Wednesday, January 18, 2006

'Ooray and Up She Rises...

Still struggling with things to do in Auckland, but we needed to look for some more gluten free bits & pieces to take with us to Fiji for Max. We pottered down to the waterfront and found Foodtown - just another supermarket really, but with a great selection of GF food. We struggled to know what not to buy. Then it was time for our obligatory flat white (we'll miss them when we get back). Eventually, in an effort to do something, we got ourselves onto a harbour cruise. Auckland, it has to be said, looks better from the water. We saw quite a few expensive apartments, and quite a number of expensive yachts, including a couple of ex-Americas Cup racers that you can go & sail on - they do 2- and 3-hour 'experience' cruises round the harbour, including racing them against each other. Erin & I would have gone, but they have a minimum age of 10 :-( Anyway, the prize for ostentatious wealth went to the superyacht owned by a Russian billionaire. It was so big that it was actually carrying a motor launch and a yacht.
It was a nice potter around, and went out as far as the flat volcanic cone of Rangitoto Island, which is a nice walk up to a good viewpoint on a cool day. It wasn't a cool day, though, and anyway our cruise didn't stop there.
When we docked in Auckland again, Max & Erin expressed a desire to go to the Maritime Museum, which turned out to be one of the better museums we've seen. I'd say it's probably better than the Sydney equivalent. There were great displays on NZ's maritime history, including various Maori and Pacific island craft - outrigger canoes & sailing boats. There was an interactive mockup of an Americas Cup yacht in which you could have rope tailing races and grinder (winch) races. Mind you, I reckon the exhibit was broken, because I always lost. One of the creepiest displays was a room which mimicked a steerage class cabin on one of the immigrant ships from the UK. It was dark & hot, and it even swayed with the sea, which is very disturbing if you're in a museum. It was gentle enough to be barely perceptible, but when you stepped out you knew you'd been in it.
Then it was time to go & repack our belongings for air travel and prepare ourselves for saying goodbye to New Zealand.


I have linked to this post at my blog, The MHN Blog.

Joe Follansbee
Hi C & S
wow just spend the last 2hrs reading your here, glad your having a great time, you'll be glad to know Banbury is sunny but freezing.

Actually I lied, just skimed through your blog took me 3 minutes :-)

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