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3 april 2014
We walked back to Queen Street (Main Street) and decided to visit some shops, of course. We needed to find a red dress to wear to our conference in Tauranga. The theme is ‘A Night at The Oscars’ so it had to be fancy. Honestly it was a mission impossible! It just seems that whenever you look for something specific it just disappears or costs $5000. While shopping we bumped into Jamie a few times, I wasn’t quite sure if I was supposed to say anything (was she my friend now? I mean I met her and talked to her duh) but then I saw that some other German girls took photos with her as well so she probably spent her day doing that. Oh well. Knowing us, exchange students, we only think about food. It was just 16.30 and we were tired and hungry so we decided to look for some food knowing it would take us another 300 years to find something. We walked around the whole of Queen Street and we noticed that it’s honestly just full of foreign food or junk food. Nothing like ‘normal’. Just take aways. Subway, Burger King, McDonalds, Burgerfuel (best burgers ever), Thai, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, South America or just like sandwiches. We just wanted something normal ahah but oh well. It really shows how international New Zealand is. It’s just a culture made out of a 100 different ones! And Auckland must have the highest Asian rate because there’s just so many! Hence all the Asian food restaurants. We then noticed a little side street and it turned out to be another food court! But this one was more of proper restaurants; it was kind of dark like a cave and lots of bricks really cool. We then just decided to eat at a Mexican restaurant! Yum! I was so surprised, they had Caldo Tlalpeno!!! So yummieeeee one of my favourite Mexican soups! We sat down and both ordered some taco’s (yo ordene tacos con pollo!). There were some piñatas hanging around and sombreros. It was just 17.30 when we finished. We walked back to Queen Street where we had spotted a nice ice cream place. But first we got stopped by a lady from KiwiYo (frozen yoghurt) and as good tourist and wanting to have the best experience we went in to try some free samples. Very good. Almost wanting to get some frozen yoghurt we eventually left to the place next door, Giapo. It had the title ‘Pure Aotearoa Organic Goodness and Creativity’ we walked in and it was honestly just a little shop. Just enough to pick a flavour and pay. As we walked in the man behind the bar offered us some samples. Strawberry Rhubarb. It was yum! But I’m more of a chocolate person. The funny thing was that the flavours were written on the board on fancy golden brown cards but you couldn’t actually see the ice cream. It was hidden behind the bar which is good because you try flavours you normally wouldn’t have tried. I asked if I could try the Christchurch Hazelnut Chocolate and oh my god like a little Angel on my tongue. It tasted like Nutella but way better. The man said: “Just pick a flavour and we’ll design it for you!” Huh design?? Oh well. I chose the chocolate one and Louise the strawberry one. I then saw this huge cone with chocolate on the inside being filled with my ice cream. But nope it wasn’t finished. They added some dark chocolate drops on it and a big silver sparkly macaron and to finish it off some raspberry powder! I was stunned haha it was totally worth my $8. Louise got her own little creation as well! The man who sold it to us asked where we were from and came outside with us later on when we were eating our ice cream. I don’t know if you have seen the movie ‘Despicable Me’ (an animated movie with yellow minions) but the main character ‘Gru’ looks and sounds exactly like him! It was so funny! I asked him where he was from and he said that he was born in Italy. He had this beautiful Italian accent hahaha. Talking was fun. Well we finished our ice cream and we were so full so decided to walk around. It was only 19.00 by then so the night was young. The sky was turning darker and you could see the high buildings all lit up, the sky tower had different colours and it was still warm. We went to some souvenir shops and visited random shops and even karaoke bars haha! We then had this great idea to see the city from above but of course we didn’t want to pay for the expensive sky tower so we thought, why not go into a hotel and see the city from the top floor. We walked into the first hotel we saw and tried to go up the stairs but that was a dead end and you needed keys for the elevator so yeah mission impossible. We walked out and spotted another hotel. It looked quite fancy so we weren’t sure but oh well might as well try! We walked in and saw again that you needed keys for the (Otis) elevator and stairs. We went to the reception and asked this guy, Brad, if it was possible for us to see the view of the city from the top floor. He said that wasn’t possible but that he could take us to the public area. We didn’t know what he meant by that but yeah we’ll take we thought. He then asked where we were from, is it honestly THAT obvious? so we said Holland and Belgium. He then took us to the elevator and pressed the highest level, 10. We got there, walked up some stairs and got to this biiiiiig swimming pool and gym area! We were standing there like waaauw! And then he said: “Ok ladies, here’s the key, I don’t know anything I wasn’t here and have fun” he handed Louise the key and walked away. Whaaaaaat just happened?! Haha so cool! There was a big swimming pool, a spa, a sauna and a place with big couches to sit on. In the middle were all the changing rooms and on the other side the gym. We walked around stunned and looked at the view. You could see part of the city and even the harbour. We couldn’t resist the pool so we decided to get our togs and come back to the hotel. We hoped our card was still working and it was! We had a nice spa and a swimming pool all to ourselves! After maybe hour and a half we got out and had a nice shower there. We went back downstairs and as we were leaving we heard Brad in the distance: “How was the pool girls?!!” we laughed and said: “amaaazing!!” and he laughed. The night was still young it was only 10 on a Saturday night. We followed the party people down the road all the way to the waterfront. Girls on the highest heels and short dresses and there we were with wet hair and jandals. Oh well. All these bars and clubs with loud music and fairy lights were reflection on the harbour with the boats and the open ocean. Such a nice atmosphere! We were a bit tired to go in but it was full of people not only young ones also older ones (parent old ;). Swimming made us hungry so again we looked for food. Took us another 45 minutes to find something. We walked all the way to the other side just for some Kumara chips and when we got there ‘there was a kumara shortage’ aaaaye! We ended up buying a cookie and pasta in a dairy but it was not nice at all so we threw that away and went for a drink at Starbucks ahaha.
