Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The next morning we went of a tour of Auckland with a stop at Mt. Eden, the highest point in Auckland. The city is built on old volcanoes so it is very hilly.

Then we went on to the Auckland Museum. We were supposed to have a guided tour of the Maori section of the museum, but, like several, I preferred the world war I and world war II sections so we had our own guide. I was particularly interested in the Gallipoli section. In the first world war, the ANZAC forces from Australia and New Zealand were to attack the Turks at a coastline called Gallipoli. The soldiers were put in at the wrong place and had to fight up steep hills for weeks. They were slaughtered. This was Churchill's idea. (Yes, I know it was only World War I but he had some military position.)

ANZAC Day is celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on April 25. It is something like a combination Memorial Day and Veterans Day. (Where in this country we have the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Australia and New Zealand they have (RSAs) Returned Servicemen's Associations.

Then we saw a performance of Maori dances. I would not have paid extra for it but since it came with the tour, I watched it and it was pretty good, considering my lack of interest in such things. Except that I love the haka that the rugby All Blacks do before their matches.

Back in town, in what they call the Central Business District, I had some lunch and then started on my bus ride. I enjoyed going along Tamaki Drive. The road follows the shore around the bays and the houses along there are very expensive. Then we went up into the cliffs along the ocean. We started on the backside of Riddell Road, the street we lived on.

By then, everyone on the bus knew that I was looking for my house from 25 years ago and they all were trying to help me. We passed Churchill Park School, where Anne and Beth went. I didn't get my camera ready in time to take a picture so the city bus driver offered to turn around and go back!!!!! I didn't want to get her in trouble so I declined. We kept going slowly along the road but I never found the house. If I had to do it again, I would have at some point gotten off and walked from that point back to the school. I would have found the house then surely, but I didn't.

I felt I had let the bus riders down. They were so disappointed that I did not find my house. I just rode back to the city center.

The next day was my last in Auckland. I checked out of the hotel at noon and went for a walk around Sky City. Sky City is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. It consists of a tall thin tower with restaurants and look out platforms. Then around it are two hotels, the Sky City Hotel and the Sky City Grand.

Besides observing and eating, you can also bungee jump from the platform. It is more of a controlled bungee jump as you are more or less lowered down on two fixed ropes. Or you can walk around up there on a flat platform with no railings. You are only tethered by ropes. I don't think I can do that.

We left for the airport about 4. Mot people were on a 7 o'clock flight to Los Angeles.

Don Stanley and his son Seth from Arizona were on the 11 o'clock flight with me .. It was a long wait.

We tried to get on the earlier flight. There were seats but there were none in our "booking code." It would have cost $200 each to change to the earlier flight. I have more time than money so I declined.

On the way over to NZ I tried to watch a movie but the noise on the plane was too loud for me to enjoy the movie. I couldn't understand the dialogue.

I did watch Seth Stanley's screen sometime. He was watching a wonderful cartoon movie. I think it was called "Meet the Robinsons." I would like to see it. The little boy reminds me of George.

On the flight back from Auckland, I had the same problem, but I discovered a sports channel that had old All Blacks' Rugby Union games. They did not have the 2007 Rugby World Cup game where NZ lost to France in the semi-finals. That was a national disaster.

I watched all of a 2000 match between the All Blacks and the Australian Wallabies. The NZ side still had my favorites, Jonah Lomu and Andrew Mehrtens. NZ won 35-34 in a game the announcers pronounced the best of all time.

I started watching a 2003 game between the All Blacks and the South African Springboks. I did not get to finish that game because we were coming into Los Angeles and I needed to turn off the TV. Maybe I will look it up to see who won.

I enjoy watching rugby but I know almost nothing of rules or strategy. In New Zealand 5 year olds know more than I do. All I know is if the ball is further toward one end of the field it is good for the All Blacks. If the ball is toward the either end , it is bad. Like in American football, which they call gridiron.

I had no problems going through immigration and customs.

I probably waited only 30 seconds outside the international terminal before the shuttle came by to take me to the hotel. I stayed at the Hilton LAX on a Priceline deal of $60. It is a very swank hotel.

That is my New Zealand trip.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?