Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 2: The 8th Wonder of the World. Total distance traveled: 370 miles.

For the educational part of todays entry, Fiords are glacier valleys that have been flooded as sea level rises. They're essentially huge steep mountains rising up out of the ocean. There's a gallery in Park City that showcases photos of the Norwegian fiords (among other places), and I've always been fascinated by them. Maybe its an interest in my Norweigan heritage. Anyway, the southern part of New Zealand is pretty close to Antartica and has huger glaciers (and penguins!) and ...fiords! The most famous of which is Milford Sound, which Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Anyway, so, we had to go! It was a four hour drive each way, during which we learned that 100 kilometers per hour is not very fast (approx. 6o miles per hour) and that's assuming the roads ever straightened out long enough to get going that fast. The drive took us through small towns, huge fields of sheep, cows, and deer - yes they have deer ranches - and through the scariest tunnel that looked like someone did little more than to blast their way through a mountain and throw some gravel down.

As we drove, I kept picturing that cheesy (but amazing) scene in Sound of Music where Maria runs through the alpine fields..I needed to reenact it, but because of all the lifestock, everything is fenced in. As we entered Fiordland National Park, I finally found an open field and got to run through it. Here Kenny stops long enough for me to take a photo...

I think the most frustrating thing about the trip was that we couldn't capture the scale/color/beauty of everything we saw. This picture is actually disappointing, but it shows the huge, u-shaped glacial valleys that became the fiords.

We walked out onto this delta to get a panaramic view of the Fiords and specifically of Mitre's Peak. It was really cold and windy...


Because my husband is beautiful...

We were alone, so this shot was hard to get, but after several attempts positioning the camera on different rocks we finally got it!

So most towns were not much more than a cafe and gas station along the high way. We passed through the town of Athol on our way to Milford Sound and Kenny had to get a picture with the sign...Now everyone hold your tongue and say "Athol"

Also in Athol, was this small house with a fairly large yard entirely fenced in with beach cruisers...



It was a long day! We topped it off with a great dinner and a stroll about Queenstown. I'll have more Queenstown pics on Day 3.

2 comments:

Amelia Lyon said...

thanks for sharing! seriously, we need to go there together. i know you're aching to go back, so now that you know the country like the back of your hand, you'll be the perfect tour guides. seriously, can we take more trips together?
hudd

Skyler & Elise said...

Wow, wow, wow! Your pictures are amazing! And it doesn't hurt that you guys are beautiful too. I love that wide shot and the beach cruisers. That is so unique. Can't wait for day three!