Hello, Welcome to my blog...

Hello, welcome to my blog...
Weaving photos and information on the life of Rebecca into the fabric of the Web

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rendezvous with Rotorua

I'm home from my adventure in the Rotorua region of New Zealand's North Island, where I saw rolling, gloriously green hills and neat pine tree hedges dividing properties and farms (mostly sheep, cow and deer farms). At this time of year it doesn't get dark until 9pm, allowing plenty of time for sight-seeing.

Our accommdation:
25/1/11: On the first morning after arrival, we drove to Rotorua for breakfast where I had delicious pancakes with roasted banana and pecans. Then we visited the Mamaku Blue winery and blueberry farm, where we enjoyed blueberries and sampled wines, jams, jellies and chutneys. After sampling wines at the Mills and Morton Estate wineries, we surveyed the beautiful surroundings of the Bay of Plenty and gathered pips and mussels on Maketu Beach (I recommend the fish and chips there too). We visited the Tutea and Okere roaring waterfalls and ate NZ olives and cheese.
Maketu Beach:
Our gathered mussels:

26/1/11: At the thermal Wai-O-Tapu springs we saw the Lady Knox geyser, boiling mud pools and hot springs with names like the Artist's Palette and Champagne Pool. The pools were various colours, including green, due to minerals in the water. Lunch was at Lake Tapau, overlooking the pristine, blue waters. We were entertained by the Te-Puia Maori cultural experience, which included Maori dancing, a demonstrataion of fighting skills and a hangi (dinner) of Maori kai (food).
Wai-O-Tapu thermal mud and springs:

Vegetation coloured by the sulphur:
Lady Knox geyser:

Lake Tapau:
Te-Puia cultural experience:
27/1/11: An exciting day. The Skyline gondola provided a terrific view of Lake Rotorua and the luge (which involves manoeuvring a small cart downhill at a high speed) was lots of fun. Next was the Ogo, a giant plastic ball that was released to roll downhill with me strapped inside- the most stomach churning ride I'd ever been on!  Lunch was at Lake Rotorua and in the evening we went to the night markets where there was blackberry icecream, art, crafts, cheeses and other food.
Skyline gondola:

The Ogo:
Lake Rotorua:
The black swans:
28/1/11: A day of recovery, shopping and using the internet cafe.
29/1/11: I relished an extremely relaxing hot spring bath in a 1920's style building that was once a Spanish mission and nearby was the Rotorua museum. We stopped off at the Redwood Forest. The village of Te Wairoa, burried from an erruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886, was next on our agenda. Dinner was at Macs Steaks, which we all agreed was delicious.
After my hot spring bath:

The museum:
The Redwood Forest:

The Waitoharuru Valley:

30/1/11: The trip ended with a visit to Auckland's Skytower where we observed Auckland from 220 metres above the city.
The Skytower:

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Flood

My property narrowly escaped being flooded on Tuesday and Wednesday. The flood waters came up to my fence and flooded my next door neighbour's property. Had the flood waters reached 22 metres, as predicted, they would've been up to my roof. I evacuated to the home of family friends both nights and am staying with my parents now because I'm still without electricity. According to Energex, it will possibly take until Monday evening to restore electricity. A family friend who took photos will email them to me and I'll post them later.

Monday, January 10, 2011

France's Christian art and architecture part 2

Christian art and architecture from Paris, starting with Saint-Chapelle...

The statue of Saint Michael...

The Notre-Dame...

Ceiling painting in the Chateau de Versailles...
An abbey...
The Pope's summer residence with arched ceilings, Orange...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christian art and architecture of France

It's a rainy Sunday so I've decided to reflect on the Christian art and architecture I encountered on my trip to France. (I might save my photos of England for another time.)

The story in Saintes Maries de la Mer (southern France) is that Mary and Martha sailed to the town in a small boat.
An entrance to old Avignon, Provence...
...the city and it's churches were built to last, literally on rock.
The Palace of the Popes, Avignon, complete with gargoyles...

 A Christian artefact from the north east of France...