Subject: Re: Thomas's travels
Just came back from New Zealand yesterday. The traveling time from Philadelphia, Pa. to Christchurch was brutal, but it was worth it! My son and I rented a car for two weeks, and he had no problem adjusting to driving on the left hand side. My fondest memories through South Island and North Island is Christchurch. My second favorite city is Wellington. We are putting together a New Zealand travelogue and will wait until we develop some of our photos, before creating our website. We had on and off clouds and sunshine on South Island, but by far, I found it to be more beautiful than the North Island. Much to my regret, we should have made this trip three weeks instead of two, as we would have had more time to relax and see more. The trip through the Fiordland was picturesque considering we did not have a sunny day. It is indeed impressive. We took side trips of the Heron sanctuary by power boat and through the rain forest. We also took a side trip in Queenstown by steamboat to the farm for sheep shearing and the beautiful homes on that island. I did not know New Zealand is such a young country, but that is the best part of the trip, as the people are so friendly, and life seems so simple. The homes are majestic in their simplicity, and there is a contentment in the way they live that we do not enjoy here in the United States. Franz Joseph was also a sight to behold, and the only bad experience we had was the bus tours coming into the hotel dominated service at the Franz Joseph hotel over the individual guests. They were curt and not as friendly. On my seventy-first birthday, my son treated me to a Maori Show in Rotorua at the Sheraton which included dinner, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. The Maori people are fascinating, and we enjoyed our trip to the Maori Village in Rotorua. We took a morning tour of Auckland as well as Wellington, and enjoyed them thoroughly. This is just a synopsis of our trip, but we will be putting together a website for you to read and see the best photos which we took. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Elaine