January 28-February 4, 2018
Have you ever met anyone who’s visited New Zealand who didn’t absolutely love it?
Aside from the country’s beauty, I think many love it because it’s far far away. Getting there is a real voyage to the other side of the world yet, once there, it’s comfortable, because English is the native tongue. Also, let’s be honest, we recognize ourselves in the faces we see. I confess I was surprised at first that there are as many New Zealanders (and Australians) whose families emigrated there from India, China and other parts of Asia. Though, of course, the initial émigrés were British:
Don’t get me wrong: I loved the more exotic lands, as you can tell from the fact that it got harder and harder to limit photos because I was fascinated by so much that was so different and less ‘comfortable.’ I look forward to seeing many more far away places next year.
Auckland: Out for a morning stroll. New Zealand has an overabundance of possums — they are to NZ what bunnies are to Oz — enough to trim coats and sweaters. I really liked Auckland.
Auckland Art Gallery: the ‘Obliteration Room.’
Here’s my shipboard friend Barbara exchanging the traditional Māori hongi (greeting) with elder Rawinia at the Māori village near Tauranga. The Māori arrived in New Zealand in the 14th century — from whence is still being debated; the Brits landed 600 years later.
You know I love architecture. The Christchurch Art Gallery is one of many (many) new buildings. The city was severely damaged by a 7.1 earthquake in 2010, followed six months later by an even more devastating 6.3.
Ibid. Same building. They offer occasional tours in NZ Sign Language. I wondered if the hand on the roof was saying something. Google couldn’t prove or disprove.
We docked at Dunedin on the calmest, warmest, bluest morning, and I couldn’t help singing ‘Small craft in a harbour that’s still and serene / Give no indication what their ways have been; / They rock at their moorings all nestled in dreams / Away from the roll of the sea.’
On the ‘Great Houses of Dunedin’ excursion, we visited Larnach Castle...
Ibid. A Garden with a View.
At Olveston, the second ‘great house’... Mrs. Peacock in the Conservatory with the Secateurs.
Nabbed: Mrs. Peacock! #