Tuesday, October 29: After our free walking tour we took ourselves to the East Side Gallery, an outdoor gallery of works on part of the old Berlin Wall. This obviously isn’t part of the wall, but was one of the only pieces of art in the area that hadn’t been tagged.
Tuesday, October 22: We took an afternoon tour with Reykjavik Excursions to see Gullfoss (Golden Falls, don’t even try to pronounce it in Icelandic) , Geysir, and Þingvellir National Park. Gullfoss is a truly magnificent sight. We even got to see the magical afternoon rainbow that sprouts when the sun is just right.
Thursday, October 24: Our second attempt to see the Northern Lights (we tried on the 21st with no luck). This was as good as it got for us unfortunately. The green was not nearly as visible with the naked eye, it’s tricks of the magical all seeing camera lens. You can be in the right country, in the perfect year, at the perfect time, and the lights still on’t show up for you. Our tickets are valid for 2 years though so we just need to make sure we go back! Oh to have arrived a week earlier when the lights were visible in the main street of town!
Sunday, October 27: OMG I love Berlin so much. We walked all over and saw things from all spectrums. The broken wall, beautiful street art, a busy Sunday market with so so much great stuff to buy, and crazy old beautiful buildings. Like the Berliner Dom, my favourite for sure. It is ridiculously grand.
Tuesday, October 15: We spent most of the day at the Vancouver Aquarium followed by a big walk home through Stanley Park full of autumn colours and squirrels getting ready for the winter.
The Aquarium is really cool! Seems to be some great conservation projects going on and the shows by the dolphins and belugas were so awesome!
Thursday, October 17: Our last day in Vancouver. We woke up to fog covering the city, it was quite incredible to see from our high balcony! We met with Janine & wandered around Kitsilano, the beach, and saw the 100 foot centennial totem.
Friday, October 18: After a long flight to Frankfurt all of our plans to explore the city for a few hours went out the window. The nice people at the Meininger airport hotel made a room available for us early so we showered and slept and slept and ate terrible food in the “restaurant”. I was full of cold and in quite a bit of pain from it and quite happy to do nothing but sleep and feel sorry for myself.
Saturday, October 19: ICELAND. After one night in Frankfurt we flew with Iceland Air to Reykjavik. This city, man! All we did this day was walk to the mall that Brendan dumpster dived at last time and ate some dinner, inside, that we paid for.
Sunday, October 20: Time to explore the city! The Phallological Museum (yes, a museum full of penises), some classic Icelandic food, Hallgrimskirkja church, a big ol’ graveyard, and super cute little buildings.
Monday, October 21: The Laugardalslaug pools warmed us up from 0 degrees so we could walk through the botanical gardens. We tried desperately to find the entrance to the fun park/zoo but failed until we saw a driveway with the gate open and suddenly there were animals! Icelandic horses, seals, and stags. But most importantly there were a couple of beautiful arctics foxes! I almost cried. I love foxes so much and these were my first real life sightings.
We explored the park a bit and on exit finally found the real entrance…where you’re supposed to pay. Oops.
Wednesday, October 9: Happy birthday to me! The weather was quite very crap & it almost put us off our plans to go to the beach for brunch. We braved the wind and rain and cold and went to Maranui for a delicious brunch.
Sunday, October 13: Hello Vancouver! Our second Sunday the 13th for the year, we arrived in Vancouver long before we left New Zealand, isn’t time travel funny. This is the view from our Air BnB apartment in the West End. <3
Monday, October 14: Canadian Thanksgiving! We got to spend Thanksgiving with Brendan’s sister Janine. After enjoying the sights and tastes of Granville Island we bought some meat and veges from the market and went back to the leafy streets of Kitsilano.
After 46 days away we’re back in the land of the long white cloud.
Europe & Canada were amazing, exhausting, beautiful, cold , delicious, and exhausting.
It’s nice to be back in a familiar, soft bed which is higher than a foot off the ground. It’s nice to be able to make tea whenever I want and to use a washing machine instead of a sink and to have a shower I can turn around in without turning the water off with my butt.
I’ll miss warming up with a mug of hot wine while shopping for ornaments in the multitude of Christmas markets in Vienna. The incredible volcanic landscapes of Reykjavik and the bountiful thermal springs. The beauty of Prague’s magnificent buildings; everywhere you look it’s a fairy tale. And the beer! Berlin’s young generations remembering but moving on from past atrocities & making it a lively fun place full of good food and good art. Krakow’s walkability and the ring of park that surrounds the city centre. Budapest’s resilience and the pockets of greatness everywhere – the zoo, the views from high hills, incredible buildings, thermal baths, the market, and Gozsdu alleyway full of cafes and restaurants. And Vancouver was Wellington on a larger scale. Therefore I love everything about it.
I’ll be back one day Europe, for now I’ll try to forget how long it takes to get to you. And how much better your public transport is.
Thursday, October 3: Finishing off some dalek brooches for Made.It on Victoria St.
Friday, September 28: We arrived in Auckland at around 8.30 but didn’t get to dinner till after 11! Thank everything for the amazing food at Late Night Diner. I had one of the best burgers of my life.
Saturday, September 28: In further adventures of Auckland’s amazing food, we had brunch at Federal Deli. I ate latkes with really great salmon. These are hotcakes with strudel crisp!
Everything in this place was amazing. The pies! The cute minty uniforms! The hats! The booths! The space! We all bemoaned the lack of space in Wellington for something similar. I bemoaned the lack of espresso machine able to make me a decaff coffee.
Sunday, September 29: Kate grew up near Cornwall Park & as we were staying in her Mum’s house we couldn’t not take a drive through this massive green area. There were quails and roosters and cows and lots of sheep! Spring lambs are the cutest.
Wednesday, September 18: I had to google these flowers to find out what they were. It seems this native kowhai ngutukaka (or kakabeak) is a rare plant and is threatened by introduced plants, animals, an insects.
Friday, September 20: We (Kate) somehow convinced friends it would be a good idea to come to our house despite a thunder and lightning storm. (Thanks guys!) We sat in the lounge eating cheese, sipping drinks, and watching the sky light up.
Saturday, September 21: Twice in two days! Kate invited some more friends around for a crafternoon and the weather was crap once again. Most arrived drenched but soon had mimosas and cheeses and brownies in the hands that weren’t occupied by knitting needles or pencils.
Sunday, September 22: Cause two times is not enough times to hang out with your friends in one weekend we also did Sunday lunch. We all had Mama Brown vouchers to use, I love that place a lot. These tacos were incredible, especially the (very!) spicy fish.
Tuesday, September 10: Oh dear, the tiredness and pain and lack of food of the past few days caught up with me and I had another sick day. It felt like I went back a few days in recovery and spent most of the day in bed in my PJs and forgot to take a photo! I made it so far! Ah well, on it goes.
Thursday, September 12: Shark Awareness Week. This incredible wall of sharks was painted by the artists BMD. It features 190 sharks, the number of sharks killed every minute by humans. New Zealand has not yet banned the practice of shark finning.
Tuesday, September 3: Giving up sugar is mostly going really well. Today the leftover gravy reminds me of self saucing pudding and I have to eat a whole packet of munchos to stop the cravings for sugar to feed my addiction.