So anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, we left Auckland yesterday for Queenstown, on the South Island of New Zealand. It appears to be the city of superlatives, if our guidebook and the brochures we picked up at the Auckland airport are considered trusted sources. "The ultimate year-round alpine destination", "voted as the friendliest place in the world by Conde Nast Traveller magazine", "from mild to wild and relaxing to invigorating".
Compared to the 12.5 hour flight from Los Angeles we survived the other day, the hour-and-a-half flight to Queenstown was a breeze. As we descended through through the clouds toward our destination, it was abundantly clear that we were slicing through a dramatic mountain range. These photos aren't so great, perhaps because I was worried that I was going to get my iPhone slapped out of my hand by an overzealous flight attendant, or because out-of-the-window airplane photos usually kind of suck generally, but I hope they give you a sense of the terrain. I could not see out of the right side of the plane, but several times, it looked as if the left wing tip was going to scrape the brown mountain face. Obviously, it did not and we landed safely in Queenstown.