Best Airport Feature Ever?

One of the reasons I haven’t posted recently (besides the fact that the weather has been terrible, meaning no excursions) is because I’ve been travelling again for work. Being at the conferences in France is always a ton of fun, but getting there from New Zealand is, in a word, exhausting. Two ten- to twelve-hour long flights back-to-back wears me down physically (I always get sick afterwards) and mentally (changing time zones by twelve hours is as bad as it could be). The layovers allow for a nice leg stretch but much of the time is just spent waiting, acutely aware that I’m not getting any closer to the end of my journey.

This trip started off no different. A coworker and I boarded the flight in Auckland at midnight, bound for Singapore. I had dinner, watched some TV (the series Atlanta is great), and managed to get a decent amount of sleep. Despite snoozing for five or six hours, I was groggy when we disembarked in Singapore. It was before dawn there and we had an hour or so before the next flight, a thirteen-hour haul to London. Before sitting down to wait, we decided to wander around the airport. We passed the usual airport amenities- duty-free shopping, restaurants, in-airport hotel, smoking areas- but then came across something more unique:


The butterfly garden seemed closed as it was dark outside, but we tried the doors and they opened! We slowly walked around the garden in the dark, seeing no butterflies, before the humidity got to us and we left. We acquired WiFi codes from the informational desk (free and unlimited!) and my coworker settled down to send some emails. After poking around the internet on my phone for a bit, I noticed that the sun had come up and decided to head back to the butterfly garden. This time, the butterflies were awake and busy getting their breakfasts from living flowers and feeders. My phone didn’t handle the morning light well, but I tried to get pictures of all the different types fluttering around.

I only spent about ten minutes in the garden before it was time to board the flight to London. Even though the butterfly garden was open to the tarmac, the relatively fresh air and oxygen from the plants revived me and made facing the next flight a bit easier. All this relaxation was undone by the thirteen hours in the air and then missing our connection to Nice, forcing us to spend the night near Gatwick before flying out at 7:00 a.m. the next day … but hey, you take what you can get on these types of journeys.

(Note: the header image is of the 10,000th Airbus plane ever made, which I thought was neat!)


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