Next day we woke up quite early so we had some breakfast and got ready for another day in Auckland! Auckland is actually 1 main street, a shopping mall, a theatre and cinema and the waterfront. So pretty small. I read a sign that said ‘Welcome to Auckland a big small city” quite accurate. We decided to go somewhere else so we kept on walking and ended up at a train station. A what?? A train station in New Zealand??? YES! I haven’t seen one in 8 months and here I finally found one ahaha. Probably the only one in the whole country. But quite pretty! We then took the bus to a near shopping mall/are called Newmarket. We tried on some ball dresses for fun and I actually found the coolest dress for my ball in June but it was $280 (cheap for these kind of dresses actually) so yeah it’s still hanging there. I might go in some funky pyjamas and heels? Well we cruised around the city and then discovered a Swiss ice cream place (more ice cream? Yes!) Movenpick. Louise ordered her vanilla brownie ice cream but I wasn’t too hungry. But then with the smell of freshly made cones and Louise almost dying of happiness because ‘it was the best cone she had ever tried’ I couldn’t resist and ordered the same one. It was indeed delicious!! We sat there burning in the sun outside enjoying life and watching people. We had looked all over town for some freaking juice but it was too expensive everywhere and never fresh! When we finally found some fresh juice it was like $10 byeeeeeee. We ended up just sitting at a random café because our legs were dying. After that we took the bus back to Auckland.
We met Manu in front of the theatre and we were thinking of going to the musical of Mama Mia that was playing that afternoon but we were too poor because food is too expensive mehhhh. We then decided to go the movies. We wanted to see ’12 years a slave’ and you had to be 16, no problem we thought. Manu didn’t have her passport with her so they couldn’t sell us tickets. We then just bought tickets to ‘Monuments Men’ that was on at the same time. When we got our tickets scanned and were about to walk into our theatre we saw the sign with ’12 years a slave’ in the room close to us. We weren’t keen for Monuments Men and really wanted to see it so we decided to take the risk and sneak into the movie that we wanted to. Haha woopsies we didn’t get caught and hey we paid and were over 16 so what’s the problem! The movie was cool and made really good but it was really heavy and I don’t know painful to watch. After the movie Manu went home again and Louise and I ate some yummie pasta and then decided to go see if our key for the pool was still working! We got to the hotel and yeeeees it was still working! We went to the sauna and the pool and it was amazing agaaaain! With the beautiful view next to us! Same as the day before we took a shower and got out again. It was already 22.00 so time for dessert hehe. I went back to Giapo’s and I was so excited! I got there and there was a different man. I ordered the same flavour in a cone, he then told me that they were out of cones but if I wanted a cone I could buy a ‘deluxe cone for 15 dollars’ ehm what excuse me. I looked at the deluxe cones and they were indeed deluxe. Such creations. Double dibbed in chocolate and with walnuts or macarons or hazelnut on the outside or completely dipped in raspberry powder my god haha. I thought ok I’ll never have this ice cream again and it’s too good to put it in a cup. I chose a cone with dark chocolate on the inside and white chocolate on the outside AND covered in hazelnut. I moaned that I was going to be broke but oh well. The man then said: “Where are you guys from?” (oh what a surprise this question) ‘Holland and Belgium’ He heard that it was our last night in Auckland and then said: ‘aaah because it’s your last night I’ll give you a discount!’ Wow thank u ice cream man u rock. So happy with my again biiig ice cream (this time with a tomato and lemon macaron) we walked all the way down Queen street to get Louise her Swiss ice cream! Hahahah. And she got a free dip!! Love being foreign. We then sat by the waterfront and finished our ice creams and it was so nice. Good temperature and calm and surrounded by the calm ocean but also the city lights. We stayed there for an hour and then it was time to go home again.
