Today is cold and grey but my hostess kept her promise and took me in on the bus so we could catch the ferry to Devonport.
This is the ferry - well not the one we travelled on of course but her sister! The Hilton Hotel behind was built over the water to look like a cruise ship. My hostess told me she had stayed in the Bow Suite. I'm quite sure I smiled politely but she must have thought I didn't believe her and she found a photo to prove it.
Looking back from the ferry I got a lovely view of Auckland City. That large whiteroof in the centre front is called The Wave by the architects and Party Central by everyone else. The left hand white roof is the BIG screen where the Rugby World Cup games are shown. Tonight is England versus Scotland and there were ever so many lovely Scotsmen in their kilts walking around the city. When the wind got up it was really exciting! I blushed a deep deep red and worried that my hostess might be embarrassed.
We saw their Harbour Bridge. Apparently there are some rude people who call this 'the coathanger' but I really can't think why. It had four lanes when they first built it but the silly planners didn't calculate the number of cars correctly and they had to ask a Japanese engineering firm to make some extra car lanes and clip them on the sides. Now the folks here in Auckland call those 'the Nippon Clip-ons'.
Devonport is only a five minute ferry ride from Auckland city. The first thing I saw when we got out of the terminal building was this....
"Do you think I'm going to ride in that", I asked. But, she said the thought had never crossed her mind and she had no intention of paying $8 to ride in some old fashioned thing like that! Perhaps I should have asked more politely and she might have said yes! Opportunity missed.
This place was great. Can you smell the chocolate? I had a great time here. This place makes so many flavours of chocolate - even a special Hokey Pokey one. It took three people to explain to me that Hokey Pokey is a butterscotch toffee type sweet that crackles when you eat it. New Zealanders put it into chocolate and into icecream and they love it. Not wanting to soil my pristine white apron I was reluctant to try it out so cannot vouch for the accuracy of their descriptions.
We went to the yarn shop and to the quilting shop but alas, my hostess forgot to take a photograph of me there. When I timidly voiced my disappointment she dismissively said "well you have better where you come from. I'm trying to give you unique experiences you know".
Maybe that is why she took me past this place.
I remembered she said that Kiwis cannot fly so wondered aloud why they needed a Flight Centre. Then, oh dear, she said with tears in her eyes that she thought I might like to consider where I wanted to visit next.
Uh? Truth to tell I am enjoying myself so much I hadn't thought about that. Anyway we had a discussion and apparently the itinerary is -
Tomorrow we go to the Auckland Embroiderers Guild Annual Display of Work at Bishop Selwyns Residence. Doesn't that sound posh.
Next Saturday we go to a place called Orewa, where all the embroidery ladies from this region get together for a stitch and chat day.
Methinks I might like to visit those but then perhaps I need to think about where to next. My hostess said she will write about it all on her blog in a week or two but she was rather hoping I could stay until her birthday before I went on with my journey. Anyway I pleaded with her to put out the word and see if there was anyone else who had a spare bed for me and would show me other interesting places. Please think about it.
And now I'm really tired so its back to my sleeping pod and bye bye for now.