Sunday, September 4, 2011

Auckland, New Zealand

Day 101 - Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand is made up of two islands, the North Island and the South Island. Auckland is on the North Island and is on the east side of the island. Auckland has a population of just over 1 million people. All of New Zealand has a population of just over 4,000,000. Auckland is known as the City of Sails, this is because it has more boats per capita than any other city in the world. Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and is one of the most charming in the country. It is a mix of restored Victorian building and new skyscrapers. The Auckland Sky Tower is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere and the 15th tallest in the world. They offer base jumping off of the tower but we declined for this trip. We only had a half day in Auckland so we decided that we have to come back in the future for at least two weeks to see New Zealand and our Kiwi friends. Since our time was short we decided to go with our friends, Ros and Arnold to see Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter. It was a wonderful choice for a couple of reasons. One, it was very well done and interesting. They had recreated Scott's Hut. Scott led an Exposition that left from New Zealand for the Antarctica in 1910. We thoroughly enjoyed the Snow-Cat ride through New Zealand's only colony of Sub-Antarctica penguins. They have a colony of around 80 penguins, Kings and one another variety. Two, I got excited on another level because we plan to visit the Falkland Islands in the future to visit with the penguins in the wild. We also visited the Stingray Bay which had three large Stingrays among many other fish. One exhibit was a preserved giant squid found washed up on the South Island of New Zealand's shore. It was a female about 1 year old, 550 lbs. and 36 feet long. Does that make you want to go swimming, soon? There was also a Predator Tank Fish Oceanarium that was overhead, where we went through a Plexiglas tunnel, as we saw the sharks and fish swim by. At the end was Fish Alley with individual aquarium tanks with exotic fish. The whole attraction was built underground. We caught the shuttle back to downtown Auckland and walked around a bit, grabbed a bite of lunch and headed back to the ship. We had a beautiful sail away at the back of the ship. Our friends, Paula and Ray who had gotten off the ship in the morning were at the wharf by their home to give up a wave bye. (Paula we recognized your red Jacket). Next Port, Sydney, Australia and the end of the 104 day, Dawn Princess World Cruise 2011.

More New Zealand Pictures!

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Auckland, New Zealand!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

International Dateline

Day 98- International Dateline

August 31,2011, tonight we go to bed an Wednesday and wake up on Friday morning Sept. 2, 2011. One whole day gone. This is what happens when we cross the international dateline going in this direction. There was no Sept. 1. That's Sad and sill thing is, this is your daughter Jana and son in-law Jeremiah's Wedding Anniversary. Happy Anniversary any way, we love you two! The good news is that when get on the plane in Sydney Australia to fly home at 2:45 pm on a Wednesday we arrive in California at 11am the same day after flying 15 hours. So I guess we will find our lost day.

Apia, Upolu Western Samoa

Day 97 - Apia, Upolu Western Samoa

Western Samoa is made up of two main Islands and several smaller ones. The total land is 1137 square miles which is a little bit smaller then Rhode Island. The population is 217,083. Language is Samoan and English. We were on Upolu, it is the smaller of the two main islands and you can drive around it in one hour. On the south end of the Island are beautiful beaches. We walked into town hoping to find a local tour. We went to the Aggie Gray Hotel (Aggie Gray is famous for starting the restaurant selling Hamburg's during WWII) We found out that the only tour available was to an outer small island and would not be back in time. So we decided to continue walking downtown and found a Beauty Salon and could not pass up the massages. While I was getting my massage Randy talked with another couple and decided that we would share a Taxi to the Valima, the home Robert Louis Stevenson from 1889 until his death in 1894. He wrote, Treasure Island, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and many other books. He was a native of Scotland and due to bad health he needed to move to a warmer climate. He built the mansion and lived there with his American wife. He is buried just below the summit of Mount Vaea overlooking his home. The Samoan people loved him and called him Tusitala "Teller of Tales". Robert Louis Stevenson was a champion of the people and wrote letters about the corruption of the government and did get some officials removed. The house is lovey and was restored by an American, Rick Maughan after a hurricane damaged it and the government could not afford to restore it. Mr. Maughan was fan of Robert Louis Stevenson and had spent time in Apia, as a missionary in his youth. The house now services as a museum full of books, letters, and authentic period furniture. It was well worth the visit. We had the Taxi driver drop us downtown were there was the Teuila Festival being held. This is a weeklong festival to honor the culture of Western Somoa. There was a parade with the Police Band and a Honor Guard of police man in what we would describe as Hawaiian shirts. They had booths with local food and crafts. After checking it out and enjoying the local celebration, we walked back to the ship. Next Port Auckland, New Zealand.


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More Apia

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