, a tiny country nestled in the middle of the Pyrennes between France and Spain. The ride was comfortable with nice mountain scenery all the way (incl Montserrat). Several tolls and fairly heavy traffic - slow moving in places where major road works taking place. Took over 3 hours to Andorra La Vella, the main town.

Andorra La Vella is spread out over several miles along a narrow steep-sided valley. Space is at a premium and so in places the road is above the river. There's a lot of construction building new houses and hotels ever further up the mountains. The main part of town consists of a few windy roads lined with duty free shops and hotels and little else.

Its a short 10 minute walk from the bus station to the hotel. Once checked in, and after a few goes manage to get a key card that works, we spend a few hours exploring pretty much every street in the central part of town.

I was surprised at how many cars were cruising the streets (given both the small distances to get anywhere and also the complete lack of on-street parking).

That night the severe lack of sleep the past couple of weeks finally caught up and I crashed. Woke up refreshed and to a cooler morning that was trying to drizzle. Have a leisurely start to the day and then catch the bus back to Barcelona. Traffic was very heavy and we took more than an hour to travel less than 10 miles to Spain. However, once in the lower part of the valley (several miles past the border) the traffic is again freely moving. Indeed heavy traffic is factored into the schedule and we make it back to Barcelona slightly early.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
TO ITALY BY IBERIA

Since I arrived at the airport early and had allowed for lengthy traffic delays, I found myself with several hours to spare until my flight. Decided to queue for check-in anyway (not much to do landside) and noticed an earlier flight. Woohoo I'm in luck changed to the earlier flight which leaves in 20 minutes. Straight from security and to the gate - no time for a lounge visit (but I'd read and heard it is not too good so not missing much). The priority boarding is being universally ignored by passengers and gate staff alike. This A329 flight is less than half full so really no need to priority boarding.

Offered a newspaper but no pre-departure drink. Once in the air there's a nice light meal (chicken and salad, plus dessert sweet). A couple of tv shows play on the screen but as there's no headsets cannot listen. The flight is about 1 1/2 hours long.

At Rome we have a long walk to luggage claim, and then a further 10 minute walk past all the carpark garages to the airport Hilton. Check in is very slow due to not enough staff on the desks at a busy time of day. Get a nice upgrade plus complimentary water, bottle of bubbly and large plate of strawberries. I checked out the lounge. Very nice spread of food and drink. Internet is an eye-watering 5.25 euros for 15 minutes.

The current schedule of the hotel shuttle into Rome (Via Del Teatro Marcello) is every 2 hours between 8am and 10pm with the return every 2 hours between 9am and 11pm.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
A NICE ALPINE RUN

Another day, another early start. Nope its not groundhog day but sometimes I do wonder. Anyway check out early and walk across to the airport to check in for one of the first flights of the day. Get all my boarding passes, saving hassle later in the day.

At security there is a very attractive woman manning my line. I notice a lot of passengers, both men and women, do not take off the jackets - thus ensuring a pat down. Funny how the other lines manned by men nearly everyone takes off their jacket :D

There's no lounge access as the contract lounge doesnt open early enough. The shops are also all shut at this hour. Never mind I only want a coffee and we board soon anyway.

The Swiss flight has a (watered down) priority boarding - business class and elite pax can board at any time rather than waiting for their row to be called. However, as with Iberia this is ignored and not enforced.

The flight is on a A319 and is 3/4 full. A pre-departure juice or water is offered, but the newspapers on offer are all yesterday's. The November 2005 Swiss magazine has a front cover image familiar to Boo Doo Two'ers - the phallic La Torre Agbar.

Along the route there is cloud the whole way so no view of the alps. When we reach Zurich we fly back and forth 4 times landing on the 5th pass. No reason is given for this odd (to me at least) flightpath.

Swiss served the breakfast in several goes rather than all at once on a tray. Ie FA passes out moist towelette, drinks, then passes out pastry, then yoghurt, then pastry again, then drink again. Chocoholics would enjoy the heavenly piece of chocolate more than the fairly ordinary mini bar of chocolate.