Next morning our bus left at 08.20. We woke up really early and then had a 3 hour ride to Rotorua. Well I had. Louise had an extra 5 hours to Gisborne on top of that! Poor thing! This weekend was so amazing! I missed big cities like that pfew! But Rotorua has been amazing too as well, I just start to appreciate more now the time to go home is getting closer. So much water and green hills and things to do! Yesterday I finished school at 12 so I went to a place an hour from here. It’s called Tauranga. We went to visit my host brother who was building there, we bought some pizzas and sat down on the beach. It’s still so hot in April! This isn’t usual I’ve heard so I’m happy! After that I wanted to cross something off my bucket list -> Climb the Mount. So we went to The Mount 10 minutes from there. That’s the place where I celebrated New Years. Well it was quite hot and man it was quite a walk up there! I was sweating like a pig and all these freaking grandmas and grandpa’s RUNNING up that mountain. It makes me feel kinda bad about myself ahahaha. The whole mountain was full of people running and god knows what. But honestly when I got to the top it was one of the prettiest views I’ve had. The ocean so calm and blue, the hills so green and full of sheep, and a big island full of trees. On one side you saw the city surrounded by water on both sides and on the other side a big long island with just trees and in the middle some green hills and sheep. That’s exactly the imagine I had in my mind when I thought of New Zealand. Kind of Lord of The rings. It’s insanely pretty! I spent an hour enjoying the view and it was 17.30. The sun goes down around 19.00 so we thought hmm should we wait for the sunset? We didn’t want to climb it again so yeah we decided to wait another hour and a half. Meanwhile people were paragliding off the Mount! They just brought their own gear etc. They looked so free and happy floating there in the air, it reminded me off when I did the same thing in Alaska 4 years ago. I want to do it again! I sat on a big rock that was kind of floating out there. Bit scary but I felt on top of the world. Looking down and just seeing ocean and above me someone flying around and the sun burning on my skin. Amazing! Well when it was finally 19.00 THE CLOUDS BLOCKED THE WHOLE SUNSET AND I COULDNT SEE ANYTHING. I was so upset ahahah :( We walked down and we had an ice cream because sad. (wow so much ice cream these days).
I have been procrastinating this blog for a very long time now so here it is! I have a busy weekend again! Tomorrow night I have my last water polo game and after that I’m going to visit a friend for the weekend! Have a nice weekend whoever reads this, I don’t want to leave this placeeeee!! Exactly 3 months left aaaaaaah
P.S. I had my school photos today and I had to wear a white long sleeved blouse a tie and I had to tie my hair up and I even got told off for my earrings!!! I said: 'Aaaah come on!' (i picked them specially for today) and the teacher got a bit mad and said: 'don't 'come on' me!!!' Sigh. The photo as ugly i know it. We also had to stand up and not sit down while taking the picture and there were no group photos????? What's this NZ
Foto's bij verslag (3)
3 april 2014 17:37 | Door: Mummin
¡Qué de experiencias de nuevo! ¡Goza, goza y goza! Eres joven y estás llena de energía. Sigue aprovechando tu estancia y acumulando recuerdos y vivencias para compartir con todos nosotros.
Gracias por tu detallada descripción de tus actividades y experiencias. Casi, casi pude degustar el heladito ese de chocolate. Se me antojó muchísimo...y justo ahora que debo bajar unos kilitos.
El ser extranjero en un lugar nos da ventajas y también el estímulo para emprender actividades y hacer visitas que generalmente no haríamos bajo otras circunstancias.
Tu misma lo estás viendo y viviendo... Y pensar que generalmente te choca caminar e ir al bosque ☺️
Goza los tres meses que te quedan. Noto que has aprendido mucho y me da gusto que valores lo que tienes y has tenido.
La historia del hotel con el spa y la alberca me encanta. Son de las aventuras que se tienen como jovencita. No me imagino teniendo una experiencia similar ahora.
Que digas disfrutando de este intercambio.
Besitos cariñosos de tu mummin.
5 april 2014 20:53 | Door: Omita y Opita
Querida Ana Laura, una vez más,nos hemos recreado leyendo y viviendo cada una de tus "aventuras" tan envidiables por nosotros a nuestra edad. Tu redacción es muy viva y parece llevarnos de la mano a todas y cada una de tus vivencias. Hemos casi saboreado los distintos y raros helados. cómo estuvo éso de los conos de 15 Dls. cada uno?, Aprovecha cada minuto, sin pensar cuándo tendrás que volver, sino cómo atesorarlos para "saborearlos" de nuevo, más que nada pasado algún tiempo. Nuevamente, gracias por tus relatos y el cariño que pones en ellos, al evocarlos y transmitírnoslos. Recibe nuestro cariño de siempre en un fuerte abrazo y besos: Omita y Opita.
Muy querida nietecita: tengo una pregunta para tí sobre la planta llamada "MANUCA (Leptospermum scopa-
rium) que procede de N.Z., usada desde tiempos antigûos.Se menciona que es cosechada en las colinas del lejano West-Cape. Ha sido redescubierta y aplicada por Swissjust, entre otros laboratorios.; posee un efecto estabilizador sobre la piel, dándole mayor resistencia. Los árboles de Manuca alcanzan hasta los ocho metros de altura. Es asimismo usada en N.Z.? Bajo que presentación la venden y la aplican?
Por ahora te envío mi saludos cariñosos y votos porque continúes observando y asimilando la riqueza natural que posee aquel país. Te quiere tu abuelita.