The Year of Travel

Over the past twelve months I have done a lot of travel, enough to get me to gold frequent flier status.

Being a numbers and lists geek, I have broken all the travel down into the following summary:

  • Air NZ's 777-200
    Air NZ’s 777-200
    10 trips taken: 4 domestic, 3 to New Zealand and 3 long haul.
  • 26 flights flown: 7 for work, 4 for free on airpoints.
  • 6 airlines travelled on: Virgin Australia (7x), Air New Zealand (6x), Delta (6x), Air Canada (1x), Etihad (4x), Scoot (2x).
  • 11 plane models flown on: 737, 767-300, 777 (-200 and -300), 787-9, A320, A330, A340, ATR-72, CRJ-200, ERJ-145.
  • 16 airports transited through: Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Canberra, Auckland, LAX, Orlando, Boston, Montreal, Quebec, JFK, Abu Dhabi, Munich, Amsterdam, Singapore.
  • 8 countries visited: Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Singapore.
  • Delta's ERJ-145
    Delta’s ERJ-145
    27 cities visited*: Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Auckland, Wanganui, Ohakune, Orlando, Boston, Montreal, Quebec City, Munich, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Würzburg, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Leipzig, Berlin, Potsdam, Osnabrück, Wuppertal, Bonn, Cologne, Aachen, Maastricht, The Hague, Singapore.
    (* I define visited as having deliberately gone to that city for work or leisure. Transiting through a city is not counted.)
  • 16 train journeys taken between cities in four countries (Canada, Germany, Austria, Netherlands).
  • Experienced jet-lag in 7 time zones: AEST, AEDT, NZST, EDT, CET, SGT.
  • Virgin Australia's 737
    Virgin Australia’s 737
    15 hotels slept in for a total of 36 nights and 14 nights spent staying on friend’s couches, floors and spare rooms.

Finally, some good and bad highlights from the year:

  • Missed connections: 1 due to late inbound flight.
  • Best Airport: Gold Coast – due to Virgin Australia’s fantastic ground staff
  • Worst Airport Terminals: Abu Dhabi terminal 1 and Boston terminal B.
  • Best food: Etihad Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi (dinner) and Eithad Abu Dhabi to Sydney (breakfast).
  • Scoot's 787-9
    Scoot’s 787-9
    Best flights: Etihad Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi and Scoot Singapore to Sydney (both red-eyes!)
  • Worst flight: Air Canada Boston to Montreal – grumpy cabin crew.
  • Best planes: Etihad’s A340 and Scoot’s 787-9.
  • Worst plane: Air New Zealand’s 767-300.
  • Best ground staff: Virgin Australia at Gold Coast.
  • Worst ground staff: Delta at JFK.

I have now caught the travel bug, nine years ago I had never been on a plane, six years ago I’d never been outside of New Zealand, less than three years ago I had never been outside of Australia or New Zealand.

I’m unlikely to repeat this much travel in the coming year, or years. But I’m scheming plans for more amazing places I now want to visit. Returning to Europe remains high in first place in those plans.

Singapore Zoo and Night Safari

Three Days in Singapore

In mid-April I went up to Singapore for three days. This was my first time in Asia and the decision to visit Singapore was mainly made because of friends who live there and great airfares on Singapore Airline’s budget carrier Scoot.

The flight from Sydney to Singapore left just after midday and arrived almost an hour early around 6.30pm local time. By the time I had collected my bags, cleared immigration, and caught the MRT to my hotel it was quite late in the evening so I had an early night.

The next morning I met up with an Australian workmate who was also visiting Singapore and we explored around Little India. This was a little bit of a culture shock as it was not what I was expecting Singapore to be like.

After getting lost a few times we found a MRT station and headed through to the Marina Bay area which is a complete contrast to Little India. At Marina Bay we met up with another friend at the Merlion and walked around Marina Bay to Marina Bay Sands where we had lunch.

Continue reading “Three Days in Singapore”

Previous and Next Month Links in Archives

It has just taken me around an hour to try and insert some previous and next month navigation links to the blog monthly archives. It seems that WordPress doesn’t have any real native support for this time of navigation which is odd.

Anyway the code below is my very hacky version of how to do it. I placed this in my theme’s archive.php file

<?php //twentyeleven_content_nav( 'nav-above' ); ?>
<nav id="nav-above" style="display:inline">
$archive_year = get_the_time('Y');
$archive_month = get_the_time('m');
$archive_month = $archive_month - 1;
if ($archive_month == 0) {
$archive_month = 12;
$archive_month_next = $archive_month + 2;
$archive_year_next = $archive_year;
if ($archive_month_next > 12) {
$archive_month_next %= 12;
echo '<a href="' . get_month_link( $archive_year, $archive_month) . '">Previous Month</a>';
if ($archive_year_next.sprintf('%02d', $archive_month_next) < = date('Y', strtotime("now")).date('m', strtotime("now"))) { echo '<a href="' . get_month_link( $archive_year_next, $archive_month_next) . '" style="float:right">Next Month</a>'; } ?> </nav>

A Day in Melbourne

On Easter Monday I went to Melbourne for the day to see some kiwi friends who were visiting from NZ for Easter.

With no firm plans for the day we ended up nearly identically repeating the first trip I made to Melbourne in 2009 (which come to think of it is six years ago – time really does fly).

After meeting my friends at Fed Square we walked along the Yarra through to Docklands and then caught a tram back into the city, getting lost in the shopping malls until we found lunch.

Continue reading “A Day in Melbourne”

Site Meter Rewriting Links on WordPress Sites

This afternoon I discovered that a number of relative links on this site were being redirected through

At first I thought that this site may have been compromised. It hasn’t. After a quick Google search it turns out that the Site Meter tracking code has been changed and now silently rewrites links.

Fortunately for me I haven’t noticed any of these links inserting or redirecting people to ad sites, but there are stories online that suggest these actions may have happened.

The way in which this script has changed is really inappropriate and annoying. The offending script has now been removed from this site.