We arrive at Zurich at the end gate of pier A. Walk down the pier to the main part of the terminal where the Swiss lounge is at. Lounge is very nice. Have just enough time to check email before heading back to the end of the pier to the gate next door to our arrival one. Each section of 10 "A" gates has its own security check but it is all connected airside - ie once clear security in one section you can walk to any of the other sections without needing to reclear security. This means can choose to clear security where queues fairly small (hopefully).

At the gate am made to check on of my bags due to "lack of overhead bin space on the small aircraft". Once onboard the A322 I see the aircraft is less than 3/4 full and there was plenty of room for both of my carry-ons.

The service is the same as the previous flight, although there is now today's newspapers on board and the food offering is a mid-morning one (I presume) despite the early time. Choice of roll - beef, cheese, vegetable. Fruit selection. No individual chocolate but again mini bar.

The flight path takes us back in the direction of Rome, before turning over the northern Italy plain to cross the maritime alps near Monaco. The weather has improved since the previous flight - can see the alps sticking up above the cload cover and the maritime alps are almost cloud free. We approach Nice airport from the south which means a sharp right hand turn at about 200m altitude to line up the runway to land. Both sides of the aircraft had great views of the coast and mountains. We have a bus gate.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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5,546
A NICE ALPINE RUN continued

Clear immigration fairly quickly despite having to fill in a form for the first time in a couple of weeks. The bag arrives on baggage claim after a few minutes and I walk out in the nice warm day in the neighbouring part of Nice. There's just a hint of a breeze wafting the fragrance of the last of the autumn flowers. As the day heats up some clouds build up, but, as I find out on the next flight, this is mainly along the coastline.

Since I have the onward boarding passes I can linger outside until the last minute. Its the same aircraft (different crew which surprised me) for the return so bus gate again. This flight is very empty with only 20 passengers. Service is the same as inbound flight.

Immediately after take off we turn right over the sea and do a big loop before crossing the airport and flying along the western arm of the alps. Great views of the peaks and valleys, glaciers and lakes of central alps. We fly straight in to Zurich so flight time is short (just under an hour).

Enough time for another lounge visit then head out to end gate for the flight back to Rome. This time there's a big queue at security and so nearly everyone is onboard already and walk straight onto aircraft. This flight on the A320 is almost full. Apparently one of the passengers is a celebrity or vip as she is met at the arrival gate by half a dozen officials and a very large bouquet of flowers. We arrive at terminal C so have a short ride on the sky train to immigration, where the officer seems surprised to have a non-EU passenger whose passport he needs to stamp. Very quickly through though.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
SEE HIS HOLINESS AND THE ETERNAL CITY

The ride into the city was fairly quick, as was check in at the Hilton Rome Cavalieri - a great use of a couple of free night vouchers earned during a promo earlier this year.

Get a Rome view exec suite - wow. There´s a welcome bottle of bubbly and daily fruit platter. Along with the lounge access is included 15 minutes free internet (thats for the whole stay, not per night or per time logged on). Again the charged rate for internet is rather steep.

Before coming here I'd read some of the many threads on this hotel and was worried it had been overhyped, but have to agree it is pretty good.

The city shuttle timetable has changed since the most recent one I saw posted. Now goes hourly from 8:30am to 12:30pm then a 3 hour break before hourly again from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. The return from Piazza Barberini is half an hour later.

I feel like I need to walk to burn off some calories - and so walk everywhere in Rome. The main sights are easily walkable with shuttle drop off point roughly in the middle of them. From the hotel to Vatican is about 30 minutes - slightly more return with the hotel being at the top of the hill. From the hotel to say parliament on the east side of Tiber River is about an hour.

The early morning walk is pleasantly cool with a light mist, but this soon burns off to another warm day. Traffic fumes are bad on the busier roads.

Spend all day walking the sights as far as Palatine and Circus Massimo. Manage to time it just right to be at St Peter´s when Pope Benedict does a tour of the huge crowd on a popemobile before giving service commemorating All Saints Day. The huge piazza is about 3/4 full of people - quite a crowd. Despite being only a metre from barrier to the path where his holiness drove around, I was glad to be tall. Anyone not tall or standing on shoulders had to rely on the many large tv screens to see.


