Thursday, 2 January 2014


Hello awesome peoples,

This may or may not be the final blog entry for now, but don't worry, it'll be good, since it was the day of THE SKY TOWEEEEEEERRR.
In the bus looking forward to what is about to come...
So, yesterday (the 2nd) started off with an AMAZING brekkie at Hollywood Café in the centre of Northcote. CC had Eggs Hollandaise and I had a mushroom omelette, note TWO extra hash browns instead of one, and BROWN BREAD!! OM NOM.
Empty central Northcote
Also very happy that it started being summery and sunny again :) Oh and that Hollywood Café had its own Hollywood Café sugars!!

A few hours later we got to the bus to central Auckland, where I bored CC with my final souvenir/present-shopping. (And yet still so much I meant to get (myself) but haven't... Like a hoodie, and a magnet, the hopping kiwi, the paua-shell kiwi, the paua-shell heart earrings, a T-shirt, a kiwi in a bag, a shot glass, the plate with a kiwi and a sheep and a pukeko in a boat sailing, a kiwi necklace, etc etc etc...) I could die in a souvenir shop just because I get so overwhelmed by all the amazingness and physically not be able to leave. It is ridiculous.
Then, off to Sky Tower (after walking up and down Queens St coz CC kept on remembering wrong where he'd seen that bank...).
Some cool thing in the Sky Tower
We were booked in for a 4.30pm Sky Walk. What is a Sky Walk? It is the wimpier option for people who don't have the guts to do the Sky Jump. No, wrong. That's what I first thought (but very happy that we weren't doing the Sky Jump... Though it's not really a Jump. More like a controlled levetation downwards. But still.). But, in the end, I think Sky Walk requires more guts (to a certain extent) than Sky Jump. Sky Jump requires one wave of craziness – you jump, and it's over. But Sky Walking you have to keep that craziness up for a whole half hour.

Sky Walk is a walk around the rim of the Sky Tower. “Inch along a narrow walkway around the Sky Tower, high above Auckland. No handrail, nothing but thin air and the city 192 metres below, SkyWalk is an exhilarating challenge you’ll never forget. Our guides point out attractions, tell you stories and challenge you to daredevil tricks. For a big New Zealand adventure, 360° panoramic views of Auckland and extraordinary memories, SkyWalk the ledge.” (ta )

I wasn't really nervous about it till an hour before it, when I actually, for the first time, thought about what it ACTUALLY was. Walking on a ledge a million metres off the ground. I'm generally fine with heights, but I turned out to be way more afraid than CC, the proudly acrophobic (yeah had to google that lol) guy.
The area where Sky Walkers and Sky Jumpers (suits shown here) got ready
We sat around waiting at the bottom reception of Sky Tower after filling in a pleasant little form acknowledging the risk of things like “damage to clothing” and “death by falling” (I'm so glad my clothes didn't get damaged!!) , watching other Sky Walkers and Sky Jumpers get into their sexy suits and be told what they're about to do.
Our group consisted of me and CC and a group of three Americans (though I swear the guy had Swedish heritage, his name was 100% Swedish). We got told stuff, taken into the changing room to pull on our convict/astronaut orange gowns, and bye bye camera got locked up in the locker :'( (No loose objects allowed, they had multiple body checks to make sure of that.)

Last photo...
Up the lift to the top, where Peta, our guide (female) attached ropes to our harnesses which were then attached to a rail at the top. (“Like trams,” I told her. She was confused – not sure there are trams in this country...)

The following three photos are courtesy of google, not us. :P

We watched a few Sky Jumpers, then headed off on our trip ON THE EDGE. ('The Edge is also a kiwi radio station we've been listening lots to. Or well, it could be 'The Idge' too...)

Preparation, to the left the walk starts, bungee to the right
When we stopped for the first time just metres after we left the safety of the handrailed area and Peta told us to lean back off the ledge, I was hoping I wouldn't burst into tears of just pure, not scaredness, but, adrenaline? I dunno. No, I was terrified. But I didn't cry, and after maybe 5-10 minutes of clutching onto my rope or CC's hand with all my might, I decided I won't be scared anymore. I was overreacting indeed, and after that I was relatively fine.
Views were amazing. We saw Devonport and Rangitoto and Mount Eden and all of Auckland and Harbour Bridge and Northcote and everything. Obviously though some of that appreciating-the-views went into being-terrified-of-the-views, especially when there were tiny gusts of wind or when the departing cruise ship decided to toot (that's not the word... BOOM) its horn just as I was doing one of the mirriad leaning off the edge-practises...

Restaurant is on the lower floor
Peta had us do many, um, dodgy things, like the leaning off, and staring up at the rail walking backwards just for the sake of video and pictures. Not complaining though. 

The walk ended quickly, then we went down to get (=buy :S) our photos. 

Woop woop!
Then, quick change into nicer clothes and back upstairs to the Orbit restaurant for dinner! A revolving restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower. 2 h dining time (1½ for us since we were half an hour late), minimum spend of 40 dollars per person... But it was awesome.

I understood it to be tuna... but it doesn't like tunaey. Nice though, and my first ever caviar btw! 
CC's fave: his main, lamb
Salmon and mashed potato with random green veggy on top om nom
CC's dessert
My dessert: apple tart OM NOM (my fave)
Up top you can see the ledge we were walking on an hour earlier
OM NOM. :)

Views from the observation deck...

