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Published: October 22nd 2014
October 10 - Oh, I could live here! Each morning Dan and Tasha made us great breakfasts that we ate upstairs in their gorgeous great room overlooking the bay. They will also serve it to you on your private deck off your room, but the weather was a little chilly, and I like my breakfast warm. (It's the Princess and the Pea thing again.) It also meant we got to chat with these two interesting people who are both musicians at heart. I hope the next time we come, Dan will have his baby grand set up in the corner, so he can play and Tasha can serenade us during breakfast. (And, perhaps by that time, they will have also bought up a few more places in the area so they can let loose and have concerts in the evening! If you don’t dream, it will never happen!)
Today, we drove to the historic town of Russell. Generally, people take the ferry from Paihia to Russell which takes about 15 minutes; however, as the weather was not great, and there wasn’t much to do, we decide to drive which took over two hours on one of those twisty
New Zealand roads. (David says anyone who designs a straight road in New Zealand is fired.)
Russell is one of the oldest settlements in New Zealand and has some lovely old buildings. One of these is Christ Church, the oldest Anglican Church in New Zealand, which has some stain glass windows that were designed by Miller Studios in Dunedin. Miller Studios was started by Brian’s Grandfather, Oswell Miller, and he is currently working on a book on the history of this studio and the stain glass windows that were designed there. He asked David if he could take photos of the windows for the book.
Allan and Mina also asked us to take some photos of the graves of Mina’s great aunt and her husband. We found the church almost immediately upon arriving in Russell. There was a light rain, so we found the umbrellas and headed into the graveyard. (Not everyone would get into this, but I find graveyards fascinating, and we were on a mission!) I took the left side and David took the right. I take my time in graveyards, noting the different types of gravestones, reading the inscriptions, and speculating
about what life might have been like when they were alive. This meant that David had covered about twice as much distance in the same time as I had. However, sometimes, the tortoise does win the race. I found the graves of Annie Hunter and her husband, Captain William Hunter. We stood for a while studying these two impressive graves. I wish I had asked Mina to tell me more about these people. We took the photos -- with me holding an umbrella over the camera -- we do have our priorities.
Even on a gray day, the inside of the church was welcoming. As David set up to photograph the stained glass windows, I wandered down the aisle noting the hand-stitched cushions that covered the benches. Many loving hands had spent many hours making this a beautiful house of God.
As we are not from New Zealand, looking for the church, and photographing the stain glass windows and the graves, made our trip to this town more meaningful.
Travelling during the off season, means there are few crowds, so you don't have to dodge people to get photos, and when you go
for lunch, you get your pick of tables. We stopped for lunch at the ‘Duke of Marlbourgh’ which is in a heritage building on the waterfront. We had a great view of the bay from our table by the window.
Thankfully, we decided that one road trip to Paihia was enough and took the ferry back. The evening was again perfect hot tub weather!
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