Friday, March 6, 2009
CITY OF VOLCANOES
Auckland is the largest city in the country of New Zealand. Of course, we were in villages in China that had larger populations than this; but New Zealand is not a country of huge populations. It's also the fourth largest city in Australasia; also not a region of huge populations. And it's a city that is "pock marked" with volcanoes everywhere! Being on the Pacific Rim of Fire, a highly volcanic area, Auckland's "rocky" past is evidenced everywhere by extinct volcanic hills around the city.
Geographically, the city is chopped up by inlets, bays and waterways everywhere - but this is Auckland and this is what people around here have come to know as home. They have bridges, causeways and ferries that compensate for it's strange boundaries. It is also one of the things that makes this city unique.
But Auckland has the distinct disadvantage of being visited during our fourth week in New Zealand, and our eighth week in Australasia. So much of what Auckland has to offer, we have already seen, done or experienced in the past seven weeks. It's challenging to find something unique or different for us to do. In many ways we feel that Auckland is getting short changed but that is one of the effects of long term travel.
No worries, Mate, we have managed to find some interesting things here to past our time. We went to the top of the Sky Tower and watched people Sky Jump from the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. We visited Devonport, the first English Settlement in the area, via ferry and visited the island of Waiheke, an area of Auckland accessible only by ferry. We even went to an "ice bar," Minus 5, a cocktail lounge made entirely of ice, including the glasses you drink out of! And of course there is the Auckland Museum, one of the finest museums around and currently being visited by our very own Tyrannosaurus Rex, Sue, from The Field Museum in Chicago.