We arrived at Salmond Hall (the residence where Craig was living) mid afternoon on December 4. Needless to say, after a L O N G day of travelling (probably about 30 hours) we were pretty pooped and not too inspired to do much other than check in and have a big group hug with Craig.
We encountered the usual delays associated with a long trip and Air Canada/Air New Zealand misplaced Joe's luggage. We got that back the day we left Dunedin. Other than that, the trip was "uneventful"- just exhausting - at least for me!
We picked up our car at the airport. Joe was the designated driver and he adapted quite well to driving on the "wrong" (left) side of the road. One of the funny things that happens when making this transition is that, as signals and windshield wiper controls are reversed, when intending to signal, the first few times the window would be wiped! He did this once or twice every day. Fortunately, the brake and gas are in the same position, so we didn't have any bad things happen that way. Anyway - we made it without incident to Craig's residence (Salmond Hall) where we stayed the first few nights.
Salmond Hall (pix taken by Craig when he arrived in Jan/07).
Dunedin - December 5
Craig had a few things to tidy up in the morning so Joe and I went for a walk around the Botanic Garden, which was located very close to the residence. As it turns out, Craig was living and going to school in a beautiful place, and everything was within walking distance, so it worked out very well for him.
This is a hedge or a maze (not sure what to call it) that is trimmed in the shape of either Maori or Celtic symbols (I thought they were very similar and since there are Celtic and Maori influences in the area, its hard for the untrained eye to decide). We noticed a number of similar hedges around town.
Giant leafy plant. I have no idea what it is. It seemed like one of those plants that would extend fronds to gobble a person up if it was featured in a horror movie! Looks pretty harmless here though!
Main entrance to Botanic Garden.
Later that day (Dec. 5), Craig took us on a "forced march" around central Dunedin (we covered a lot of ground and I was very tired by the time we got back). This was also within walking distance, though about 40-45 minutes from the residence. As you can see from the pix below, Dunedin has some really great old architecture. The city is centered on the "Octagon", which as the name implies, is an octagonal arrangement of streets around the central park that all the main buildings face. Here is a webcam of the Octagon - downtown Dunedin.
St Paul's Cathedral (Anglican).
Fortune Theatre. Craig noted that there are a number of theatres housed by buildings that had previously been churches. This is obviously one of them.
Otago University Clock Tower.
"The Leith." This is a drainage canal (they can get a lot of rain) that runs through much of the city - Craig told us if we got lost to follow it and it would lead us back to Salmond Hall.
Dunedin Railway Station.
Mary and Craig on steps of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Joe and Mary on steps of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Here is a neat website of Dunedin pix - because you want to see more!