Art Deco town

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
Trip End May 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Stables Lodge

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, April 3, 2011

The next morning I was on a long bus journey to Napier. I said goodbye to my French roommate and walked down to the jetty where I watched a beautiful sunrise over the sea before boarding the coach. I had three different drivers but the same bus throughout the twelve hour journey.  When I got to Napier it was dark and I realized I hadn't written down the address of the hostel I’d booked.  Luckily a young guy overheard me asking the driver and thought he knew where it was.  He had just come from England where he’d spent the past two years, and having grown up in Napier it was funny to be back although nothing had changed.  He hadn’t told anyone he was coming home which was why no-one met him at the bus stop, and besides he was only back for a few days to sort out his visa.  We found the hostel and while I checked in he went off to give his parents a big surprise!

The next day that Sunday atmosphere was impossible to miss.  I walked into town via the beach and immediately stumbled upon a car boot sale, filled with families buying bags of fruit and veg and the like.  I had seen roadside signs for 'fejoas’ throughout my bus journeys here, and took the opportunity to ask what they were.  Finding it difficult to describe, a man gave me one for free and told me to leave it to ripen a little then eat it with a spoon like a kiwi fruit.  I ate it a couple of days later and it was really nice but impossible to describe!

I continued along to the tourist information then to the Art Deco Shop where I watched an introductory video to the town, and bought a walking guide.  The seaside town of Napier was hit by an earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale in 1931, which destroyed virtually everything and killed 157 people.  The town was rebuilt over the next two years in Art Deco style, the height of contemporary modern design.  Modern touches such as underground telephone cables were included.  A great effort has been made to maintain this time capsule of a town, and the Art Deco festival held every February attracts visitors from all over the world. The place had particular significance in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake: the optimistic Kiwis are trying to look at the destruction of the town as an opportunity to rebuild it as the most modern city in the world. 

It was a nice walk round the town, and at the end I treated myself to an ice cream while I walked along the beach.  The rest of the afternoon I took advantage of the free internet at the hostel!
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Jo on

Hey:) sorry I haven't been keeping up so well with your blog. I've just caught up on your New Zealand entries - sounds like you've really got into the swing of travelling and working out how to see places without much time. The sunsets sound beautiful and I really like that poem - I hope that in Christchurch and Japan they'll be able to do what it says. It must be really wierd that it's getting towards the end of your trip, though I am, and I'm sure your family are too, really excited that you're coming home soon:). We'll have to have a good catch-up on the phone:). Anyway, hope you enjoy the rest of your time in New Zealand and the US xxx

mum on

HI Holls
exciting times - perhaps a picnic on the beach won't be so awful now you have been sand boarding - a few grains of sand in your sandwich is no problem!!
Hope you continue to have fun times - speak soon

hollietravels on

Hey Jo! Don't worry it was me who got behind with the blog not you, although I'm pretty much caught up now hurray! Yes looking forward to catching up soon and finding out what you've been up to:-) xx

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