Twenty-seven swans aswimming with ‘the maiden sought by a hundred lovers’*
New Zealand: Day 3, Auckland, Part 2
*The original Mãori name for the city We overnighted at the dock in Auckland and had most of a second day there. I opted for a 4-hour bus tour around the city and across the Auckland Harbor Bridge to the charming little town of Devonport. Afterwards, I took myself to the New Zealand Maritime Museum a couple blocks from our ship, because that’s what David would have wanted to do, and I’m glad I did. Red lampposts like this one line the dock...
Along the city waterfront... an ocean-going tug converted into a luxury yacht! The city boasts 135,000 registered yachts and launches.
‘Waiting for a Bite.’ We watched one fisherman land a good-size red snapper.
Over the bridge by bus into Devonport, residence of doctors, lawyers, judges, highly paid academics... small houses like these cost around $1.3 million NZ dollars, the equivalent of about $1MM U.S. So, no, Carol, who asked, it is not less expensive to live in NZ. I looked at a pair of Clark’s sandals that would have cost about $80 at home. They were $179 NZ = $120 U.S., or 50% more. Remember, like Hawai’i, everything has to get here by boat and go through several ports before it arrives on these islands that are almost at the bottom of the globe.
On the island’s waterfront is an old pump station converted into a small theatre called... The PumpHouse Theatre. Complete with a large lamentation (or bevy, or ballet, if you prefer) of black swans, originally brought from Australia and thriving in this climate. I counted at least two dozen on the shore.
Boring photo except for what it says about New Zealand’s ecological awareness: when a house or a large office building or, in this case, a school is being constructed or refurbished, it is entirely encased in plastic sheeting to keep all contaminants from escaping into the atmosphere. But what does that do to the lungs of the people working inside? And how hot does it get inside in the summer?
‘Mushroom Cloud.’ Then up a narrow road to the top of one dormant volcano (now used as a reservoir) for a view of another dormant volcano across the harbor. The mushroom is one of several dozen air vents for the reservoir.
View from the top of Devonport, back across the harbor. Within one block in downtown Auckland were skyscrapers belonging to Microsoft, IBM and DataCom. Plus lots of banks from around the world, e.g., Zurich. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of investment by Canada, Singapore and China.
In the afternoon I visited the Maritime Museum, a very homey institution assembled inside what I guess were seaside warehouses once upon a time. Everything from how the Mãori came here in their outrigger longboats around 1250-1300 A.D., to the European discovery in 1642 by Dutchman Abel Tasman, on the lookout for spices for the Dutch East India Company. The first British settlers arrived in Auckland in 1840. Impossible without a wide angle lens to get the whole boat into the frame... this is an early Mãori outrigger ‘sailboat.’ On earlier boats, the sails were made of finely woven reed mats. The Mãori are famous for their fine mat weaving.
Then came the whalers...
...and the emigrées, mostly from Britain but also from the Continent, Canada and the U.S.
Tight quarters for the immigrant families uprooting and sailing half-way ’round the world in hopes of a better life.
Which of these lovelies would you choose to grace your bow? #