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Published: January 3rd 2010
Myer's Park, Auckland
Does everyone wonder when writing these blogs if everyone is reading them? I somehow feel that I need to justify this particular entry as I kind of worry that maybe it is not the activity that people will often talk about doing. I do wonder what the expectations are. I mean who cares about a lowly city walk, especially when the guide explains that the city can appear grim and generic. Yet for me anything new is interesting and you should try to find out the similarities and differences, after all I am technically living here. Anyway I am in a way being totally selfish and doing this for me so that I can read back and remember what I have done and all my experiences even the little ones and yeah if they ain't interested they don't have to read right. So........
One of the things about coming to NZ is being far away from family and friends. As soon as we said we were coming the dreaded question by our parents was 'not forever right?'
and 'you are coming back?'
and yes they pretty much ask these questions every time we talk. We also know that neither will
Lined with tall palm trees
probably come and visit while we are here and so the other question's involve 'What's it like?'
and 'Can we see some picture's please?'
. Not just the pictures you take like when you are just on holiday but of the house and yes that includes the toilet! So I figure a good way to suss the city out is take the City walk as recommended in our lonely planet guide and try and take as many pictures as possible which I must add is not hard for me as it is something I love doing (if I'm lucky one day I might get good at it).
So the walk officially starts at St Kevin's arcade on the Karangahape Road, otherwise known as K' rd. Full of cafe's, bars and second hand shops it's appearance is very hip with that 'casual trendy coolness'. The arcade itself has a cafe which is one of our favourite haunts and just has that aura of this is place to just relax with no concerns for the rest of the day. Yet this is a walk and only the beginning so I continued down some stairs through the arcade to Myer's Park,
yet another green space in the City with a reproduction of Michelangelo's Moses. It was pleasurable walking through the park with it's exceedingly tall palm trees which gave me neck ache as you can't help but look up! At the end are steps which access Queen St.
You head down Queen St where you pass points of interest such as the town hall, Aotea Square and the Civic Theatre. Queen St sets itself up as the main street of Auckland but I must be honest it does not emit any aura's though I think they were trying to by planting small palm trees along it. It has it's usefulness for shops and there is access to gallery's along it with food courts inside. It is constantly busy with everyone wondering up and down it.
At Wellesley St I turned right past the New Gallery where you are then greeted by a small square with what I can best describe as a fountain and tiling celebrating the suffragettes who got NZ women the vote before anywhere else in the world. The guide described it as pretty which it could be but it always has this grubby appearance to me
and appears to be used more as an access point to the city than somewhere really to stop and relax. You then cross the road and head up the stairs to Albert Park, yes, another green space in the City!
It is slap bam against the University so in the term time it is packed to the rafters with University students, some even pretending to study, other's having lunch and a general air of laughter and fun. The other group is us tourists (as I considered myself for the day) stopping to take pictures of the fountain in the centre and finding a bench to sit on and relax for a few moments. Dotted in between us appear to be those who do just that, passing through the park, if it's a lovely day, take a moment out of their planned schedule to just sit, breath and I like to think relax.
After the park the walk takes you about the University to the pretty University clock tower, to the grassy quadrant and the remains of the Albert Barracks and Old Government House. Then you head back to Princes Street pass the row of Victorian Merchant Houses. You
take Bowen Avenue and cut through the park to the Chancery Precinct exuding the image of being a rather posh nosh area with it's 'designer' cafes and shops. You head to more designer and fashion along the High St. You take a left onto one of my favourites Vulcan Lane simply because it is lined with historic pubs and if like me you like a pint of beer with good pub grub this is the place to come. The 'Queensferry Hotel' does do a rather nice fish and chips and there burgers are pretty scrumptious as well. We plan to head back and try out the others very soon!
The walk then takes you down to Britomart and Quay St to head to the Viaduct which is not such a bad place to end up in the afternoon.
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