Subject: Re: Welcome

>New Zealand is my dream, and I wish I can visit it one day.
>Unfortunately it's too far for me at the moment (I'm a poor student!),
>but in the future I'll come for sure. Which part do you live? Did you
>know about all the things our countries have in common?

I hope you can come to New Zealand and Australia, one day, and enjoy travelling through these great countries, as much as I have, travelling through Europe. BTW we already planning our next trip, after France, which will be to Germany and Italy. In answer to your question: My wife and I live in Christchurch, which is the largest city in the South Island. The population is 330,00, quite small compared with world standards. This has its good side though, as it only takes me 5 minutes to get to work and a traffic jam only last a maximum of two minutes or so. The South Island has one quarter of the total population and some of the best untouched scenery throughout New Zealand. This is especially true on or around the central mountain chain, the Southern Alps. Although our train service is not as good as in Europe, the bus service reaches most of the country. There is one dream train ride, that is the one goes across from the east coast, where we live, to the west coast. The west coast of the South Island is only now being developed as a tourist attraction and has some of the best areas that can be seen in their natural state. Sportsman have a field day here. You can hunt wild pig, deer, chamois, goats, wild cattle, all year round with out having a license. Of course you have to have a gun licence. Some of the best trout fishing can be had also. You do need a licence for this, however. Balloon riding over the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps is an experience to remember. Another great thing, well I think so anyway, is that you don't have to tip anybody. In fact New Zealanders do not like people doing as it might start a bad trend. People come from all over the world to go to our many ski fields. Although our petrol is more expensive than in the USA, it is a lot cheaper than in Europe. Also our exchange rate is very favourable. Flavio you mention that there is many similarities between New Zealand and Italy. Except for rugby, our national game, I can't think of any. Perhaps you could enlighten me Thanks Richard