Day 3 – Auckland
G'Day Mate How You Going?
Yesterday, we toured the city. New Zealand was formed by volcanoes. The last one was six hundred years ago. It was interesting how their parks and cricket fields (cricket is a big sport here) lie in the old craters and the old volcanic plugs are close by now surrounded by beautiful trees. One of our stops was the Auckland War Museum. The first floor is dedicated to the Maori Natives. Interesting how similar they are to the Natives of Hawaii. They look like them and their dances and customs are very similar. They put on a fun show for us. It must have been a family and mom and dad took the whole thing rather seriously, but the two young bucks, as you might call them, were the most fun to watch. Not only were they good to look at, they were having a grand time.
The second floor was dedicated to the volcanoes that have erupted in the past and those that they currently watch very closely. There was a simulated house that you went in and then watched a video of a volcano erupting beneath the ocean. The house shook while you watched a gigantic wave of lava coming towards you, and I guarantee you don’t want to be anywhere near the shore line when it erupts. Pretty scary, and I am glad Florida doesn’t have to fear volcanoes. They told us to take a brochure on how to protect ourselves from a volcano eruption, but Tom and I passed on taking one. Thank goodness!
Our bus driver told us that on New Year’s Eve some people decided that it would be fun to take their fireworks to the volcano top that is most likely to erupt next and set off an entire squadron of fireworks. The town’s people didn’t see it as funny and those who set the fireworks are now in jail. As you can see, the people of New Zealand take this volcano stuff seriously.
Last night we ate at our hotel. It has a restaurant called “Eight.” That is because the buffet has eight different kitchens with eight different types of food. Our bartender told us to start with the meat kitchen. Last night they had twelve different types of meat. The first round I had lamb, veal, and ostrich. Tom added Asian beef. They also had alpaca meat, but since we are going to an alpaca farm and they are so cute, we passed on that. They then grill your chosen meat to either rare or medium. Well done was not an option. Yum! That was round one. Then Tom hit the sea food kitchen and had prawns, stone crab and 3 different types of grilled fish. I hit the Chinese kitchen and had dim sum. I loved the beef, chicken and prawn dumplings. My prawns were much easier to eat than Tom’s choice. Good thing they give you a bowl of warm lemon water to wash your fingers. The only kitchen we skipped was the salad kitchen. Who wanted to fill up on salad? By the way, I hit the meat kitchen three times. The veal was my favorite. Did I mention the dessert kitchen with the chocolate fountain? Anyway, you get the idea. Tom and I stuffed ourselves for two and a half hours and then waddled back to our room where the maid had turned down the bed and left a Whittaker’s Chocolate Square on each of our pillows. With all we ate we didn’t even touch half the items that were available. The two young men at the table next to us, took about 10 trips to the buffet before finishing with ice cream cones. It was great fun!
“My favorite thing is to go where I have never been.” – Diane Arbus
Hooroo, (Australian for Goodbye)
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Tom and Holly