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Articles Tagged ‘New Zealand’

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From Coast to Coast to Coast

Saturday, January 14th, 2006

After my last entry my day continued on in Auckland. I decided to go up into the Sky Tower, which offered an impressive view of the city. Auckland reminds me a lot of Seattle. It sits right on the water and there is surrounding land and islands with other communities on them that you can see as well. I was told that Auckland is the most spread out city in the world, which became obvious from atop the Sky Tower. I opted out of throwing myself off the top for $100, though we were able to see people falling past us from the Observation Deck. After the Tower, I walked up to a spot called Mt. Eden. Auckland sits on many active volcanoes, and while they aren’t active at this very moment, scientists believe one of their volcanoes will erupt in our lifetime. Mt. Eden is one of those volcanoes and is a good hike up from the city center. Once to the top, imagine my surprise when I saw cows grazing inside the crater. Someone had also decided to spell out the name “Daniel” with rocks at the bottom of the crater. While I was there, a moronic father and his three kids decided to walk into the crater and try to scare the cows, even though there were signs everywhere asking you not to walk inside the crater. The view from Mt. Eden was even better than the Tower, as it gave you a view of the city itself. Plus, it was free. It was too early for the sunset, so I walked back down towards what I thought was the direction of my hostel, but got myself a little lost and ended up walking right past the prison, which was not in my guidebook. Since I was booked on an early bus the next morning, I had a quick dinner, packed and pretty much called it a night after so much walking around.

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The Other Down Under

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

I am currently in Auckland, New Zealand right now. Just for anyone that is keeping track, New Zealand is 19 hours ahead of Chicago, just skimming the international date line. I arrived last night about 6pm on Air New Zealand, which was also a 747-400, the same plane I flew to Sydney with. This was a whole different experience however, as it was a new plane with your own TV screen, choices of movies which you could pause if you had to get up, episodes of Globe Trekker, games etc. I met a nice old couple from Napier, New Zealand that sat next to me, who promptly invited me to stay at their house if I make it down there. It wasn’t on my radar, but I’m considering it now. I don’t know if they were serious or not, but she wrote down her number for me. They were sweet, visiting their oldest son who now lives in Melbourne. On the plane I watched the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, slightly disappointed in that one. The three hour flight flew by, but by the time we landed, got our luggage, went through their very strict customs declaration, almost an hour had gone by. Just like Australia, New Zealand is very conscious of what comes into their country, and they had little sniffer dogs all over the baggage claim. One guy got busted for a forgotten apple, and had to pay a NZ$200 fine. They inspected my hiking boots to make sure there was no soil clinging to them, which quite sadly there wasn’t.

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