Afterwards join a very long queue for Sistine Chapel and Vatican museums. Takes about 2 hours to enter - but definitely worth it.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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5,546
I TO I - ITALY TO ISRAEL

I really enjoyed Rome and would like to return with a bit more time. What an information overload though. Literally hundreds of interesting buildings, sculptures, streets and piazzas; all in a small area.

I found the main sights to be well signposted from several blocks away with a sign on every second corner or so. Less well known sights are not so well signposted, but it is fun turning a corner to find something historical or beautiful off the main path.

So back to Barcelona for an overnight stop. At Rome airport, Iberia uses a contract lounge iMosaici. Not great but much better than Lufthansa which just gives a 10 euro credit to use at the cafe opposite the lounges. iMosaici has a modest sized selection of drinks served at a bar (ie not self serve) but limited snacks. 2 computers, but need to hand over passport to use them. The lounge has a nice view over the tarmac.

The flight to Barcelona was uneventful, same aircraft, service, etc as the Iberia flight to Rome. On arrival we have a very long taxi to a bus gate, which means a late arrival. No bags to pick up so straight to train where I just miss one. So by the time get into Sants Estacion the remaining time for free transfer to metro is running out.

This time I stay at the new Hilton Diagonal Del Mar. It is beside the fairly new Forum. Get upgraded to a corner executive room ^ with great views over the forum and out to sea as well as up the Avenida Diagonal to Torre Agbar and Sagrada Familia with the mountains as backdrop. Stunning. Even the bath has a window at just the right height to look over the city.

In the lounge grab a snack and several Belgian beers before heading out. Several hours later its groundhog day. Any night in Barcelona with no sleep and an early journey out. So no sleep but just enough time to freshen up and repack before out to catch one of the first flights of the day.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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5,546
I TO I - ITALY TO ISRAEL continued

Unlike the Sliken Diagonal the cab arrives very quickly - it should as there is a rank right outside the hotel. I forgot to mention the complimentary cava, chocolate and fruit ^ from the Hilton Diagonal Del Mar.

At this early hour the drive to the airport is quick. Manage to get boarding passes for both of today's flights, then through security. Airside, nothing is open yet but within a few minutes a few shops open as does the Spanair lounge.

The lounge is okay but not great. Has a computer so I check emails while having an espresso. Soon its time to board. Despite again flying past the alps there are no views due to heavy cloud the whole way. A nice breakfast is served.

At Frankfurt we get a bus gate. Being a full A321 it takes a long time to deplane and I start getting nervous. I have a tight connection of an hour and there is a long walk to the far end of the terminal ahead of me, plus the extra security checks that are a fact of life for Israel flights. Already it is later than the boarding time and I havent even entered the terminal yet.

As the bus pulls up to the doors I bolt and run up the stairs and along some passages to the security check point between A & C parts of the terminal. There I am further held up as the 2 passengers in front of me both have something suspicious showing in the xray and made to open bags. My pleas of a tight connection are ignored. One security person makes me test if carry-ons are small enough by putting through the metal carry-on template. Phew dont need to check them.

Eventually through security and then passport control, and by now it is about 20 minutes to scheduled departure, so again run through the corridors to the second security check for flights to Israel. Once through I enter the crowded departure lounge - boarding has not started yet. Meet up with ozstamps, punki and hunki.

Shortly afterwards we board. Departure is late but the flight time is short, so we arrive only a few minutes late. After running so far the pre-departure drinks go down well! Lunch was nice enough but again a very slow service taking 2 1/2 hours from start to finish - or most of the flight.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
ISRAEL

See the TLV Do thread for some of the activities.

Stayed at Hilton Tel Aviv. Security check-point before entering hotel. The key card wallet, stationary, etc all promoting 40th anniversary of the hotel, and sadly it looks real tired and showing its age. No room upgrade this time, but did get complimentary half bottle of cab sav, chocolates and large fruit platter.

After I was out the first night I noticed they had completely cleaned and tidied the room at the same time as turning down the bed.

