Two years ago, when traveling around New Zealand, I had stopped at Lake Ohau for some hiking and soon discovered the Lake Ohau Lodge. Back then, I went in to have a look at the place and say Hi! The owners Mike & Louise were just tasting wines for their son’s wedding and within minutes I was offered a glass of wine and not long after that dinner with the family. I decided to stay for the night and Mike showed me a primo parking spot for my van where I could see Mt Cook from my bed. The family also runs the ski field up the local mountain and when I said I was a ski instructor and keen to see it, the field’s operations manager gave me a lift up the mountain to have a look at it – in summer. While I’m reminiscing about it all I found a couple of old pics on my computer: Ever since I first visited the Ohau Lodge and its ski field I wanted to go back to ski …
Guess what! I finally made it all the way to my new home in Wanaka (which are great – both the home and the town). It’s such a nice feeling to finally drop those bags for a while and not worry about whether or not I can carry them all at the same time. The first couple of days here were filled with countless Hellos at Ski School gatherings, meeting old friends and making new ones, settling into our winter homes and getting used to life in a bustling winter town. Funny side fact: The bus driver on the way from Queenstown Airport to my Wanaka home asked me where I am from. When I said Austria he told me he’s going on a vacation there this autumn. And the tiny little town he’s booked his accommodation at is called Gosau, also known as the ski resort where I teach during my Northern hemisphere winter. Oh, what a small world!
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 …
Flying out of Melbourne, View of Whatipu Beach & Manukau Harbour, Landing in Auckland.
Almost three years ago I visited Melbourne on my trip through Australia. Back then I had to leave in a rush and rather unexpectedly (but that’s another story….) so I promised myself that I would be back one day. And so I am! It’s basically on the way to New Zealand so why not hop off the plane for 49 hours instead of just one? And oh, those hours are flying by like a blink of an eye. I’m trying hard to make best use of my time here and fighting hard against my permanent companion – Mr. Jet lag. I was able to get a lot of touristy things done like strolling the streets of the Central Business District, a walk along St. Kilda beach, dinner in Chinatown, attending a lecture at university, exploring Federation Square and when the jet lag finally took over I cruised the city on a tram. Might tell you more in a later post – now I’ll get some sleep to catch an early flight to Auckland tomorrow morning, hooray!
It’s Sunday morning in Austria, it’s foggy and grey and it’s finally the perfect weather to sort out some pictures and update my blog. I happened to come across a series of pictures that immediately made me smile…. is it just my memories and the fun we had while taking the pictures or do you find them funny too? If you’re a fan of that kind of art or just need a rainy day activity during your stay in Chiang Mai I can highly recommend that museum – called Art in Paradise. Make sure you fully charge your camera or for the control freaks: Bring a second battery – just in case. All photos by Magdalena, Sabrina, Wolfgang or me.
The moment has finally come: I’ve packed my bags one last time, hauled them into a Thai taxi to Bangkok Airport and boarded the plane that took me to Munich. Here are some shots from the way home – the sky lights were spectacular: