Hello people. AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! I apologize again - It's been over two month since I wrote the last time.. Okay, I've been busy, that's my best excuse, coz, well, I've been lazy too.. And I blame Blogger's slow speed of downloading photos! I hate it! I guess I just gotta start only writing - no photos.... A lot has happend: I was in South Island for the perfect 17 days in November-December. Then I went back to school for a week to hang out and now I've been on holiday since the beginning of December, chillin' and shopping with my homies. one more week of holiday! And it was my birthday too in December! Happy B'day, Lotta. It was a special b'day - not only coz I'll be 17, magical age aye - it's probably going to be my only kiwi birthday. I won't have a birthday in New Zealand ever again. Never again will it hopefully RAIN on my birthday - I prefer snow. Most of my friends came to my house to celebrate and we had such a good time! I felt loved, I wasn't so sad that I couldn't be in Finland celebrating with my friends there... But of course I miss you guys but I do feel more and more that my life is here now! It's such a strange feeling.
Then it was Christmas. Kiwi Christmas. No snow, no cold - Sun, Sand, Beach, BBQ... On boxing day, 26th Dec, I was off to a paradise island called Great Barrier Island with my next host family. I spent about 3 weeks there with my lovely host brothers (who have now gone to their exchange to Sweden and Germany) without any reception or internet or or except in one part of the island, so it was no worth calling me. Ill tell you more about this holiday later because first I gotta write something about the South Island. I know, i know. I hope I still remember something. So NOW I'll tell you something about the highlight of my exchange year.
SOUTH ISLAND TRIP
WHEN: 18/11/11 - 04/12/11
WHERE: around New Zealand's South Island
HOW: by plane, by bus, by bike, by ferry, by boat, on foot
WHO: 18 Rotary exchange students around the world living on North Island, Auckland and above + two Rotary leaders
Running around & packing things till the last minute
Auckland-Wellington by plane
free time in Wellington: Botanic gardens
Welington cable car
Te Papa (national museum)
WINDY (like wellington always is)
climbed on Mt.Victoria for catching the sunset above the city with a camera ft. Yannik from Germany (my photographer buddy)
I prefer Wellington than Auckland, wish I could spend my exchange year in that cute 'little' city'
|Wellington cable car|
|From Mt.Victoria towards the wharf|
|Wellington in the night time|
|Agathe & Catalina <3|
4 hrs kayaking
bus to Christchurch
seeing some earthquake marks
spa time with chocolate fishes (we emptied half of the jacuzzi with 10 people)
|Buzzy Bee - famous NZ toy|
Christchurch sightseeing: Antarctic centre, Canterbury museumBus to Timaru - traditional maori evening with dance and singing performances
|I took a photo a photo of doing traditional Maori tattoo at Canterbury museum|
|Traditional Maori food - Hongi - is cooked underground and includes beef, pork, sweet potato (=kumara), potato and carrot, finely steamed. Delicious, I say! And brings my thought to finnish traditional food.|
By bus to Dunedin
stopping at Moeraki Boulders (i fell into the water haha was very funny, had to beg for the bus driver to dig my clothes from the bottom of the bus)
University of Otago, climbing up the steepest street in the world- Baldwin street
Visit in Cadbury chocolate factory (free GOOD chocolate)
Shopping - new dress
Museum train for 2 hours on Taieri Gordge Railway to centre of the island
Catalina forgotten at the railway station - turned back to get her
|BELGIUM FINLAND SWEDEN SWITZERLAND GERMANY CANADA|
|Finland Germany Brazil|
Lord of the Rings landscapes
Bus to Wanaka
DIDN'T HAVE MY CAMERA WITH ME ON THE BIKE TOUR!
Really warm day - went for a swim in the lake - freezing
Puzzling world (like heureka in finland)
Met a bus full of other exchange students from district 9940 on their south island trip - had heaps of fun talking to them for couple of hours
|Lake Wanaka, +5 C|
|Feeling good in Wanaka|
First day of tramping on Routeburn track approx. 9 kms
Backpacks heavy, weather really warm, uphill
Climb on a small mountain
first at the hut!
|Routeburn track landscapes|
|Water from the pure mountains - pure to drink|
Routeburn track part II - 13 kms
Rain, fog, chilly, almost snowy...
1-minute-helicopter ride above avalanche danger (there was snow!)
wet gear wasn't nice but i stayed strong!
first again in the destinationswim in only a few degrees warm lake, like ice swimming
|The tramper with the backpack|
|Mountain lake - that's where we swam|
|Aotearoa in a wrist|
Routeburn finished - 10 kms
Climbing on key summit to get good viewsHot day
Saw a kea parrot
Listened swiss legends and tried to tell some finnish ones
Got a horrible blister
Bus to amazing Milford Sound
On board on Milford Mariner
Saw penguins on a jet boat ride
Played the piano for few hours in the evening while people were singing, felt so good when people were 'impressed' about my playing :')
stayed up till 2:30 am and forgot to wake up to photograph the dawn
Milford Sound and beautiful pictures of this one of the most amazing places in NZ
had the best weather could hope for
Queenstown & shopping, bought new shoes (yellow high heels, still love them!)
Booking for activities for the next day
|Perfect day at Milford Sound - one of the most amazing places here|
|My french girl enjoying famous burger after the action day|
|Look at us two we're cute - and come from Germany and Austria!|
Bungy/Skydiving/jetboating.... I DID BUNGY!
Nevis Bungy, 134 m, highest in New Zealand
bought new shoes (yellow high heels, still love them!)
Skyline & GondolaFine, 'last' dining above the city
|Nevis Bungy - 134 m - highest in southern hemisphere|
|My jump wasn't the best but... I did it!|
|Bungy team Finland Sweden Switzerland|
Arrowtown - found Panda licorice in a sweet shop. had to buy and feed people with this lovely finnish treat which tastes even better on the other side of the worldBus to Mt. Cook - highest mountain of NZ
|The first bungy in the world - Kawarau Bridge Bungy|
DAY 16tasman glacier and jet boating on a glacier lake
Sir Edmund Hillary ( first to climb Mt. Everest - he was from NZ! ) arctic centre and few movies
Last day - living in the bus, feeling melancholy, not letting go of these people yet...
Writing at Lake Pukeki, perfect weather
By plane from Christchurch to AucklandDriving on the harbour bridge and feeling home
On south island I experienced a lot of things I have never experienced before. I fell in love with tramping, gotta do more in Finland though I've always liked it, remembered the enjoyment of kayaking, I got to know new amazing people, some people really grew very close to me and I will never let them slip away from my life. I did unusual things. I learned a lot. I had fun. I laughed, I cried. I talked and talked and talked. I took photos, so many that I could never put them to this blog or this website would be jammed. This programme I wrote is just a draft, something small, because I can't tell every lovely detail - I wrote 39 pages of this trip to my diary..... that maybe tells something?
There was something on the South Island that left my heart there. Something in that wild nature is the thing. and only a few people are living there. I love North Island but if I had to choose, I would choose the windy fields, the wild mountains, the clear lakes and the fascinating atmosphere of South Island. That. is. pure. New. Zealand.
Hope you enjoyed travelling on South Island with me though the places and my explanations must have been all greek for you!
Next post will be about my b'day and christmas. And the next one about Great Barrier Island. Keep on reading! Cheers!
x x Lotta