Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 3: I heart Queenstown. Total distance traveled: 370 miles.

So I'll say it now: Queenstown was our favorite place of the trip. Tons of outdoorsy things to do, cool people, surreal scenery, and great restaurants. Halo: Forbidden Bites was our favorite cafe - especially for breakfast. The french toast was heavenly and they had these great juice blends. Anyway, on Monday we left Queenstown to head up to Christchurch, planning to stop at Mt. Cook along the way.

The Docks at Steamer's Warf, with the heart of Queenstown behind Kenny. Look hard and you can see me in this picture.

I got a new wide angle camera lens and flash for this trip, and spent a lot of the time playing with it. Here's the same dock, but looking the other way at Lake Wakatipu.

I hate hospitals and funerals...but LOVE cemeteries, especially old decaying ones like these. It's less macabre than it may seem; growing up in Boston, my family used to picnic in old cemeteries; my brother and I would play hide-and-seek and jump off tombs. Random, I know, but the cemeteries in Boston were beautiful and full of interesting graves of famous founding fathers. Anyway, this one was way up on the hill in Queenstown by the Gondola.

On our way out of town we passed by the first bungee jump location, still in operation, but closed that day.

Mt. Cook, New Zealand's tallest peak is in the middle of nowhere. It had been hours since we'd passed a town. So you can imagine how surprised we were to see 10-15 of these guys riding these bikes on some remote highway. Apparantly there's a club for this where they get dressed up and cruise. How do they get down?

Remember The Waterboy? Glacier water is really that blue.

Because we're immature... (you may need to click on this picture and view it up close.) For all the nerds out there, they filmed Lord of the Rings in this valley.

So... there's no way I took this; it's a photo of a poster at the visitor center. Mt. Cook was covered in clouds when we got there, but we could see the glaciers. All I could think about were those stories in Outsider Magazine about hikers dying on glaciers and people finding their ripped-apart remains years later. I think I want to be buried on a glacier and then after 20 years, some climber can find my femur.

Sheep EVERYWHERE. I read somewhere that there are 50 million sheep in NZ or 5 for every person. I totally believe it.

We found this hotel in Christchurch online while still in CA, but it was booked solid for its opening week, but we figured we'd give it a shot - and we got a room! It was super high-tech, green friendly, and modern. The virtual consierge was the best and included categories like "odd, but hip." The room's lighting schemes were mood sensitive and the alarm clock simulated the sun rise rather than an awful buzzer. Hotel So and the What Bar was the best hotel!

After a LONG drive, Kenny was ready for bed. Thank you Hotel So for down comforters!


Whit Ing said...

I am loving these posts. Keep them coming.

Emily said...

Your trip looks so much more amazing now that I am actually looking at photos... and it sounded spectacular to begin with!
My favorite is the high wheel bicyclists (especial the one with the ratted beard!) although, I'm not quite sure the practicality of riding such an invention across far stretches of highway.