There are 2 lounges - one for exec floors and one for HHonors Gold & Diamond. I only saw the latter and fairly small and basic. 3 small rooms (open "doors" between them), 1 of which is smoking. Some nibbles and drinks in the evening. Local newspaper only. A tv. I decided to have breakfast in the main restaurant which has a much bigger selection, more space and is not as smoky.

Opposite the hotel an apartment building has an exoskeleton reminiscent of some of Gaudi's works in Barcelona.

There's a nice constant sea breeze, so even though temperature is low to mid 20s C it is comfortable.

Do lots of walking, both organised as part of the Do and in free time.

Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum, was a bit overwhelming. The Garden of Gethasemane was nice and peaceful (amazing how thick the trunks of the ancient olive trees). The bazaar reminded me of the grand bazaar in Istanbul, only on a slope and less claustrophobic. Walked lots (some of it unintentionally - see the do thread) around the jewish and christian quarters of the old city. We visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the early evening darkness (and its very dark inside) - lots of very significant artifacts and thus very crowded. By contrast the Western Wall was floodlight and kind of eerie with all the fences around the plaza and the 2 mosques looking down on the plaza behind the walls.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
A MARATHON FLIGHT SEQUENCE

So far I've been very lucky with the weather. The first rain of the trip was overnight only and thus avoided, and apart from a couple of cool mornings the temperature has been quite warm - generally mid 20s C.

So managed to fit in another nice walk in the morning before leaving early for the airport. I'd been warned of lengthy delays at security before check in so was prepared for the 1 1/2 hours it took to get questioned, bags xrayed and inspected before arriving at check in counter. For some reason (I dont know why), Lufthansa and Austrian check in is on the arrivals level, with the other airlines' check in upstairs.

Get the next few boarding passes issued quickly, as well as an invitation card for the Dan lounge. Upstairs there is another security check and a surprisingly quick passport control. I change the last of my shekels (apart from coins which donate to charity) and then go to the lounge as the airport is fairly small with several duty free shops and some cafes (and mcdonalds myefre).

I was invited into the inner VVIP lounge (no I'm not making that name up), I presume because of my SEN status as it seemed first passengers without status were not invited and I was travelling this leg in business. After 10 seconds I decide to ditch the VVIP for the main Dan lounge. The VVIP lounge has very limited snacks and drinks (eg no soft drinks, no tea/coffee) and not much else other than half a dozen seats. Whereas the main lounge is much bigger (was quite crowded by the time of the flight) and has a better selection of food and drinks, some tvs, newspapers and magazines, and a few computers (free but auto logged off after 30 minutes).

I catch up on some messages and post some more of this trip report. Punki and Hunki are again on the same flight (as far as Frankfurt) so we talk a bit too.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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A MARATHON FLIGHT SEQUENCE continued

The flight is again oversold, but boarding is orderly and we depart on time. Immediately after take-off we bank sharply left and then right - presumably to avoid overflying Tel Aviv.

The meal service (again good) is quicker on this flight so a chance to nap. We chase the setting sun for a while but eventually it is dark. Flying over the Balkans, Austria and Germany we see lights of many towns and cities - must be reasonably clear skies. Towards the end of the flight we see below us the rising moon. Arrive at Frankfurt on time so I have long enough to make worthwhile a visit to the Lufthansa F terminal, which requires clearing immigration. The terminal is not really set up for connecting passengers (Lufthansa prefers these to use the F lounges within the main terminal) and so when I arrive at ground floor instead of the entry one level up I need to get buzzed to get in (no easy way to get up this level outside).

The F terminal is very nice - almost identical to the F lounge. The differences that I could tell/remember (from just the one visit a week and a half ago) are much more space (particularly tonight with only about 15 passengers in the large F terminal), baths as well as showers, wider selection of food and drinks (I counted 9 varieties of extra virgin olive oil alone!).

