'Well, this is a big village!', was my first thought and possibly the first words too when we've arrived in the suburbs of this New Zealand metropolis. Truth to be said I've Airbeeandbeed us a room quite far off the city centre, but they could have turned some street lights on! The thrill turned nightmarish when our autumn evening stroll has been interrupted by rain and we have arrived on our hosts door step soaking wet. Must have been quite a sight.
Auckland looked promising for us as I knew Michelle (an ex colleague from London based estate agency with a questionable reputation) would be up for some drinks. Also a digital friend from dA had put my hopes up, but Doug was away on business. It seemed as a good idea to hit the downtown the first instance we had a chance and so we did in the morning. One of our first trips lead us to the Sky Tower and so I have decided to drag Majka to the viewing platform and check out the skyline. Views are pretty cool and along with the whole of the city you get a good view of some of the towering extinct volcanoes in the landscape. Up until now I didn't quite realise the rich geological past of New Zealand. But that was about to change with the upcoming road trip of the northern island. About that later… Now I was amused by the adrenaline filled Sky Tower dive that involves jumping off the 328 metre tall tower attached securely to leading cables that somehow slows down the fall towards the concrete pavement bellow. We have watched a few people jump, while in between the jumps we've enjoyed the tranquillising views. Later we have met Michelle for those beers and after a couple she took us for an Auckland discovery drive around. Such a sweetheart, isn't she?! We finished the day long after sunset with some happy meals and goodbyes. Can't thank you enough for all the good tips for our road trip, we followed most and to this day I regret I didn't take your offer on milking cows at your dads farm. Next time, I suppose... The last two days were spent by walking the city, visiting some galleries, getting some shopping out of the way and looking for a car. I was looking forward to buy my first car ever in NZ. Unfortunately it didn't happened so as I couldn't find an ideal deal and a rental turned out to be the best option once again. A Jucy rental, precisely. In Australia we have seen tons of these hideously flashy and colourful campers that shout 'I'm a tourist, take my money, laptop and camera!'. The deal was done however and we took our chances. End of May, as we were told, is usually much colder around here and autumn almost gives way to winter. Not this time. We are lucky again! The weather was great. Sun was shining (apart from the evening of our arrival) and the red and yellow leaves look just great! Quite confusing though as Europe is drifting towards summer, feels surreal to see autumn colours this time of the year.
Our last day at Gills and Peters house in the suburbs of Auckland, we have woken up to a beautiful day again. Saturated yellow sun hanging low according to the season. We are packing, having breakfast, admiring our hosts mad genius son's cardboard R2D2 life-size creations and slowly hike towards the bus stop and the ANZAC road where we picked up our Jucy Lucy as hideous looking as I remembered. She's an automatic. My first I've ever. We throw our stuff into her bowels and head for one of the volcano tops of Auckland, Mt. Victoria, before heading further up north and leaving the metropolised village behind us. Don’t get the impression that I don’t like Auckland. I just think we didn’t click perfectly right away. Maybe I didn't click enough... I’ll give it a second chance if it comes my way. Admittedly the landscape is beautiful from the first moment! New Zealand, right?!