As we had friends visiting from Sydney we decided to head south and show off a part of the country they had not seen. 3 hours south, we spent the night at my mothers in Kakanui. It was raining and so we had to stay indoors and tipple.
I can tell you're all with me so far...
The next morning dawned dull and grey and raining, so we headed even further south to the beautiful city of Dunedin. I do love Dunedin but there are lots of hilly streets and so on, my youngest decided Dunedin was too "up" for her!
We visited the old Railway Station Building, the floral display outside was great, and as I love blue in gardens I chose this photo to show you!
From there we wandered about and took even more photos, the kids were delighted to be able to use their own cameras rather than 'borrow' mine. The entranceway was enticing, indoors is a sports gallery and and art gallery. This is one of the side entrances.....with a rain puddle (incase you're wondering, it was not me)!!
I could tell you about our wild night out on the town, but that may be the subject of another post. Suffice to say - we had a wild night out.
The next day dawned BRIGHT AND LOVELY! So we went to the Cadbury Chocolate factory, and had a mini tour owing to the fact they don't process at the weekends. It was great seeing all that chocolate, sadly we weren't allowed our cameras during the tour so I can't show you the giant chocolate-fall, but their website might have it if you follow the link. This is a photo of a Crunchie Mountain...
Then we went to Larnach castle, NZ's only real castle. Fantastic place but if you're used to seeing castles it may be rather smaller than you're used to. Can you believe it, but even tho' I have lived here all my life I had never been to the castle before. I am so glad I went as the gardens were beautiful and walking through the bush to get there was magical - birds singing and trees whispering, sun shining...kids laughing in the distance.
All through the grounds there is an Alice in Wonderland aspect, apparently there is some alleged relationship between the Larnach family and Lewis Carrol that suggests "Alice" may indeed have been based on the Larnach daughter of the same name. The link will fill you in!
Poor old Mr Larnach didn't have much luck with wives, they seem to have died all over the place and he himself eventually died by his own hand - he was quite an important fellow in our Government circles and he shot himself in Parliament.
The view form the front of the castle back towards the city can be seen from the next photo...
If you (hahahahahahaha) 'imbiggen" the photo you should be able to glimpse the city across the water in the background. Just lovely, but isolated and no wonder one of his wives felt left out up there (he built her a smaller house in the city but she died of apoplexy not long after).
From there, having had a wild night out, we were all in need of a greasy lunch. Why is that? You have a night on the turps and suddenly you need a shot of grease to feel better. Or is that just me? In the old days, I used to have poached eggs with brown onion gravy the morning after the night before...if you could get past the fact that the eggs looked like Marty Feldman eyes your hangover would go in a matter of hours! I digress,
Anyway, we knew there was a fish and chip shop in Portobello just round in the next bay so off we went.
Of course, I got sidetracked by the 'cemetery' sign. Dunedin was settled very early in our history so the scattered grave stones are very old indeed. There were 2 that caught my attention.
This one, which entombed a husband and wife...
No idea who is sleeping on which side but SOMEONE is hogging all the moss!
And this one, which is somewhat self-explanatory....
Come on...out with the 'stiff dick' jokes, I dare you! Actually, for the record there were quite a few Dicks buried here, apparently there was a large family of them who worked on the Castle as stonemason's....to the left behind the gravestone above was another family plot whose name (in equally large lettering) is 'ARNOTT'.
And that was the weekend that was!
Something about being in the cemetery made me think of this song...