Barbara & Stu's Excellent Vacations Great trips we have taken

On a trip to Fiji, we returned to Auckland for a brief visit.

In Auckland we stayed at a B&B in the Parnell section, not far from the War Memorial Museum. It’s a quaint section with old buildings that have been restored and populated with cafes, boutiques and restaurants. It was fun to prowl around. We discovered a great old wooden Gothic cathedral near the B&B. They had relocated it across the road and had pictures showing how they lifted it off its foundations and rolled it across on huge logs. It was amazing. After lunch, we revisited the museum (we’d been there in 1991) to enjoy the exquisite Maori art. It was a beautiful afternoon and we walked through the Domain (a big park in which the museum resides), then all over town. We arranged dinner in a trendy section of town with galleries and restaurants to check out a different part of the city.

The next day, we got up early and took a ferry to Devonport - the place we missed on the trip down. We caught a group of sailors running a practice drill for a flag raising ceremony in a park near the ferry dock. After we stood watching for quite awhile, an officer came over to tell us what they were doing. Devonport is terrific and we had lots of fun exploring it all morning, climbing up a hill for a great view of the skyline and the surrounding islands in the bay. Unfortunately, it was cloudy most of the morning while we were there, but the skies cleared up completely by the afternoon. We ferried back to the city and had lunch at a fine seafood restaurant in the Ferry building overlooking the harbor. There are few delicacies that compare to New Zealand crayfish and we weren’t going to miss an opportunity to have some while we were down under.

We visited the Maritime museum, then walked to Victoria Park Market (awful tourist trap) before checking out the art museum and some surrounding galleries. The time in Auckland (during which we walked about 15 miles) allowed us to revisit this charming city and to habituate ourselves with cities and shoes again before our flight home.