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Thursday, November 13, 2014

FALL CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE: Day #11--The Sugar Club, Goodbye New Zealand and Hello Incheon


Why Mount Fuji?  Coming up.

After a quick one night stop in Auckland, I'm now at the airport heading off for Seoul.  I noticed in the New Zealand Air lounge:


Spirulina smoothie and a croissant served as my breakfast this morning.  I would have it again.

Last night I celebrated at the top of Sky Tower at The Sugar Club:


The chef is a rather famous Peter Gordon, and the cuisine is a sort of Spanish-Indian fusion reminiscent of Chefs Alex of DOM and Ferran of the now only mythical elBulli:  artistic, molecular and creative:


The Peking Duck above was served medium and was the best of the lot.  The food, however, was a bit too sour and natural (plant leaves and flowers I would not dream of consuming).  The service was fine...but the view was spectacular.


Auckland must have more rainbows than Honolulu.

I won't bother to explain any of the above dishes, for I forgot to take with me the menu details, but I had New Zealand white and red wines, from Marlborough and just outside Auckland, plus a Calvados.  The bill was around $150.  There is no tipping in this country.  Oh, I might add that I could see the Crystal Symphony from my table, and, while a kind of optical illusion, looked like it was just below this tower (which is 1000 feet + high):


I leave in a few minutes on the most difficult leg of this trip.  It will take me around 22 hours from hotel to hotel to eventually get to the Westin Chosun in Seoul.  You can't imagine the joy of downloading a 25 megapixel photo in a few seconds.  It took five minutes on the Crystal Symphony.

After a restful 10 hour flight, the plane approached Narita, when I saw this spectacular Mount Fuji view at sunset:


I went to the ANA lounge, where one feature is a kitchen serving ramen and curry:


My Aseana flight arrived at Incheon Airport at 9:50 PM, and I had less than an hour to clear immigration and customs, for the final bus to my hotel was to leave at 10:44PM.  Turns out the process, including changing money, took all of 20 minutes, for I got to the limousine bust stop in 20 minutes, bought my ticket (most of the ticket booths were closed) and waited in, for me, extreme cold.  It will get below freezing tomorrow morning.  My recommendation for you to minimize stress is to arrive into Incheon by 9PM.

This is getting almost boring, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average again broke an all-time record today, now up to 17,653.  West Texas crude oil dropped to $74,40/barrel, a 4-year low.

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