Queenstown (Part 1)

Please forgive me.

There. I've left it in your hands. Right from the outset, I am going to acknowledge that in this blog I very well may repeat myself. A lot. With words and with pictures. At least, it will seem like I do. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to run out of descriptive words. Believe me, I'll try to vary them. I mean, I've already got thesaurus.com open and ready with a slew of synonyms for "beautiful," and "amazing," but there are only so many.

And while you're at it, why don't you go ahead and set aside your insane jealousy. Yeah, I know, you're not jealous.

But you will be.

I know sometimes I can tend to be pretty verbose. And Kyler would probably tell you that there are plenty of times when I talk too much. And as a person who loves to write, I often have this silent background commentary on life going on in my head. You know, how would I write what is happening or what I'm seeing at that time. So it should really say something that from the time we got over the Southern Alps in the plane (from Auckland, NZ to Queenstown, NZ) to the time we landed at the airport, and many times over the course of the following two days, I was stunned speechless. I found myself just breathing words like, "incredible," "wow," and "unreal." Yeah, I said, "unreal," a lot.

The day after Erin's wedding, we hopped on a plane for Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland is on the north island, and we were headed for Queenstown, NZ, which is on the south island. See?


We had to spend the night in Auckland, because they only fly one plane into Queenstown daily. It's in the middle of the mountains, and the airport doesn't have radar, so the pilots have to make a "blind" landing. And I was just giddy with excitement. 

But before I go on, I just had to give a little shout-out to Jetstar, an Aussie airline that carried us into Queenstown, and the way they load luggage. Is this not the smartest thing ever? No wet bags, no slinging them around a billion times damaging them, just load onto a big box, transport to the plane, stick them on the cool little elevators, and ta-da! on the plane safe and sound. Brilliant. And probably loads more expensive and difficult, la-de-da, whatever, I don't care.  I like it.


Moving on...

So long, Auckland!
(Yep, again. This will have been the second of the four times 
we were in the Auckland Airport.)


...are clouds.


...are not clouds.

They are, in fact...

...the Southern Alps.

Kyler shot a little video from our seats. (I was busy darting back-and-forth from one side of our only-half-full plane to the other taking as many stinkin' photos as I could. You may recall from my first travel blog my comment about my inner-stereotypical-Asian-tourist that was just dying to get out. Well, you'll be happy to know that on this flight, I didn't much care how silly I looked. I was taking a billion photos. So there.)

You may want to turn your sound down or mute it; the noise from the plane engine pretty much drowns everything out. Although I think Kyler may have some commentary on some of the videos.

Like I mentioned earlier, I said "unreal," a lot.




When I finally settled in to enjoy the ride in (okay, they made me sit down because it got a little bumpy and we were about to begin our descent...) I turned on my iPod. God is so incredible. I love His omniscence, and how He regularly sends me just the song I need to hear. Or just the song that communicates exactly what I'm feeling but can't put into words.

I didn't even look at my iPod when I turned it on, and it started playing an awesome song by the band Starfield, one of my favorite worship bands. The song was "Great In All The Earth," and the lyrics were so fitting for the scenery just outside my window:


The world is Yours and everything in it
Is all at Your command.
There is no end to Your domain
No height or depth You don't sustain.

Great in all the earth is Your glory oh God!
The universe declares how amazing You are,
Over history and eternity,
You alone are Lord and King!

There is none like You, Jesus, there is none like You.
Starfield / Great In All The Earth


That jagged looking peak in the distance is Mt. Aspiring, one of the tallest mountains in New Zealand.

As you can see, these were no puny mountains. We weren't flying too terribly high above them, which gives you a pretty good idea of just how big they are.

Beginning our descent into Queenstown...

That's Lake Wakatipu that winds all through the valley. It was a gorgeous, translucent turquoise.

The airport had a single, long runway, and we de-boarded right onto the tarmac. Most of the planes in and out of this airport were props. We saw a 737 like ours take off a few times in the two days we were there, and it was a sight to see. Not much room for error.

Kyler's debut in our steer-from-the-right-side Suzuki Forrester rental.

He was, of course, uber-confident the entire time. And he did pretty great too (you know, after we avoided the first 3-4 accidents.) Oh, and there was the constantly-turning-on-his-windshield-wipers-instead-of-his-turn-signal thing, but you know, details.

Here they are, for your viewing pleasure, our first ten minutes as left-side-of-the-road driver and navigator. The second ten minutes we sounded a whole lot like that segment at the end of Disney's The Incredibles, where Bob and Helen are arguing over which exit to take and how to drive....you know that part? Yeah, so I'll spare you the details of that particular video. Ha!

Despite all of our Incredibles-esque shenanigans, we found and checked into our hotel just a few minutes later.

The backpacker place we were going to stay in virtually booted us out (they sold the room we were going to stay in) while we were in Melbourne, so we had to book this place only two days before we arrived. We got a decently inexpensive room at the last minute, and as it turned out, it was right on Lake Wakatipu and had near 180* unobstructed views. Here are a few from our room's balcony:

I wish I could keep going, but I'm exhausted. Jet lag is really kicking my butt! 
Stay tuned for my next blog, which will be chock-full of photos of (yes, there really can be) even more astounding scenery. I can't wait for you to see them all and tell you all about our adventures!

No comments: