Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland Travel Blog› entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
Hey! Kia Ora everybody (no, not the fruit drink that was narrowly pipped to my'Favourite juice drinks of the 20th Century', Um Bongo, but the traditional Maori phrase for Hello!).
Day three in NZ and I can see why New Zealand has been classed as one of the best cities to live in in the world! Admittingly, the weather has been a little cold, but apart from that, the people, the activities, the scenery, are just amazing! The worst part of it all was the flight in from Sydney. We had to wait around for 4 hours with nothing to do and soooooo jetlagged it was unbelievable, and impossible to sleep anywhere because every 2 minutes you heard the "do do do, this is a final call for passenger Paine, Indiaez for flight number 343443546356435743674 to the Outer Hebrides...and so on, and so on. This guy had so many final warnings it reminded me of Graham Polls 3-yellow card game in the last World Cup!Then just as I thought it could get no worse, a Southern American man turned up with a Spanish guitar and started to playing to the annoyance of me, Edwards, and the three hundred Maori-looking New Zealanders also waiting for the plane (who could have all given Jonah Lomu a run for his money, I sh*t you not). The there was the anxious wait, everyone thinking "who is going to tell him to shut the bleep up?!" until suddenly, he started singing. Not soft, not in-tune, but singing his freaking heart out...
After they cleared up his bloodstains, and the Maoris looked a lot happier for eating something better than the three-week old horse turd they feed you on planes, we boarded a plane slightly colder than Saddam's heart. The airconditioning was bone chillingly sub-zero and so ensued the worst three hours of my life. Touching down in Auckland felt like winning the World Cup must feel like, (or for me, Forest beating Walsall on a cold, wet Wednesday night in the Johnstone Paint Trophy!)
The Auckland City Hotel is a really nice hotel - not to the standard of the Metropark, of course, but clean rooms, ensuite double bed, cafe adjoining downstairs that sells cold beer and really close to Parnell, a beautiful part of Auckland. On our first day we went in search of a camera shop to fix my camera, and came upon an Apple shop, where I managed to get instructions of how to fix my iPod (it turns out that if I had actually read my instruction manual in the first place I would have known how to do this, but hey, what can I say, I am male!) We then went to an independent camera shop where the two New Zealanders who ran it were the friendliest people I have met since arriving. We chatted for about 45 mins about England and New Zealand and everything you could possibly talk about, and gave us some great advice and directions for staying in Auckland. It was so nice when their delivery man came in armed to the teeth with camera lenses and tripods and overheard our conversation about the forthcoming All Blacks- Wallabies Rugby Union match in Auckland later this month, he said we could get tickets for the equivalent of thirty english pounds, the next thing the two guys from the camera shop were looking at tickets on trade-me (NZ version of EBay) for us!! These people are so friendly its unreal.
That afternoon we walked around Parnell, had lunch and an early night as we were still jet lagged, and got up early for a day of fun the next!
It turns out that there had been thunderstorms and tornadoes in New Plymouth (Mid-West peninsular of North Island) overnight, and the weather forecast for Auckland (about 250 - 300km north of New Plymouth) wasn't too much better, but we steered clear of tornadoes and settled with getting wet, firstly walking to the SkyCity and SkyTower - the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere! It was here that Edwards hurtled herself 192metres to the floor off the top observation deck twice!! She looked kinda cute in a retarded astronaut kind of way in a yellow/blue/red jumpsuit, but it was amazing to watch and I am really proud of her!! (To set the story straight, YES, I am chicken, but secondly, I had experienced the bar attached to our hotel the previous evening and wasn't feeling particularly well on the floor, let alone throwing myself [and more than likely yesterday evenings dinner] off the roof of a massive tower!)
From there, we went to the viewing deck, and took some great pictures (I forgot to mention that in the end the camera never got fixed, but we were told the camera is taking pictures fine without the digital viewer, so its all good!) which I will post when I am able to copy the pics from my card to a CD-ROM. We then went to the harbour, viewed the main shopping street, Queen Street, went to K Road (a hip-trendy place with bars, brothels, stripclubs and 65 year old transvestites, none of which we entered- in all manners of speaking!!). Then we went to the Auckland museum, and then home via the Bog Pub - an 'Irish' pub on Parnell Road which provided us with dinner. A brilliant day seeing the main highlights of Auckland!
Today, we went to go whale and dolphin spotting off the coast of Auckland, but due to the weather and number of people willing to get cold & wet in the middle of the Hauraki Gulf in the middle of winter (2 - me and Carlsberg!) it was cancelled. :( we were told the weather is better tomorrow though so we will try again, and if not we will go to either Devonport, Waiheki or Rangitoto islands, all of which sound really cool! After the disappointment of the whale spotting being cancelled, I was cheered by the news that Kris Commons has signed a new one-year extension to his Forest contract, and that Didier Agathe, formerly of Celtic and European silverware-winning standard, is suppose to link up with Neil Lennon at the City Ground. The rest of the day paled in significance as we went to the Auckland Art Museum, which was really interesting but disappointingly small, and Albert Park, which was lovely, but I imagine would be better in the sun! I also bought an umbrella, which broke within two minutes and cost me $21... Nice! Apart from that Auckland is great and I challenge anyone who says its not worth visiting - which is everybody from New Zealand, so that really gives me hope that the rest of this country is equally, if not more so, amazing.
Take care, hope your all well,