Have enough time to relax and freshen up before its time to head out to the aircraft. Although there's supposed to be a choice between Mercedes or Porsche for the transfer, tonight there are only mercs available. Who cares though? It feels like I'm a vip (as if!) during the drive out to the aircraft but I successfully resist the temptation to wave out the window. Up the lift and straight on board and upstairs to my F seat. Unlike the flight from Singapore, this time F is only half full so plenty of space to spread out, and also much better service.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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MENU LH F FRA-SIN


HORS D'OUVRE FROM THE APPETIZER CART

Caviar with the traditional garnishes (ed note - much more generous this time)

Deepwater prawns with braised radish

Tuna pastrami with caponata and ponzu zabaglione

Duck galantine roasted, with braised Belgian endive and pepper orange sauce

Ratatouille vegetable confit with Swiss balsamico and tomato marmalade

Swiss "pizokels" pasta with leaf spinach and fried onions

Bread rolls, toast and butter


ENTREES

Goose roasted, with red cabbage, potato dumplings and herbed butter

Turbot with pureed peas and lobster sauce

Simmental veal shank glazed, served on pumpkin and quark cheese gnocchi


CHEESE AND DESSERT

International cheese - bleu d'auvergne, gruyere, morbier, pave sauvage and tete de moine accompanied by fig mustard and grapes

Chocolate royal victoria jungfrau on a crunchy paillette with frozen wild berries

Passion fruit consomme with buttermilk mousse

Coffee, cappuccino, espresso and tea

Specialty dessert wines


HOT BEVERAGES

Jacobs coffee

Espresso

Cappuccino

Eilles tea specialties

Assam special broken

Earl grey premium blatt

Gruntee asia superior blatt

Rooibos vanilla

Yogi tea himmlischer gluckstee


WINE LIST

CHAMPAGNE

Cuvee Rare, Champagne Piper-Heidsieck, France

MONTHLY PROPOSAL

2000 The William Wine, Graham Beck, South Africa

WHITE WINE

2004 Keltic Terre, Pinot Blanc Spatlese trocken, Krug'scher Hot, Germany

2002 California Chardonnay, De Loach, USA

2004 Cuvee Bonvin, Assemblage Blanc, Bonvin, Switzerland

RED WINE

2000 Il Langobardo Rosso, Provincia di Pavia IGT, Cantine di Casteggio, Italy

1999 Chateau Bouscaut, Cru Classe, Pessac-Leognan, France

DESSERT WINE

2004 Silvaner Eiswein, Weingut Guntrum, Nierstein, Germany

SPIRITS

Eaux-de-Vie de Marc de Chateauneuf du Pape, Domaine Duclaux, France

Campari

La Ina Sherry

Lufthansa Cocktail

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Old No 7

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Glenfiddich Single Malt, Special Reserve 12 Years Old

Smirnoff Red Vodka

Bombay Sapphire Distilled London Dry Gin

Cognac Lheraud Cuvee 30

Calvados Coeur de Lion VSOP

Fernet Branca

Tequila

Schladerer Williams Birne

Etter Zuger Kirsch, Jahrgang 1994, 42% Vol

LIQUEUR AND PORT

Baileys Irish Cram

Niepoort Portwein LBV 2000

MINERAL WATER

FRUIT JUICES

Apple juice

Tomato juice

Orange juice

SOFT DRINKS

Coca-cola, coca-cola light, sprite

Kinley tonic water, Kinley bitter lemon, Kinley ginger ale

GERMAN BEERS

Warsteiner Pils

Clausthaler, non-alcoholic


BREAKFAST

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Fresh fruit - papaya, pineapple, orange, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapefruit and blueberries

Chocolate banana musli, yoghurt, cereal and fresh milk

Bread, rolls, toast, croissants and danish pastry, butter, preserves, honey and nutella

Smoked salmon and halibut

Roasted loin of veal

Bresaola ham and chicken

Morbier, camembert and nettle cheese

Scrambled eggs freshly prepared upon your request with your choice of bacon or chives
 

Kiwi Flyer

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The flight passes fairly quickly. Service is great as is the food. Head to my second home, the Singapore Silver Kris Lounge, where I freshen up, catch up on email and post some more of this report. Briefly catch up with GottaRequalify before we both head out on our onward flights.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Messages
5,546
A MARATHON FLIGHT SEQUENCE continued

For the second time in less than 2 weeks I had missed out on seeing the A380. Firstly in Frankfurt where it was there the day after I passed through, and secondly in Singapore where until a few days ago it was scheduled to be after its first long haul test flight when I arrived from Frankfurt. Unfortunately for me, some engines needed replacing and so the flight to Singapore has been rescheduled by 3 days. Hopefully I'll get another chance soon.

