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Well, today we all slept in. Yay!!!

Then, we got up and went walk-about. We went down the hill to Dunedin, and stopped to look at the Catholic Cathedral. Wow!!! Beautiful building from the outside, amazing on the inside. The stained glass windows were absolutely beautiful. Just WHOA!

Then, as we continued on our merry way, we encountered the Anglican Cathedral. Not as beautiful as the Catholic one, but still lovely. So commercial, though!!! They wanted people to come in and look at it, whereas the Catholic one had no such spirit.

After that, we went down into town still further and found a cute little local cafe called "Munchkins". None of that touristy crap for us!!! We went local! We all ate baked potato and Jen and I wrote out postcards which we bought at the visitors centre on the way.

Then, we went shopping for dinner. Wedges (more potato)... we also got pringles for snacks while on our evening tour. Potato. We're all starched out today!!! Anyway, the supermarket was much better than that hideous Pak and Save place! Just like a nice Woolies or Coles. Phew!

But you're not interested in the supermarkets, I imagine. We got the bus back, to avoid that hideous hill, and hung around for a while, then at 2:30 we headed down to the other lodge (we're staying in a seperate building), and waited for the coach to come pick us up. It was driven by a lovely Kiwi Lady, who was very short and had issues operating the gear stick, because her seat was so far forward, it was partially behind her. Anyway, we picked up a few mre people on the way, and then it was off to Larnach Castle.

The Castle was built by a guy called William Larnach. The very fact that he built a castle in New Zealand tells you pretty much everthing you could possibly need to know about him. He was born in Geelong, came to Dunedin as the bank manager and eventually became Treasurer of New Zealand. He married three times; his second wife was the first's half sister, who had lived with the family since 18 (hmmm...) The third was very much younger, and possibly had an affair with his son. I say!!! Anyway, he eventually commited suicide, possibly because his wife was having an affair with his son, possibly because he was in financial trouble. The children and the third wife had a big legal battle, the children got all the money and stuff. They hated the castle. They sold it. It was, variously, a prison, a hospital, a recuperation centre for returned soldiers (twice), and an antique shop. Finally, it was bought by a woman with the sense to make it a tourist attraction and function centre. They've made pots of money out of it.

Apparently the son is rich and single, Em. I'd have tried to organise an arranged marriage for you, but I saw a photo and I don't think he'd meet your buff standards.

The castle is awesome! There are battlements, and a beautiful garden with a FANTASTIC view of the Otago Peninsula. The carved and plastered ceilings were absolutely amazing. The staircase contains no pins or bolts, and no central column. The entire thing is wood, and hangs together purely by gravity and perfect engineering. Absolutely awesome.

Then, we changed buses, and went with the same tour guide and some new companions, to see albatross ad penguins. We stopped and saw seals. I have photos. I got about as close to one of them as I imagine your face is to the computer screen. Unless you're really unhealthy in your computer habits. All we could see of the albatrosses was them gliding out over the sea around the research station, looking gorgeous. But penguins...

OMG!!!

These people have done the most amazing thing. They've dug a series of hides and trenches out, so that you can see the penguins, for whom they've built a variety of nests. The tour guide, an English guy, was fantastic. He sees penguins every day, but he seemed to get so EXCITED every time he saw one. It made his day! We got so close to the penguins, Yellow-Eyed Penguins (the third largest in the world- bigger than Australian penguins, he felt obliged to point out to us!!!). They waddled about and they were so cute! We saw babies!!! I took photos, of course, but the batteries on Jen's camera ran out, so I couldn't get as many as I wanted. But there was a lovely couple from Toowoomba who got gorgeous pictures, and they told us to email them and they'll send us what they got.

Anyway... then we drove back to Dunedin again, had dinner, EVENTUALLY, and now we're waiting for our washing to dry. That's about it, really.

Must be off... Tommorrow, we see the Cadbury Factory, and then on to Queenstown.

Pip pip, old beans!!!

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Comments

( 8 comments! — Make Remark! )
citizen_cam
Nov. 25th, 2005 10:10 am (UTC)
What can I say but "sounds choice!"
crazedturkey
Nov. 25th, 2005 10:55 am (UTC)
excellent!!!

Don't forget to get me some chocolate! :D
cat_eyes_el
Nov. 25th, 2005 11:54 am (UTC)
Course they're bigger than Australian penguins, we have the incrediably cute Fairy Penguins!

:P

Which Geelong?

And have fun at Cadbury! *Gets Wouldn't It Be Nice stuck in head, especially since we wathced 50 First Dates on the bus today*

Cat
katiefoolery
Nov. 25th, 2005 12:17 pm (UTC)
Penguins and plendiferous castles - what more could you want?
rigel_7
Nov. 25th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'd have tried to organise an arranged marriage for you, but I saw a photo and I don't think he'd meet your buff standards.

Em: Erm... I said buff kiwi, not buck-toothed

Hooray for penguins! SO cute!
etherealdeva
Nov. 27th, 2005 09:20 am (UTC)
Aww....I wanna go to the cadbury factory...:D

Glad you guys are havign fun.
rilla06
Nov. 28th, 2005 04:56 am (UTC)
I envy you guys!

Glad you're having fun! :D
(Anonymous)
Nov. 29th, 2005 06:17 am (UTC)
The Sophie Speaks
Sounds like you're having a fun-filled adventure over there! Can't wait to see the photos!
Just thought I should post and let you know I was keeping track. :D
( 8 comments! — Make Remark! )

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