Posted by: scribe9 | August 9, 2010

Auckland Redux

The weather improved greatly when we headed south to Auckland for a couple of days. Here’s Whangarei Heads, which we’ll revisit in a few days, from Highway 1:

The first order of business was lunch at a vegetarian cafe Cate had found on line. Then we drove to the top of Mt. Eden. Yes, we’d been there before, but we don’t grow tired of the view:

Upon arriving at our hotel we put on our walking shoes and headed east, through Victoria Park with its lovely old London plane trees (which, Wikipedia informs me, are a Spanish cross of American sycamores and oriental plane trees):

We wandered along Ponsonby Road, spine of an upscale neighborhood, and ambled down a side street lined with cute little hundred-year-old erstwhile working-class cottages:

We splurged on a hotel room with a view, and watched Auckland darken

and then watched it wake up the next morning:

and the fog burn off over the sailboats in the harbor:

We caught a ferry across to Devonport, a cute suburb across the harbor (not on an island, but given Auckland traffic and the fact that it’s on the end of a very long peninsula, it might as well be) and found breakfast in a cafe.

These cafes–with both sweet and savory baked goods, and cooked breakfasts and lunch along with excellent coffee and tea and any sort of bottled drink you might want–are a New Zealand institution (at least in the larger or more prosperous towns), and the US ought to have more of them.

On our way home up Highway 1, we stopped at a cafe that is not in that league–but definitely is in a league of its own.

Sort of a hippie-ish New Agey Hobbitville in the works, Eutopia also sells artwork including a large resin medallion of a  carved tabletop inspired by the last line of the Moody Blues’ “Threshold of a Dream.”

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