Such a great last day. This holiday has been perfect.
Awesome sky on way back
Hopefully this will not be the last entry – I still have plans on other random stuff I wanna write about NZ and its quirks, as well as a load of pics that I had to cut from the final set of going onto my blog... But we'll see. Today (the 3rd) is the day I leave New Zealand, 30h planes + 7h trains before I get to my next bed in Aber, hoping to beat the jet-lag in two nights before my 9.30am exam on the 7th.

And I will be devastated. And very depressed. An amazing, AMAZING three and a half weeks, and then dropping into the well of dreary weathery university work. Hopefully I can numb myself out and consider this all to be a dream.

Because it has definitely felt like one. You know, those amazing dreams where you are flying and just SO HAPPY.

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has read, commented, or even just looked at the pictures. Every time someone has told me that they read my blog is a moment of such joy for me, THANK YOU. Thank you thank you thank you.

Now, to enjoy my last morning and early afternoon in the lovely sunny country which is New Zealand.

Mountains and valleys of love to all of you,

With the beloved Sky Tower on the horizon...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Christmas and New Year in Kiwiland!

Happy 2014!!

Our 'proper' Christmas celebration was on the 28th with CC's family and 30-odd relatives. A full, hectic day (we did Sheepworld in the morning, got home, and the first visitors came within ten minutes of getting back – we were held up due to a traffic accident – saw my first ever rescue helicompter btw) but so much fun!
CC and his tree house :)
It included present opening sessions #3 and #4 (#1 being with my parents in November, #2 being Christmas day with CC and W), loads of food (especially a million different desserts I HAD TO TRY, sponge cake, pavlova, mint tiramisu, CC's dad's speciality steam pudding... I even had to skip the amazing chocolate swiss roll since there was SO MUCH...), helped make a massive fruit salad, tried not too much to be in the way, had very interesting conversations with the very friendly/fun/nice/interesting relatives, took part in a traditional Christmas pyramid, made friends with babies etc etc etc. Really nice :) And I got to be a Christmas elf!

Poppy under the xmas tree <3
I love CC's parents' place
Awesome trees!
The next day CC called in sick and his boss wanted a Doctor's certificate. He went to the doctor and got 5 days sick leave. That's exactly the amount of time I'm still gonna be here... TA DOC. Anyways, haven't done much since he's been resting and I've been studying/scrapbooking (I have an awesome scrapbook!!!!) (and eating chocolate) (and muffins).

So, next interesting event, New Year's eve. It included my first ever Kiwi Party, CC and I went to his friend T's place for a few drinks and kittens! Yes, kittens!!! They were adorable.

Left at 11 to make it back home and walk to the amazing view point behind the motorway, where we sat by the river and watched the Sky Tower fireworks when the year changed. First in the world!! It was brilliant, incredible.
New Year's day was the happy day of EATING CHIPS. My new year's resolution for 2013 was no chips, so the plan had been for months to have fish n chips on the beach on the first day of 2014. We went to Mission Bay in Southern Auckland. The weather could've been warmer, but the fish n chips and especially bread for the chip sarnies was AMAZING.
In the chippy!!!:D:D:D

Milkshakes were too. :) Had a “Hobbit Crunch” icecream milkshake, a limited edition with toffee, chocolate and some sort of soggy biscuits that were the MOST SCRUMPTIOUS IN THE WORLD.
Highly recommended!!
Then we drove off to Auckland museum. My museum experiences of the last few years have always gone the same way: I am never TOO keen to go in, but I figure I may as well, especially when it's free or cheap. I go in, and realise suddenly how AMAZING museums are, so fascinating, so interesting! This lasts half an hour to an hour, when I start getting bored. I mean, it WOULD be superinteresting to go and see that exhibition too, but I am getting SO TIRED and SO STUFFY-HEADED... I still force myself, because I don't want to disappoint myself by giving up my mature interest of museums. I mean, I pride myself to be very interested in history/science/geography/whatever, and leaving the museum before studying every single tiny object would mean my interest in the particular subject is non-existent. However, maybe half an hour, max. an hour later, I give up, leave, and usually wish to take a nap.
This is what happened with Auckland museum. SUCH FASCINATING STUFF about how New Zealand was formed during the past 160million years, about VOLCANOES, how to prepare for volcanoes and what they do... (The best bit was a sort of volcano-simulator thing, you go into this room which is basically a living room, with sofas, tables, a TV and a big “window” (=screen) with a view of Auckland bay with Rangitoto-island (volcano) in the background. The TV goes on, the newslady telling about this massive volcanic threat, and then you can see the volcanic eruption from the water, and the ash coming towards you... Etc, very cool.)

New volcano!!
All the stuffed animals were cool, as were especially the tarantulas (SHUDDER), the massive birds, the historic area about NZ in the World Wars, the sealife (including a massive (live) eel), the books on NZ bugs, the stuffed polar bear...
Introducing American cockroaches...
NZ's largest insect LIFESIZE!!

But at the end, I was SO TIRED and so ready to fall down on the floor and SLEEP.
Auckland museum

Well, after we finally got out, had a nice stroll around the gorgeous gardens. So pretty!

I still dunno of a new year's resolution for 2014. Any ideas are welcome.

In any case, I hope every one of you have an amazing 2014 full of brilliant, fun and epic times. :)

Lots of love,


Pretty gardens from before Mission Bay