the place was incredibly fun- the bubbling mud was so quick it was almost impossible to capture in a still photo- but I have a couple of shots worth checking out-
I have identified the erupting mud where I can:
this photo is fun because in one shot I got the up and coming eruption (green) the ones that are just finishing (yellow) and the one that is truly done (red)
lots of action in this one:
and here is one bubble just starting to pop up...
clearly the environment did not stop the beautiful flowers from blooming right next to the mud pools:
The Bath House which houses the museum was once a famous spa which offered "therapeutic" treatments. water from nearby thermal springs was piped to private bathrooms and larger Aix-douche massage room. There were a number of deep pools for treatment of chronic disorders. The north wing accommodated male patients while the women were treated in the south wing.
I might add that there are photos of all sorts of electrical things that clearly should not be used by water which they were "torturing" their "patients' with- quite horrific if you look back on it from today- which leads me to believe that people in the future will look back on some of our current medical treatments in the same way...chemotherapy anyone?
continuing in the Museum - the Maori things were off limits to photography but they had a wonderful collection and the guide had some thoughtful insights into Maori culture:
we were whisked back to the hotel and in a half hour left for our Te Puia visit - always skeptical of "folkloric shows" I was not expecting much.
the deal was tour of area (much like we had seen today- geyser- mud pool- terraces) - then weaving and wood carving then a show and then dinner at a buffet. normally I would find this horrifying and probably would have gone with TB for the train ride he took but I was interested in the weaving so I gave in against my better judgement and went.
here are the photos- comments will follow:
so as you can see- we saw one guy carving and NO ONE weaving at all- the gift shop did sell mud and the show was fun and not too hokey - the highlight of the evening was Phil learning the Haka Maori war dance that is done before every "All Blacks" rugby match...
and by the way- the buffet was really good- incredibly good pavlova and some really good dal--- all in all I would call it a wash but mostly that was because so much of it was either "closed"(weaving and carving) or delayed (geyser blew thirty minutes late) - in the best of all possible worlds I would have done the train and joined in for the buffet (the last thing of the evening anyway) but you never know....