Thursday, 14 February 2013

Baggage and butterflies

Having not flown long-haul for a while, I wasn't sure how good I was going to be at sleeping in plane seats.  Well, now I know the answer - pretty poor.  I tried the sitting up position, the slouched with knees up position (inadvertently turning on the overly bright reading light as I did) and the half turn position (quickly abandoned due to numb bum).  No position was comfortable, though at some point I must have dozed for a bit as I remember not looking at my watch for a whole hour...

On a brighter note, Changi airport is pretty cool.  There is a lot more greenery than typically found in airports, and a series of small gardens, including the beautiful orchid garden (which fortunately doesn't look quite so fluorescent in reality):

My flight into Singapore was slightly late landing, so unfortunately I missed the last of the free bus tours of Singapore tour for transit passengers.  But this did give me plenty of time to explore the airport.  First stop was the information point to pick up my free S$40 spending vouchers - this perk wasn't well advertised, but just goes to show what benefits you can get from reading the entire in-flight magazine from cover to cover.  Then had a bit of an explore around the orchid and sunflower gardens (sadly it was dull and raining so the sunflowers didn't look their best), and settled down for some dinner.  Feeling rather sleepy, I managed to grab a bed in the snooze lounge, which proved to be much more comfortable than a plane seat, and had a bit of a nap.  I then headed to the Ambassador Transit Lounge for a fantastic shower and some free drinks, before going for a wander round the Butterfly Garden.  The butterflies were rather hard to spot, being asleep and often disguised as dead leaves, but I reckon I counted about 6 or 7 different species.

So not a bad stopover, and all for free - thank you Singapore Airlines!  Next stage is Singapore to Brisbane, then I have a super-quick change to a different airline for the last leg to Wellington.  I am slightly concerned that whilst I may make it, my bag might not.  I seemed to cause great confusion to the lady at the check-in desk, who started off insisting that I would have to buy a visa for Australia, just to go out from my flight, pick my bag up and check it in again for the next flight!  Fortunately after a few enquiries and system over-rides it is apparently sorted - so I am just keeping my fingers crossed my bag appears on that conveyor belt...

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