Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mid-Semester Break: Dunedin to Queenstown!

Well as you can tell Katie and I did not waste anytime being board in Rotorua, and we continued that trend all the way back through to the return trip to Auckland! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
So after a quite evening in Rotorua riding our bikes, Katie and I got up nice and early to catch our 8:30 flight to Dunedin. After flying one hour to Chistchurch, were our ten minute layover let us rest for about a minute, we hopped onto another small one hour flight to Dunedin, where our friendly shuttle driver was waiting to pick us up and bring us to Larnach Castle!
Some of you might remember that I visited Larnach once before with Keri after the earthquake, but this trip to the castle was going to be very different because unlike Keri and I, Katie and I did not have to leave at 5 o'clock.
Katie and I could only squeeze one night in Dunedin, so we talked it over and decided to splurge and stay at the Larnach Castle. Now don't get to excited, we couldn't stay in the grand bedrooms in the actual castle, but Katie and I did settle for the stable stay. So Katie and I spent the night in the stables of New Zealand's only castle! Before we settled down for a rather wonderful night of sleep, Katie and I spent the afternoon exploring the castle and grounds. Unfortunately, it was a little rainy, but the consistently changing sky made the views from the top of the castle unforgettable!
After waking around the castle, and making a few plans for the next couple of days, Katie and I hitched a cab to Plato, one of Dunedin's best restaurants, in my option, and had an unforgettable diner.
For those of you who are familiar with my sister and I, you cannot help but to notice some slight differences between us, and some might be wondering if those slight, and albeit minimal differences, might have become a problem, but let me tell you they did not! At this dinner, Katie and I spent around two hours slowly eating, and enjoying some of most New Zealand's wonderful wines, talking and laughing about family and differences. Katie and I despite our uniqueness proved to me quite compatible traveling companions, and will remember this trip forever!
So after our wonderful dinner of a cheese plate, squid, fish, salads, and two fabulous deserts, Katie and I headed back to the castle for some well deserved rest.
But again with no time wasted, Katie and I woke up early to a complementary breakfast in the stables, and left the castle ready to explore Dunedin, and start on the next leg of our trip.
Originally we had planned to go horse trekking in Dunedin, but the rainy weather deterred us, so instead we took a walking tour of Dunedin, and then a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. We spent two hours walking in the on-and-off rain seeing all of the famous sights of Dunedin, including the train station, which is one of the worlds most photographed buildings.
After the more informative tour, Katie and I were excited to see the inner workings of the famous and delicious chocolate factory. Katie and I enjoyed the tour learning all about the chocolate corporation and where they get their ingredients. One of our favorite facts about Cadbury Chocolates is that each factory produces different candy products. So for example, the factory in England is where all of the Cadbury Easter eggs are made. And because the factories are placed around the world, each factory has chocolate that taste different from the others. This is because they try and use products that are closer to the factory. So NZ chocolate uses sugar from Australia, and milk from NZ cows, but the factories in the UK use UK cows, which are fed off of different feeds, so the chocolate taste different! I will be bring back samples of NZ Cadbury Chocolate, so that we can compare US Cadbury Chocolate and see which one is better!
After our chocolaty tour complete with free samples, Katie and I met up with Kathleen from Christchurch for a delicious lunch of good old fashion Dunedin fish and chips! It was great to chatch up with Kathleen and see how she was surviving the transfer. After our lunch Katie and I were off to the airport again for a quick flight to Queenstown were our biggest adventure awaits us, but I have already wrote enough for one post, so you'll just have to wait to hear about our cruse through Milford Sounds, and our 12,000 ft skydive.

One last thing, I just wanted to say a quick hello and congratulations to the Castlemans, who I miss dearly, and I am told just celebrated their 60th anniversary! I am so happy to hear that you all are doing well and are following my blog! I miss you all and Tustie of course, hope spring is coming soon!

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