New Zealand 2006: Day 6


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New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

Saturday, March 18, 2006: We were on the first shuttle bus into Napier, where we were dropped off on Marine Parade, the main road along the bay. It is lined with parks, gardens, and other attractions, and it's a beautiful place to spend time.
Our first stop was a large garden, containing flowers, shrubs, statues, and water features.
Of course, Debbie had to check out each and every flower on the grounds. Fortunately, Tom is used to this by now.
We headed to the shopping district, which features dozens of Art Deco buildings.
Napier was devastated by an earthquake in the 1930s, so the town was rebuilt in the Art Deco style. Many buildings still survive today and have been restored.
In the US, Claire is not a very common name, so it is impossible to find personalized items for our daughter, such as keychains, nametags, license plates, etc. However, in New Zealand, it is Jill that is the less common name. We stocked up on everything we could get our hands on that had Claire's name on it. Napier's shopping district is several blocks long by several blocks wide, so we did a lot of shopping.
We reached Clive Square, a pretty little oasis, and turned around to do more shopping and have some Chinese food for lunch.
Back on Marine Parade, we stepped into Possum World, a museum and gift shop devoted to the reviled opossum. Check out the spooky stuffed possums in the display case.
Napier's beach consists of rocks, a wide promenade, and stunning views of Cape Kidnappers to the south.
It is on this picturesque site that Debbie reveals the day's greatest shopping find: Lamingtons! They were larger than the Australian ones she fell in love with years ago, and the chocolate ones really should have chocolate sponge cake inside instead of white, but these frosting-and-coconut-covered gems are delicious in both chocolate and raspberry (or is it strawberry?) form.
We paid a visit to Pania of the Reef, a lovely statue of a woman from Maori legend. She is similar in size and style to the Little Mermaid in Denmark, who faces the sea just like Pania.
Loking back toward the Napier hills, you can see more Art Deco style homes, hidden slightly by these magnificent Norfolk pines.
Marine Parade also boasts a miniature golf course, where Tom showed Debbie how it's done.
Back at the Napier port, there were Maersk containers as usual.
There was a jazz band on the dock in front of the ship who played music throughout the day for departing and returning passengers. They played a few last tunes as the ship sailed away and the passengers waved to them.

Day 7 >


New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

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