We’d decided to take Auckland by storm. With hiking time and travel distances, our city stops got compressed. If the NYTimes can do cities in 36 hours, we’d cut a few things and make it 24! Actually, it’s more of a scouting day – is this a city we could come back to? It is.
We wasted some time at the Icebreaker clothing outlet, where I couldn’t convince T he’d earned new shirts with all the attention his 5 had received these last 3 months. Onwards!
We arrived at the War Museum, which just sounds wierd. So to build on weird, they had a Maori cultural show so we finally saw the hakka dance in NZ properly.
This group had a sense of humor to go with intimidating war moves, and there’s just something about sticking your tongue out that’s effective when you want to be off-putting. T enjoyed the statue carvers more than the half dressed men.
But most impressive was the simulated volcanic eruption! The museum had a room like a living room, with 2 sofas & a TV; the door with the warning closed and the TV came on with the news that volcanic activity had been picked up. A grim scientist reported things didn’t look good, and then they showed shots of highways gridlocked due to evacuees (mental note, bike out during these situations). Suddenly, our sofas shook and our “window” showed volcanic activity and the ocean wave coming. Then the lights came on. We skipped the what to do pamphlets and didn’t feel as bad about flying out the next day!
We squeezed in some gardens, a brewery and a waterfront walk.
I admired their book swap reading space by the water, and we compared Dubai’s fish market to Auckland’s. To keep that theme going, I marvelled that NZ’s Americas Cup sailing team is sponsored by Emirates airline and not Air NZ….
To get some perspective, we went to the hilltop. A panorama perfect spot, filled with Chinese tourists and selfie sticks. It seemed like good closure to our adventures.
We are all looking forward to seeing you!