Anyway it's now time to head back out to the gate. For some reason flights to New Zealand often are parked right at the end. As usual at Singapore the show as closing/boarding very early. I notice they have changed the label from "final call" to "gate closing". I leave the lounge about 20 minutes before the scheduled departure and along the way am passed by several passengers running to the gate. I let them pass and continue at measured speed, knowing there is still enough time to make the flight - sure enough board with 5 minutes to spare.

There is a short delay as someone failed to make the flight and there bags were unloaded. This also seems to happen on the Singapore to New Zealand flights far more than other SQ flights, at least in my experience. Fortunately unlike previous times when this has led to a delay of an hour or more the bags are found quickly and we pushback only 20 minutes late.

As usual the SQ F service is superb - despite a totally full first class. Pre-departure dom or 2. 2 different types of warm nuts - decline both. Hot towels pre-departure, pre- and post- meals. Nice dinner - with much faster service than LH. Amazingly (for me) I manage to sleep most of the flight and so just get the tail end of breakfast.

We arrive on time in Auckland after strong tail winds en route. The international apron is looking quite empty with just half a dozen Air New Zealand jets of various sizes - the mid morning departures having all left and Singapore Airlines being (today) the first of the asian arrivals. On the remote stand there's also a Polynesian Blue aircraft - the first I've seen, which is not surprising given it only recently started service taking over from Samoa's Polynesian Airlines.

While taxiing a number of other flights land behind us - Korean Air from Seoul (duh!), Air New Zealand from Singapore, Air New Zealand from Hong Kong, Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur. Its a busy time of day and bad news for immigration & agriculture screening wait times if you happen to be on one of the later of these flights.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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DINNER from Singapore to Auckland

Appetisers
Chilled malossol caviar with melba toast and condiments

Tian of lobster with avocado and lotus root, chilli mango coulis and basil oil

Soup
Broth of chicken with vegetables

Fish maw and Chinese Yunnan ham soup

Salad
Fine field greens, hazelnut oil and mustard dressing, thousand island dressing

Main courses
Seared sirloin with red wine butter and jus, sauteed haricot vert and pont neuf potatoes

Seared tuna in black pepper with broccoflower and rice-shaped pasta

Hot-wok chicken with shimeji mushrooms, seasonal vegetables and fragrant rice

Roasted Jerusalem artichoke with baby carrot, zucchini ribbon, asparagus, roma tomato with grapefruit and pesto

Cheese
Selection of cheese with garnishes

Fresh fruit
A selection of fresh fruit

Dessert
Warm chocolate cake with Haagen Dazs Belgian chocolate ice cream

From the bakery
Oven fresh rolls with a choice of extra virgin olive oil or butter.

Garlic bread.

Hot beverages
Freshly brewed coffee.

Espresso or cappuccino.

Selection of tea.

Pralines
To end on a sweet note


BEFORE TOUCH-DOWN from Singapore to Auckland
(ed note - served about 75 minutes before landing, a much more reasonable time than on some other flights I have taken where it is 3 hours before landing)

Juices
A choice of apple, tomato or freshly squeezed orange

Fruit
Fresh fruit plate

Light starters
Choice of cereals or yoghurt, cornflakes with milk or Birchermuesli, plain or fruit yoghurt

Wholesome beginnings
Teochew fish porridge, rice porridge with sliced white pomfret fillet and condiments

Grilled breakfast veal sausage with herb jus, sauteed mushrooms, tomato and potatoes

Fresh eggs with ham or veal sausage, vine-ripened tomato and sauteed mushrooms, baked soft boiled or scrambled on potato cake

From the bakery
Assorted breakfast rolls

Butter, jam, marmalade or honey

Hot beverages
Freshly brewed coffee

Espresso or cappuccino

Selection of tea

BEVERAGES

Special C0cktails
Orange cooler. A light tangy drink that stimulates the taste buds, created from orange juice and ginger ale with a touch of lime cordial.

