Lands Down Under (Day 19)

January 29

Auckland

[We started our grand adventure in Australia’s largest city.  We’re ending in New Zealand’s largest city.  In between we visited several smaller cities.]

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[Arriving in port where we would disembark the Maasdam for the last time.]

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[Port sights . . . ]

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[Walking off to our hotel.  On the map it looked like just a couple blocks . . . ]

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[A glance back at our water home.]

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[But now onward into the city . . . ]

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[It turned out our hotel was probably more than a half mile away, as we schlepped our bags along the sidewalks.  It was early morning so we couldn’t check in yet, but we checked our bags and headed back to . . . the port.]

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[OK, a final look back.]

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[And the ship detritus we would no longer need . . . ]

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[This is where, as I recall, the Gross contingent branched off for a bus tour of the city, while The Biddies and me decided to just walkabout downtown.  First find, dinner?]

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[Our first walking glimpse of Sky Tower.  The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located at the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets. It is 328 metres (1,076 ft) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere and the 25th tallest tower in the world. It has become an iconic landmark in Auckland’s skyline due to its height and unique design (Wikipedia).  We never partook of it.]

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[We decided to hit the city parks.  Victoria was first.]

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[It was a Sunday morning, not a lot of people out and about.  We needed a restroom.  The park building was closed for repair, but luckily the couple who “run” the place told us we could go in through a side door.  We had a nice chat, thought we’d be friends for life, I’ve already forgotten their names, but as you can see the typical ruggedly beautiful Kiwi couple.]

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[Auckland has been on my radar since 3rd or 4th grade (who remembers?).  Here is the Harvard Nieman Fellow class of 1956-57.  In the back row, 3rd from the left, is John Cornwall of Auckland, New Zealand.  Also in the photo is my dad, very top row, 3rd from the right; Hans Hanson of Norway, front row, 3rd from the left; Dieter Schultz of Germany, back row, 2nd from the left; Anthony Lewis, who went on to significant fame as a columnist for the New York Times, back row, 4th from the left; Harold Liston of Illinois, 3rd row back, 2nd from the left.  This is not written down anywhere – I just remember them.  And yet there are people today whom I see weekly but can’t remember their names?]

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[We continued our hike out the far side of the park . . . ]

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[Then it was a long uphill grind, i.e., several blocks, to the level of the Sky Tower – the place is like San Francisco.]

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[Now in the heart of downtown, finding things of culture.]

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[Gee, maybe we should have?  Not likely a line at this time of day?]

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[The Town Hall . . . ]

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[Which overlooks this outdoor entertainment complex . . . ]

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[After sitting here for a while . . . ]

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[We were just down the block from what appears to be Auckland’s main intersection – Queen and Wellesley Streets.  We sat at a little outdoor cafe on the corner and sipped our sarsaparillas.]

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[Then thankfully began a downhill march . . . ]

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[To the Auckland Art Gallery, which just happened to be featuring The Maori Portraits.]

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[The Biddies looking forward to it!]

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[The view across the street, to set your bearings . . . ]

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[And we’re in – with nary a body cavity search!]

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[The Super takes it all in . . . ]

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[As does Reetz.]

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[The Super seems to recall this was called “Japanese fabrics” . . . ]

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[And she liked it so much she took the following three photos . . . ]

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[Described two down . . . ]

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[The Biddies check genealogies, just in case.]

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[Mindful of the view at the Science Museum of Minnesota?]

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[Admiring the ceiling work of the outdoor cafe at the gallery.]

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[A great place to sit and enjoy a sip of . . . another sarsaparilla?  We were lucky number 13 – I believe The Biddies had a food order.]

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[This must have been a shot for the root system.]

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[And now we’re walking back up hill again to the University of Auckland.]

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[Two Super shots from here . . . ]

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[And this was now from the far side of the university.  The whole campus was fenced off for I believe a big rock concert so we couldn’t enter.]

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[And now we’re walking down the “backside” of the university.  Don’t these people ever stop exercising?]

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[So Kiwi!]

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[The Super’s shot into the campus . . . ]

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[Yes, I made a major contribution to the endowment fund.]

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[The end of the university, and now we just follow this same street down to our hotel.]

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[The building with the red highlights is us.]

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[And now the views from our balcony . . . ]

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[And a look down to . . . “Animal House”?]

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[Our suite – Reetz gathers photographic evidence.]

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[It’s actually an apartment building run like a hotel.  We had two bedrooms, Reetz got the view.]

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[And now out for dinner . . . ]

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[Recombining with the Gross contingent at a place where the map of the country is made out of beer cans.  Must be a really good place!]

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[Reetz and her mural.]

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[All enjoying the beverages of the facility.]

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[The Super’s four bar scene shots . . . ]

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[Then we came out to this . . . another mural of super fit kiwis!  Uffda!]

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[Then we went for an after dinner stroll to check on all the port activities.  I would like to report I did not participate in the events displayed in the following photo!]

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[Hi! This is my sister-in-law. Isn’t she cute? But like her sister, The Super, she has been known to trample little old ladies, small dogs, and children if they get between her and ice cream, custard, or gelato!]

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[The walk from the port back to our hotel.]

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[Where we enjoyed a fireworks display from our balcony.  I believe it was planned just for our arrival!]

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The endangered Kiwi is aptly New Zealand’s icon. There is so much promise to lay a large egg but without the ability to get it off the ground.  ~  Grant McLachlan

Up Next:  Day 2 in Auckland.

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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1 Response to Lands Down Under (Day 19)

  1. Helen and John says:

    You travel so well. Looks like the three of you had a magnificent time. We have to get to CCW for some fun with you soon!

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