It was brisk and sunny outside as had been the majority of mornings of late. This morning was different, it was the first morning of level 2. And we were off to the reopening of the Sky Tower.
As a friend and I ventured back into the cbd, we remarked on the happenings of the last few weeks. The massive ups and downs, the loneliness of “singleton” bubbles and the loss of jobs. The motorway traffic wasn’t so bad for Auckland; we did note that people’s driving skills had not improved in the past two months: this made little impact on our excitement to be “out of the house’ and grateful for small freedoms.
As we entered sky city through the doors from the underground car park, we were welcomed with the aroma of clean floors and sparkling lifts. Large yellow stickers were placed adequately apart on the ground and everything was in order. There was a definite “health and safety had been here” vibe, which before the new “c word” would have gone unnoticed by yours truly.
We had half an hour before the re-opening of the sky tower so we decided to meander around the city. The surreal feeling of being back in the city after staring at our computer screens day and night, was something akin to being transported to that foreign place, you had visited as a child. The badly laid out footpaths and general disarray caused by the construction of the Citylink was still there. People along Victoria Street, shared knowing smiles. A new politeness and patience seemed to have settled among the populace. Caution and camaraderie learnt while walking that overzealous Labrador every day at 4:30pm perhaps?
We made our way back and were ushered in as some of the first visitors into the complex. At the entrance through the souvenir shop, we were greeted by 4-5 tower staff members. I’m known to be a cynic at the best of times, however it was obvious that they were genuinely happy to see us. Their enthusiasm was not lost on us and a few jokes were exchanged.
Both J. and I clambered into the lift and we noted the new policy of four in a lift at any one time. A lack of exertion over the last weeks and absence of much stimulus (other than Netflix binging and constant nourishment of toast and home-made cocktails) made for quite a sensory ride up to the observation deck on the 51st floor.
We were alone on the observation deck. We took a moment to look to the Waitematā, taking in the views across downtown towards Rangitoto. Behind us, staff diligently wiped bannisters and surfaces. They explained the revolving 10 minute cleaning protocols. Hand sanitizer was placed strategically for general use. While, we watched cars moving slowly below and the sky jump was prepared, we pondered what was to come in the next few months for the city below.
Thanks to the Sky Tower for having us.
Level 51 Main Observation Deck open 10 am – 8pm. (Last ticket 7:30pm).
Due to crowd control Level 60 Sky deck is currently closed.