Leaving for Akaroa

Dunedin has been just great. Above all there are the lovely people we met. Tonight we had a good bye dinner on board. Yesterday I went figure skating (ice skating) swimming and Salsa dancing. I am amazed what they have here in Dunedin. The Moana pool is bigger than the Olympic swimming pool in Munich. The Ice Stadium has two parts: the regular Ice stadium and one half size for Curling (wie Eisstockschießen). All in one hall. The Salsa community on friday night has about 20 people, all quite good dancers, I was really surprised after my not so good experience at the Ballet Schools. 
On thursday we drove inland a bit and found very fascination landscapes full of rocks lying around. Like a big crater. Typical for New Zealand, the landscape constantly changed. Inland is very dry. The city of Alexandra (we have not been there, it's on the way to Lake Wanaka and Queenstown) is supposedly the driest city of New Zealand with about 350mm rain per year. Not many toursits travel route 87, but it was really beautiful. From the northern point we went east on the 85 to Palmerston and further north to Moearaki, where interesting boulders can be found on the beach. These are big balls of stone, formed over 14 million years. It all starts with one particle and then grows around it in a cristalline form. Really astonishing. That happens everywhere, but nowhere so obvious and in such a gorgeous shape. 

A couple of words to Dunedin. It is a very scotish city, very historical and has been a blooming and technology driven city very early in the history of New Zealand (still under british colony). It used to be the biggest and richest city in New Zealand, mostly because of it's position to the gold mines and later the animals (sheep, catlle) in Otago and the strategic harbour thus being able to do trading by ship. In reference to New Zealand, Dunedin had the following: the first tram, the first long distance bus travel lines, first daily news paper, first telephone, first University, first higher school for girls south of the equator, first university in the empire without any restrictions for women, first kindergarten, first gas lanterns, first cooling house, first cooling ship to Europe, first art gallery, first licensed distillery. Many old buildings are still there and are being restored, they are quite beautiful. We found lovely housing areas all around. Either at one of the many coastal lines & beaches or in the hills of the former crater. 

So now we just fuelled up in Port Chalmers, we are waiting for the sea outside to calm down a little bit and then we shoot out and head north. We'll arrive in Akaroa (that's the pensinsula at Christchurch) tomorrow early afternoon. 


Photos and videos

I have just updated the photos on the server: 

and added videos there: 

Meanwhile we are enjoying Dunedin. Again we are so lucky to meet the most lovely Kiwi people. No matter where you go, they are so lovely and kind and funny as you wish everyone would be in this world. On friday night we were lucky to be able to hold a presentation at the Otago Yacht club social evening. Otago Yacht club is the second oldest Yacht club of New Zealand and has around 200 members. The property is run by Kevin, a lovely gus who greets visitors with a welcome package that he makes. For that he goes into town, picks up the most important information brochures and puts them into a bag to hand them out. Where would you find that? He knows everyone and people come back to Dunedin because of him. No wonder. Whatever you need, he'll be there to help and organize. And always good for a chat where you get lots of information. But it's not only Kevin, this whole place is full of people like him. Frank, the commodore and Hayley invited us to their homes, picked us up, gave us lots of information, borrowed us a car to see the beach, invited us for a lovely dinner with two more guy from the Yacht club, have the best sense of humor (we were all laughing so much yesterday), are just fine people. And they were kind enough to enjoy our presentation and laugh at our humour. That was nice ;-) Ann, Barry, and all the others who talked to us, share their knowledge, help us out. Just amazing, I am very overwhelmed. Today we finally met our boat „neighbours", the owners of the boat we're rafted up to. Needless to say we invited them to share stories on boat. The list goes on of people we met and probably will meet…At least I was able to give back a little bit when they let me help out in food preparation at the „Cup day" (regatta that took place on saturday). 

So now we've seen a good part of Otago peninsula and will continue to see the city and for a change just enjoy life here, social life. If I am lucky I'll be able to go dancing. 

Here are some pix from our pensinula tour yesterday:

This is the way to get into the Otago/Dunedin harbour (left)

Albatros and seals at Taiaroa head

„The pyramides": the volcano erupted 12 million years ago and left them behind...