Friday, December 28, 2012

More On Board Fun and We Arrive in Sydney

Nothing but water and beautiful skies

 Martin and Linda
 Roxanne and Dennis

 Gavin and Robyn
 Linda, Nancy and Bonnie

 Anne, Anne and Val

 Dressed up

 Rich took a kitchen tour

We had dinner with Martin, Linda, Bill and Kathleen

Last night on the ship and goodbyes to our new-found friends

 Sandy and Kandy
 Dennis and Judy
 Linda and Martin
 Kathleen and Bill

 Bonnie and Dan

Here's our route on a map

 Coming into Sydney Harbor

This is the beautiful Sydney Opera House at night.  The Opera House has quite an interesting story, which you can read here (especially for my architecture buff friend, Suzassippi). 

Sydney skyline from the ship

It was kinda sad for the cruise to come to an end but we were also excited about our next adventure, staying in Sydney for a few more days.  I didn't get pictures of all the fun things we did on board but we kept pretty busy every day, attending lectures, working out in the gym, going to yoga classes, wine tasting, lying out in the sun, reading, resting, chatting with people, going to shows, spending a few bucks in the casino and wandering around. I didn't know if I would go stir crazy being on board for 20 days but I really did not mind it. I think I did say to Rich on the last day that it was just about the right length and I probably wouldn't want to go much longer.  My few little complaints were that there was no self-serve laundry and sending clothes out with the staff cost a fortune so we did not do it.  Also, you know my internet addiction and I hated not being able to get online any time I wanted for free or for cheap.  :)

All in all, a great time!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2nd Day in Auckland

The Auckland metro area is the largest and most populous urban area in New Zealand, with 32 percent of the population residing there.  The isthmus was settled by Maori around 1350 and in Maori, Auckland's name is Tamaki Makaurau.

Auckland is home to many cultures. The majority of inhabitants claim European, primarily British, descent, but substantial Maori, Pacific Islander and Asian communities exist as well. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world and a higher proportion of people of Asian origin than the rest of New Zealand.

 Going all-out for Christmas!

  Entrance to a park

Whimsical street art

We're tough Unalaskans--what's a little rain??

 Lovely gardens in the park

 These tree branches were so huge that they had to have supports to  hold them up.

Love running across peace places!

And yet another coffee shop stop

These women were on their way to a walk or run--they all had numbers on their shirts.  Four of them were wearing green wigs--wish I knew what the significance was!

The Botswana Butchery restaurant

Auckland is popularly known as the "City of Sails" because the harbor is often dotted with hundreds of yachts and has more per capita than any other city in the world, with around 135,000 yachts and launches.  Around 60,500 of the country's 149,900 registered yachtsmen come from the Auckland Region and about one in three Auckland households owns a boat.

Bye, bye, Auckland!