travelling the seven parts of the world
Feb 3rd, 2008

Thanks to the fact that we couldn't get any airplane tickets to Auckland from Perth at proper times, we had to leave Perth half past midnight (00:30) and arrive in Brisbane at 6:30 AM and then leave for Auckland and 9:00 AM. Due to timezone differences, that meant arriving at Auckland at 15:00 for, joy oh joy, a full night without any sleep. I thought that wasn't so bad, but then we ended up sleeping for 18 hours due to exhaustion and jet lag, and went without any food for 26 hours straight.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, and is dominated by the Sky Tower, located in the aptly named "Sky City". What surprised me was the lack of anything else to dominate the city, as buildings are pretty new, small, with ugly painting. To be honest, the whole place looked like some suburb of London. Which is why Auckland is more known for things to do rather than see, and as a starting point for attractions rather than the attraction itself.

The tower though is cool. It is the largest building in the Southern Hemisphere, and offers full 360 degree views of the surrounding city, as well as the few volcanoes around it. Here you can see the city and Rangitoto island (which we'll visit the next day), as well as how different the weather can be just a few kilometers apart.

One of the coolest things in the Sky Tower observation deck is the glass floor, where you You are told that the glass floor is 30 cm thick. You are told it is as strong as the concrete you are standing on. You see people walking over it. When you look at it, you think, this is going to be really easy. Every bit of logical thinking in you dictates that nothing should happen. But when you actually have to step on it, its like there is a sudden brain block. You just can't do it, and you arre bound to think twice about. And when you do it, you are bound to hold on to the handle, "just in case", as if the floor could actually brake.

Notice how she's holding the handle with one hand? That's what I'm talking about!