Monday, December 31, 2012

on to the museum

After our talk with Prince, we head back to the Auckland Museum where we begin our "on our own time" - we decide to start with lunch in the cafe before heading into the museum. I had the bacon and egg pie and the boys had various sandwiches which we all thought were fabulous food (especially for a museum) and I tried another brand of ginger beer...LOL

The museum is first rate- and there is so much to see - even though we three split up from each other to spend our time as each of us wanted - I still felt rushed... we had a meet up time to head out (on our own - not with the group- who went off to see some churches and a gallery district)

We had weeks ago made a reservation at the O'Connell Street Bistro for dinner upon the late Johnny Apple's recommendation and so would not be going to the group "dinner on your own" tonight and would see them all the following morning as we left Auckland for other parts of the North Island.

the war memorial floor:

an old time village re-creation:

a holocaust memorial:

Maori exhibit with large canoe and meeting houses:

an exhibit of whimsy- art and craft items collected by the museum:

an exhibit on science:

the new addition to the museum:


back on to the bus - a vet at the bus stop had a cute ad:

then for dinner the Bistro:

my starter- the steak tartare:

my main - the rabbit pappardelle:

the boy's mains:

our desserts:

a quick bus ride up the hill for 50cents and we were back at the hotel before midnight- so we could make Mike's ungodly hour wake up call--- he wants to get away before 8 AM tomorrow as we have a long day on the road to Rotorua - which would prove to be very true- lots to do and see along the way! 
so stay tuned!
oh but before we "leave" Auckland - I have one miscellaneous photo of the sky needle/sky tower, when the sun was actually shining on it- much of our time in Auckland was punctuated with rain showers and cloudy skies but we had intermittent sun which gave me a chance for this shot:

the next day

will have to be broken down into a couple of posts as we began our jam-packed tour of the north and south islands in less than fourteen full days....

first up- we head up to K-Road to take a local bus over to the Auckland Museum to meet Prince a Maori tribe leader who will welcome us to New Zealand and teach us some things about Maori culture.  A chant to welcome us touches the heart- it could have been really hokey but it wasn't - it was so authentic and heartfelt that we will remember it as one of the highlights of our trip.

we stroll the grounds of the Domain and discuss local flora with Prince who integrates the topics of flora and the Maori traditions... what was supposed to be an hour lasts almost two as we question him and he responds with tons of information. Really worth while to take the extra time.  Mike is only a little antsy because we have "afternoon at leisure" which he has numerous things added on to the schedule to cover. It is understandable, he wants us to see his home country and our brief stay in Auckland doesn't begin to do it justice- it isn't the focus of the trip but he wants to try to give us a feel for the place....

After our talk with Prince as we walked the Domain, we head back to the Auckland Museum where we begin our "on our own time" - so on to some photos:

on K Road waiting for the bus-

in the Domain:

the weather looked threatening-

we meet Prince for the welcoming ceremony:

and then explore the Domain:


Prince speaks of the silver fern and its significance to the Maori and New Zealand culture (the All Blacks symbol will be on the NZ flag one day if they get to have an independent flag from the current GB Union Jack dominated one)

we go on to the floral display after parting ways with Prince:


next up- the Auckland Museum!