Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, 11/11/13 Auckland

Monday, 11/11/13 Auckland

Took the hop-on/hop-off bus; two lines, a Red Line for near sites, and a Blue Line for sites farther out.  The Red Line started right outside the ship at the Ferry Building.  Its first stop was at Bastion Point Lookout, which had nice views of Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbor.  This site also had a statue of Michael Joseph Savage, a Prime Minister of the 1930s.  The bus then went to the sea life aquarium, which I did not visit.  Stop 3 was the Parnell Rose Gardens, where dozens of rose bushes were in bloom; I took photos from the bus.  Stop 4 was the Holy Trinity Cathedral; I went there later, but did not get off the bus at this stop.  Stop 5 was the Auckland Museum, where I got off the bus to take photos and also to change buses to the Blue Line.

At the Auckland Museum, one could also visit the Winter Gardens, an indoor flower garden, which I did not visit; this was the first stop on the Blue Line.  Stop 2 on the Blue Line was the Eden Gardens, a former quarry that is now a beautiful garden.  It reminded me of the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, only not as nice.  The bus then went by Mt. Eden, with views over the city, but I did not climb the 300 meter hill.  The bus passed by Eden Park, the 60,000 seat stadium for cricket and for the All-Blacks rugby team.  Stop 4 on the Blue Line was the Westfield Shopping Center, which I did not visit; Stop 5 was the Auckland Zoo, again, which I did not visit; and Stop 6 was the Museum of Transport and Technology, which I did not visit.

Back at the Auckland Museum, I visited the museum shop and then reboarded the Red Line bus for the second half of its loop.  The first stop (Stop 6) was Parnell Village, where I got off the bus.  Parnell Village is a row of old Victorian houses that has been renovated and converted into shops and cafes.  It is very pretty, and I walked along and took photos.  I stopped into a very pretty little café/gelateria for a sandwich and gelato.  I then reboarded the bus for one final stop, at the top of Queen Street, where I got off to walk down Queen Street all the way back to the ship.

Queen Street is the main street of Auckland.  It is a very busy street filled with large department stores and small shops.  Along with many modern buildings are many buildings dating from the early 1900s.  It is a very interesting street, and I enjoyed walking along taking photos.  At the top of Queen Street, where I got off the bus, was the Auckland Art Gallery in a very interesting building, as well as the Civic Center and two major theaters.  I also stopped at the beautiful Holy Trinity Cathedral for photos.

As I discovered on the bus loops, Auckland is filled with old Victorian homes.  These homes are constructed of wood, with corrugated metal roofs.  These houses have withstood many earthquakes and seem to be well suited for withstanding earthquakes.  These houses are very pretty and seem to be well-kept.  It is very striking to see so many of these houses in such a modern city.  Auckland is New Zealand’s one large city, with a population of about 1.5 million.  It is a very modern city, filled with large, modern skyscrapers and a tall TV tower building, like many cities in Asia.  Auckland is also New Zealand’s largest port, with many container ships being loaded and unloaded.

After returning to the ship, I went back into a nearby café to use the Internet for 30 minutes, their limit.

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