I’ve tried not to be too quiet over the last couple of weeks, but I was rather busy being on my travels! This is going to be a loooong post with very little crafting involved, so feel free to skim read/just look at the pictures/come back tomorrow when I get back to crochet.
Here we go!
Before I even got to New Zealand, I had a 10-hour stopover in Sydney. Luckily, you need a visa to be in the country more than 8 hours so I was allowed to leave the airport and got to spend a lot of that time outside.
Having come from snow and single digit temperatures in Scotland, I actually enjoyed the feeling of heat hitting me like a toasty wall. My plan had been to find a café not far from the airport and go there for some coffee and food, but it was just too gorgeous to be inside so I found a pretty bench by the river, slapped on some sun cream and sat in the sun.
Then it was off to Christchurch. I landed just before a tropical storm, and kiwis don’t seem to have the Scottish attitude to rain (if you only go out when the rain stops, you’ll never go out) so my first couple of days were spent getting over the travel, catching up with my Aunty, and getting to know the fiancé and his children.
When the skies cleared I went out for a run
We went for a drive to Akaroa, a harbour town across the mountains. I took over 100 photos of the scenery along the way.
Akaroa is gorgeous, as well as boasting not one, but two fudge shops, and a yarn shop!
On the way home we called at Birdling’s Flat, where a shelf at the end of the beach makes the sea boom like thunder as it throws up enormous waves. It’s amazing, but it does remind me why I’m terrified of the sea.
Next day we had lunch at the Botanic Gardens
and I went for a wander around the city centre. There is art everywhere in the centre, from graffiti-style paintings
To serious monuments
To funny little pieces of indeterminate use
I saw the Cardboard Cathedral, the ‘spire’, and New Regent Street, before making my way home for a girls night in.
Saturday was the big day, the whole reason I was in New Zealand; my Aunty’s wedding. It was a lovely sunny day with a breeze so it never got too hot, everyone looked beautiful, and it was just the most lovely, relaxed, enjoyable wedding I’ve ever been to.
Of course I cried all the way through the ceremony, I am so like my mother. But I learned the trick long ago of not putting any make up under my eyes so I managed to avoid the panda look.
The next day a few people came over for a barbecue and we sat in the sunshine chatting for hours and hours.
Then late afternoon we went for a wee trip to New Brighton.
It was a bit windy.
Then we had a quieter day at home to recover, which Whisky the dog enjoyed very much. Fun story – I went to visit my Aunty 4 years ago and Whisky decided I belonged to him; he followed me everywhere I went, and jumped up and barked at anyone who tried to touch me (a bit of an issue when you like hugs as much as I do). I thought 4 years was a long time for a dog and he would probably have forgotten me, but I was so wrong! I had two shadows the whole time I was there.
That’s the best picture I could get, because he was never far away enough to photograph him properly!
The next day was a bit of an experience. I never do very well on buses, and at 30 years old I really should know better by now, but in a moment of madness I tried to get a bus to the art gallery. It didn’t take the route I was expecting at all, but instead of getting off when it turned into an area I didn’t recognise, I sat there hoping it would turn back and start heading where I wanted to go. You can guess how that turned out. When I finally gave up and got off, it took me around 45 minutes to walk to the gallery.
It was worth the walk though, I do love me some art and I even got to join in with a piece!
Plus they had an excellent café.
Then (deep breath) I had to get the bus home again. Long story short; I took a wrong turning, ended up walking for over an hour through streets I’d never seen before, and I actually cried when I finally saw the bus stop I needed.
When I finally made it home and collapsed into a chair, Fitbit told me I’d walked 7.3 miles and taken over 17,000 steps. I slept well that night.
My last day in Christchurch came around far too fast. For my last trip, my Aunty took me to Halswell Quarry Park for a last bit of Hobbiton lookalike scenery and sunshine. We did the gentle walk so my poor knackered legs didn’t fall off.
And finished it all off with an amazing iced coffee and a slice of cake.
Now I’m back and I have to say it’s surprising how quickly you can get used to the heat. We’re dealing with the tail end of the Beast from the East in Scotland and I just cannot get warm, despite being pretty hardy before I left! It is good to be home though. Much as I love NZ, this is where I belong. Three feet of snow and all.