Monday, 3 December 2018

A Visit to Hobbiton!

Visiting Hobbiton was probably the highlight of the whole trip for me, at least. I had bought the tickets online before we came to New Zealand so the only thing I had to do was arrange transport to the film set. We had been in Auckland beforehand, so I thought changing to Hamilton for a few days would make it easier to visit and cheaper.

We got public transport to Matamata and there we waited for the Hobbiton bus to pick up everyone going to the set. The driver told us lots of information about the owners of the farm where the film set is located and how Peter Jackson found the place and the secrecy during the filming. I found it all very interesting to know.

We had a guided tour and she also told us lots of information about the film set too. It was just amazing and at times you just expected a hobbit to walk out. We were able to go into some of the houses and check them out. Nearing the end of the tour we were taken to the Green Dragon Inn where all the hobbits went for a drink or two in the film. There we could have a drink as part of the entrance fee, plus if you are feeling a bit peckish a bite to eat as well.

I would highly recommend visiting especially if you are a Lord of The Rings/Hobbit fan. We had a two hour tour which was enough to get a feel for the place and the atmosphere. There are many websites to choose from, I got the tickets from and have bought other tickets from this site too and quite like it.

Wishing you all a good start to the week

Sunday, 2 December 2018

November Reading List

I have been quite lapse in my blogging and furthermore in my posts about all the books I have been reading. I think I last did a post about what I read in July, so now I skip a few months and hop onto November. It has been a good month for reading as you can see from the photos.

They were all very good to be honest, but I will say that I loved My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and now it has been made into a TV series too. I have her next book in the series which I will begin now.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, it was not the nicest of weather but I did get out and about on both days. I had a lovely lunch with some friends and we did the secret Santa game and I got three lovely gifts from Hannah. There are lots of Christmas markets around and I have only been to the one  in Bellevue. It has such lovely food stalls from all over the world.

Wishing you all a great start for the coming week

Saturday, 17 November 2018

A Visit to the International Antarctic Research Centre, Christchurch, NZ

One of the places we visited in Christchurch was the International Antarctic Research Centre, it is located next to the airport.

I was quite excited to visit this place and find out about life on this huge continent, all about the wildlife and what research is done there.

There is quite a few things to do in this place and they are all fun. They have some blue penguins which have been injured and therefore cannot live in the wild anymore. There is a feeding time and the person explains about them.  Also we got to experience an Antarctic storm, you are given warm clothes to put on and the storm weather begins. It goes to -8 and there is a wind chill of -18, it was pretty cold, but I am sure I have felt that cold here. (or maybe not)

Alessio enjoyed two things, one was the Hägglund, which is an all-terrain amphibious Antarctic vehicle. The ride takes only 5 mins but you are thrown around and jolted up and down on an obstacle course. It gives you a insight into how people travel around.

I think though for Alessio his favourite was getting to see and pat the huskies. They were all very calm and more than likely used to lots of people coming in to pat them. The only thing the women said was not to look them straight into the eye. I stayed for a bit but Alessio stayed for as long as he could. He looked like a natural and no wonder he pesters me to get him a dog.

There was also a 4D cinema, which we went twice and for me was the first time I had experienced this and certainly was not expecting water in my face.

Of course there are the exhibitions about what the scientists and researchers do there and the animals that live there. All in all a great place to visit and interesting for adults and kids alike.

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Sunset on the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

I do love to see sunsets and sunrises, this one was seen returning from our wildlife tour on the Otago peninsula. As we headed off to Dunedin, we were lucky to see this sunset, I took the photos from inside the minivan.

Today I went to the Christmas Bazaar, held each year by the St.Andrew´s Anglican Church. It has all the usual stuff you can think of, books, dvds, British food, Christmas crackers, toys and some other stuff. I, of course bought books and treated myself to some scones and a tin of custard.

Tonight I am hosting a staff (Christmas) meal, everyone brought stuff to work during the week I then brought to my place. It will be my first fondue of the season, there will be salads and desserts and of course drinks.

Wishing you all a lovely evening

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The Magic Fountain, Barcelona

Our trip to Barcelona took place during the second week of the school holidays, we were here for 4 full days, so we packed in a lot of sightseeing.

The first evening we went to see The Magic Fountain which is situated very near to Plaza Espana, in the Montjuic area. It takes place in the evenings and it depends of the time of year as well. In October it is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

There was a huge crowd as to be expected but we found a spot to wait. At 9pm it started and we were not disappointed. The music, the different colours and the changing of the water made for a great spectacle. It did kind of remind me of the light show we saw in Singapore.

It lasted around 20mins and afterwards we went back to our hotel. I took my new camera with me and it seems I still do not know how to use it. I tried to put the photos on my laptop but they would not download. I hope I manage to do it.

We are not really in the Halloween mood, I have been ill since the weekend and have been off work too. Alessio is going to a Halloween party this afternoon, so at least he will have some fun. I guess I should get some sweets in case some kids come knocking on the door.

Happy Halloween