Monday, February 26, 2018

Sails, Gardens and Museums

All the Road Scholar tours include lectures by local experts on specifics about the local area.  We began with our series of lectures today when Gordon McLauchlan presented an introduction to New Zealand history.  He is a well know local author and journalist.  He gave us a good accounting of the Maori settlement of New Zealand, the coming of the Europeans, the war and treaty times between the British and the Maori, and current times.
Auckland Harbor Sail

Following the lecture we walked to the Viaduct Basin for a sail in the Waitematā Harbor.  The winds were up; the sun was out; the sail was perfect as we sliced through the channel, under the Auckland Bridge and around the volcanic cones.  I haven’t been sailing in years.  It brought back memories of great times sailing with friends to Cuttyhunk.
My Eden Gardens

After the sail our busy day continued with a motor coach ride to Eden Garden which was created in an abandoned quarry at the base of Mt Eden 45 years ago by a group of volunteers. The quarry was dug into Mt. Eden which was a volcanic mountain.  There are 50 volcanic cones in Auckland. The garden had a Jurassic feel with its impressive 40’ ferns as well as a variety of bromeliads.
Rangitoto Island from the War Memorial

Not to let us get bored or find time to complain, we were immediately bussed off to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.  The best part of this museum is that it was not completely about War.  A good part held a large collection artifacts from the Maori and Pacific Islands.  There was an entire carved meeting house built in 1878. The carving ability of the Maori using only stones is most impressive.  Some of the totem-like pieces date back to the early 1300s.  Lots of water pictures at flickr.