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!