Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NZ Adventures 9: Auckland

Everyone else headed home a day before I did. So we headed for the airport as a group and met Ben and Mel one last time before we headed home.


We swapped NZ dollars for US dollars, gave back some of the things we had of theirs and then headed to take everyone to the airport.

It was sad to say goodbye to so many of the new friends I had made during the week. I hadn’t met Jean, Dolly or Gene before the trip and it was a lot of fun hanging out with them. I knew Marilyn and Dan before the trip and we had fun as usual.

After dropping everyone else off, Dan had a bit of time to hang out in the city so we had lunch and walked around the pier.

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A few hours later though he left too. I went exploring. I didn’t have much on my to-do list, but I wanted to go to the top of the Sky Tower and see some of the city.

In my exploring, I found a protest. I’m still not entirely sure what they were protesting, but I thought it was interesting.

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A few protesters.

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I waited until a bit before sunset and headed for the tower.

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The elevator had floor windows.

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With the cloud cover, sunset wasn’t too incredible. Though I did find the lines of light from the clouds pretty cool.

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They also had windows in the floor.

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I enjoyed watching people’s reaction to the windows. Some people held onto the railing for dear life as they walked over it. For some it was no big deal. But my favorite was the 3 young boys who were jumping on it. When I asked about it, I was told they were practicing for bungee jumping someday (you can do that from the tower).

From one location, you can see a countdown until the next time they will drop a bungee jumper. I got to see one.

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I was amazed because she was just a little girl, maybe the same age as my little sis. She looked so happy to be out there.

Everyone else had the same idea for timing as I did, so it was fairly busy that afternoon.

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Even with the cloud cover, the light was pretty nice.

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We interrupt this blog for a tea break . . .

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It was delicious!

Unfortunately the light inside and the light outside were two different colors of light.

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After the tower I found my way to a café and had a yummy chicken and citrus salad. I loved that it was HUGE.

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Of course, being at a café, I couldn’t resist having my new favorite – slice!

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Sunday was my last day in NZ and my last day in Auckland. After really, really enjoying worshiping in English the Sunday before I searched on the internet for a church in the area where I was staying.

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Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized that NZ had a great number of Pacific Islanders and found myself at a Samoan church, with a congregation who mostly spoke Samoan. I snuck out part way through the service because I couldn’t understand it.

Then I headed back for main Auckland.

I thought the waterfront area was so pretty.

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One last slice before it was time to leave. This one was Hokey Pokey.

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Goodbye Auckland!

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After all the fun I’d had in NZ and the new friends I’d made, I wasn’t ready to return to Japan.