Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It's not called Windy Wellington for nothing...

The only good thing about seeing this news on my phone was that by the time I read it I had managed to escape Wellington and was in an Auckland taxi heading home from the airport. Clearly, our plane was one of the lucky ones able to nip up in between gusts before Air NZ decided to can the whole operation, same as they did yesterday afternoon just as I got to the departure gate. Today's wasn't even that bumpy a flight - I've had many worse.

What I haven't had though, until yesterday, was an actual cancelled flight, which is pretty amazing really, considering the number I've taken. Delays, yes, but not one actually cancelled. Fortunately for me, it was mainly just a novelty, as well as a minor inconvenience and a moderately irritating extra expense. I wouldn't have liked to be the other people in the HUGE queue I found myself in subsequently, many of whom were going to miss international connections and were already going slightly fuzzy at the edges as they waited.
The thing to do, I discovered, was to ring reservations rather than wait to get up to the inevitably by-then frazzled desk clerk - the number came up in the Flight Cancelled message I received through my Air NZ app (technology, eh? So good when it works) - so I was able to choose my replacement flight and then duck out of the queue to head back into the city for a bonus night. Not bonus as in free, unfortunately - weather-related cancellations don't warrant accommodation vouchers - but there are worse places than Wellington to have to hang around unexpectedly. 

While it's a very undistinguished hotel - it doesn't even supply a pen, or moisturiser (I KNOW!) - the Ibis in Featherstone Street is in an excellent position. The waterfront is just a block away, with all its cultural and edible attractions, and so is Lambton Quay if shopping is, unlike mine, your thing. Just round the corner there's a very good little Breton café (called, wait for it, the Café Breton), with an authentically French waitress - I recommend the galette végétarienne, and wish I'd had room for the mille feuille afterwards - which is ideal for breakfast/lunch; and, for dinner, I enjoyed Dockside where the staff were genuinely friendly, the décor appealingly historic, the food excellent, and our inauthentically German waitress both enthusiastic and attentive. So, altogether, very far from a disaster.

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