All posts filed under: Auckland

Another sad Airport Farewell with Rob

Farewells are bad enough in general but they get even worse with Rob. He dropped me off at Auckland airport this morning (and I’m endlessly thankful that he got up early with made and drove me out there) and as usual saying good-bye wasn’t easy at all. Having a multi-cultural relationship / friendship comes with tough farewells by definition but today was an especially rough one since I don’t know when I’ll get to see Rob again (but I’m positive I’ll see him again sometime). What makes it even harder is that Rob’s a bit of a softy (in a good way) and is never ashamed to shed a tear or two…. I learned that during our first major good-bye at Melbourne Airport three years ago (see picture above, sorry for sharing your teary face, Rob but I know being a real man you won’t have a problem with it). Today wasn’t any different so I got out the camera for a souvenir picture before the tears came up (see picture below). And yes, the tears were flowing again …

One off the bucket list: Watching a rugby game in a real stadium

Ever since I’ve been in New Zealand I wanted to see a rugby game – ideally in a giant stadium. Who knew that this dream would come true on my first night in Auckland already? Shane had picked me up from the airport and after the obligatory jet lag passing out on his couch he took me to watch the Auckland Blues play against the Wellington Hurricanes at Eden Park Stadium. With 50.000 seats it is New Zealand’s largest stadium and although not all seats had been sold, the atmosphere was pretty spectacular to me. Just like all the weird things going on on the field. Funniest thing for me is the so-called scrum (short for scrummage) where the players get together into a seemingly organised way of interlocking their heads, shoulders, arms and bums in order to fight for the ball (from what I’ve seen). Other stunning thing: It was so cold that night and the players seemed to have been so hot that their scrum turned into a giant steam party (see picture below). Needless to say that …

When you’re not allowed to wear your ski boots on an airplane….

Just when I thought I had learned all the life lessons New Zealand had in stock for me it presented one last one – an obvious one though: Never exceed your airline’s weight limits when it comes to your luggage. Or rather: Don’t rely on having a handsome guy at the counter who will just check in your excess luggage just because you’re blonde and a ski instructor. There might only be dragon-like old women instead who are pretty unimpressed with your excuses and flirt attempts…. Anyway – here’s the story: When I had booked my flights to New Zealand in spring I paid a decent amount of money to be allowed an extra 16 kgs in my ski bag – which had worked perfectly fine on my way here. On my way back I had repacked my bags slightly different – putting most of my stuff into the ski bag to the point where I almost couldn’t carry it any more and downsizing my big suitcase to a more Thailand-friendly small backpack. In theory …

Back at Shane’s house – moving the giant Kauri log

My travels around New Zealand have come full circle – by arriving back at Shane’s house where the whole trip started about five months ago. Before setting out on my next adventure I stayed with Shane and his dog Ruby for a bit, mostly chatting, getting well looked after, crocheting while the wind was howling outside and relaxing. I was just about to pack up my car and leave when Shane asked me for a hand with getting a giant log from the back of his house onto a trailer. When I saw the size of the log I was just smiling and thinking to myself “Never ever!”. But I had underestimated Shane’s clever and creative ideas of getting the log around a corner, through the drive way and up the trailer. It took us three hours of pulling, rolling and levering but Shane was proud as when the log was finally on the trailer (or at least part of it). Looking back at it we had a good laugh about it and after a …

The perfect ending to my life as a wannabe-dancer

Saturday was the last show at the Herald Theatre for our dance group but it was a special one. First of all it was on the weekend and the whole city seems to change during the weekend: Everyone’s out and about in Auckland’s restaurants and bars, girls dress up and wear high heels, there’s lots of laughter in the streets and everyone seems to be in an even happier mood. Secondly, every group performing at the Dance festival knew it was probably the last show and it seemed liked everyone went that extra mile in their performances. For us that meant completely freaking out on stage and I had trouble not laughing while performing and watching my fellow dancemates on stage. Also the audience seemed to be way funnier than during the week and we already got a feeling for that when they occasionally laughed or clapped at our crazy moves. Once our performance was over we stayed in the backstage area where you can watch the other group’s performances on a TV and we …

A week in the life of a dancer – a real dancer!

There’s been a little side project that has kept me busy for a while already: As it happens I became part of dance company here in Auckland (Etched Dance Productions) and this is our big week as we are performing every night at the Herald Theatre in downtown Auckland. But from the beginning: It all started with Jess, the choreographer, looking for people who like dancing. I said I like it but am not particularly good at it – which was sufficient for getting on the team (without knowing what I got myself into.) A couple of days later I went to rehearsal at the Dance department of Unitec, one of Auckland’s major universities and just that was an experience in itself: Big dance studios, all of them fully equipped with Ballet barres, a piano, huge mirrors (which turned out to be quite confusing when learning a new piece) and dancers – lying around everywhere, stretching their already super-flexible bodies even more. During that evening Jess taught us the main phrase of the piece and …

A long weekend with Rob: Walking, talking and great food

I still owe you guys a report from last weekend here in New Zealand. That’s probably an update most of you are curious about as it involves former boyfriend Rob. And from all the messages and mails I got from you since launching this blog I can assure you that THE most frequently asked question is: How are things with Rob these days? To cut a long story short and disappoint all of you: The love story is over since a while and Rob and me are just good friends now. Even fantastic friends I would say.  Enough words – here’s what we’ve been up to in pictures: We kicked off Saturday with a hike to the Kitekite Falls deep in Piha Valley’s rainforest. Ruby seemed to be stoked to join us, putting on her smiling face.  We then stopped at South Piha to have a look at the waves, an interesting chat to a Surf Coach and a quick snack with views of the beach before heading into our next adventure: the Marawhara Track …

Celebrating Sir Edmund Hillary who became to be the first person on top of the world…. exactly sixty years ago today!

Apart from my brother’s birthday there’s another historic event which deserves my attention today: the first ascent of Mt Everest (this blog is supposed to be about Mountains in the end!) When looking at the date you’ll see that it is exactly sixty years ago today that someone ever made it to the top of Mt Everest. And while Europeans, especially the British who had first calculated Mt Everest to be the world’s tallest mountain, were secretly dreaming of being the first ones on top of the world it was a Kiwi who became the first person on Mt Everest. Big day over here in New Zealand! And what a coincidence that I found out all of this today! Here’s how that happened: I was supposed to meet someone at Auckland Museum today and only got a message that he wouldn’t make it when I was already there (Shame on you when you read this, Rhys!). Making the best of the situation I decided to have a look at the building while I was already …

The joy of doing something new: Fitness boot camp

To me, one of the greatest things about being in a completely new environment, where no one knows me is that it is so much easier to try new stuff that I wouldn’t usually do in my home environment. My personal goal over here is to do something new every day and today it was taking part in a fitness boot camp for the first time. Of course when it was about time to get there my inner self found hundreds of reasons why staying in a warm dry home was a way better idea than getting out into the rain but I convinced my feet to put on their trainers and move. And how much that was worth it! Just imagine Kiwis of all sizes and backgrounds sharing the experience of  pushing themselves to their physical limits. The class is exactly as you would imagine it: A military style instructor who’s incredibly well-trained and fit, shouting out exercises, counting down seconds to go, always adding a couple more seconds when you think you’re close …