C0cktails
Singapore sling. A famous c0cktail since the early 1900s, made from dry gin, DOM Benedictine, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Angostura bitters, Grenadine, lime and pineapple juice.

Silver kris sling. One of Singapore Airlines' special touches, this c0cktail is a delicious mix of gin, Cointreau, orange juice and pineapple juice, topped with champagne.

Gin fizz. A delightful concoction of gin and lemon juice, topped with soda.

Cloud nine. A refreshing tropical mix of rum, Cointreau and pineapple juice, topped with soda.

Screwdriver

Bloody Mary

Daiquiri

Red or white wine cooler

Aperitifs
Campari

Dry Vermouth

Non-alcoholic c0cktail
Citrus Royale

Tropical Sparkle

Golden Spice

Fruit Spritzer

Sunrise Surprise

Spirits
Bombay Sapphire Gin

Cognac XO - Hennessy

Chivas Royal Salute Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey

Macallan 12 years old Single Malt Whisky

Absolut Vodka

Bacardi Carta Blanca

Liqueurs
Cointreau

Tia Maria

Baileys Original Irish Cream

Beer
International selection

Champagne
Dom Perignon 1998

Krug Grande Cuvee

White wines
2004 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Meursault 2000

Red wines
1997 Chateau Reynella Cabernet Merlot

Chateau Cos D'Estournel 1998 Saint-Estephe

Port
Warre's Twenty Year Old Tawny

Tea selection
Pure Ceylon Tea

Earl Grey

Darjeeling

Japanese Green Tea

Chinese Jasmine Tea

Camomile

Decaffeinated Tea

Mint Tea

Fruit Tea

Gourmet coffees
Brazil Santos Bourbon

Colombian Supremo

Jamaican Blue Mountain

Kenyan AA Kilimanjaro

Specialty coffees
Brewed coffee

Cafe Royal

Espresso

Cappuccino

Cafe Latte

Cafe au Lait

Decaffeinated Coffee

Mocha

Other beverages
Hot chocolate

Ovaltine

Milo

Mineral water
Carbonated mineral water

Non-carbonated mineral water

Fruit juices
Apple

Orange

Pineapple

Tomato

Soft drinks
A range of regular or low-calorie drinks is available

Iced drinks
Iced Fruit Tea

Iced Tea

Iced Mint Tea

Iced Coffee

Iced Mocha

Iced Chocolate

Iced Ovaltine

Iced Milo
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
A MARATHON FLIGHT SEQUENCE continued

I have another flight in a few hours, so not wanting to spend time clearing immigration twice I head for the transit desk. Auckland airport is currently undergoing renovations to separate incoming and outgoing passengers in the international terminal. While part of it is open and in use (see my earlier posts and also a thread in the Air New Zealand forum), it is not yet complete. So instead of a nice passage for transits you have to wend past construction and then up stairs or lift.

At the transit desk I was surprised to be told only Air New Zealand and certain other airlines, Singapore not being one of them, could be dealt with at the transit desk. Use the phone opposite and told can check in at the gate when it opens in a couple of hours.

So head along the top deck, down stairs and then back up escalator to the lounge (what a cumbersome route :( ). At first the lounge bouncers were not going to let me in as I had no boarding pass, but when I showed my Air NZ Gold Elite card they relented and I was in.

Enough time to freshen up. Sorry I am being called for flight - to be continued ...
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,546
CGK said:
Remember what I told you when I transfer at AKL from SQ SIN-AKL to connect to TG AKL-SYD? Yes, the transit desk said that if I took NZ instead of TG, he could issue me the BP. Thus, he told me to wait at the lounge until the TG check-in opens.
Got to the NZ lounge, and had to explain the whole thing before they admitted me to the lounge. And at the end, I received my BP at the gate just before boarding.
I'd forgotten that. I would have been mightily annoyed if I hadnt been let into the lounge, especially as it is Air NZ operating the transit desk that couldnt check me in. I cant recall any other airport where a major airline cannot check in at the transfer desk (admittedly in some large airports it can be only particular transfer desks).

Anyway, after a shower they redeemed themselves by phoning SQ for me (without my asking) and getting me checked in. I still needed to pick up boarding passes at the gate.
 
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