Summer

Crossing

Summer is my favourite season.

I like all of it; brightness of summer mornings, big open skies, lazy afternoons, scented summer nights … and of course long days of holidays when each and every hour belongs to me to do (or not) with it as I please. For a limited number of days at least.

In New Zealand summer arrives in December and that means that most of us combine end of the year festivities with annual holidays, aka – BBB (Beach, Batch, Barbeque)!

While there is certainly no shortage of beautiful beaches in New Zealand either by the lakes, rivers, or sea, batches and barbeques have undergone some transformations over the years and are now somewhat fleshier with price-tags to match. Still, as most Kiwis know – no price tag should be allowed to stand in a way of proper Kiwiana summer and to that end camping grounds (either organized or freedom ones) remain popular and well-attended as I observed on my recent trip to South Island.

Even though I spent my early years and couple of more recent ones on the North Island, South Island remains very special to me. Not only because I lived there for more than ten years, but also because my daughter still lives there as  a student at Otago University in Dunedin.

Otago University
Otago University

And so it is no wonder I could hardly wait to finish work on Christmas Eve and board the plane to take me from Wellington to Dunedin. Seeing my daughter and my two dear friends waiting for me at the air port in Dunedin was truly wonderful! We had a lovely Christmas in Dunedin, city with strong Scottish heritage, breathtakingly beautiful peninsula and home to New Zealand’s oldest University. While once the centre of gold-rush economy, nowadays the city is dominated by its University and income its generate.

Dunedin
Dunedin’s Railway Station built in 1906
Christmas in Dunedin
Christmas in Dunedin
St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral

After Christmas we travelled further South to visit picturesque little township of Roxburgh nestled in truly amazing region of  Central Otago, famous for its landscapes, bike-treks, stone fruit orchards and mighty Clutha River on which one of the earliest hydroelectric dens was built. Our friends who own and operate local hotel – Goldfields, extended to us their warm hospitality including trip to nearby rodeo in Millers Flat and ever popular Pinders Pond so named after the original owners of the land.

Goldfields
Goldfields
Pinders Pond
Pinders Pond

It was a hot and dusty day almost custom made for the local cowboys and cowgirls to show off their skills some of which were rather impressive! Not to mention unmistakably masculine odour; smell of horses, human sweat, dust, tobacco and leather. I can almost hear my grandfather next to me. And in some of those tall, green-blue eye boys with broad shoulders and large, working hands – I can almost see him.

Rodeo!
Rodeo!

After few more days basking in the company of my daughter (yes by that time she had rather enough of her mother constantly trying to hug her, like hugs and kisses can be bottled up and taken with me -:)) I left for Christchurch, city I once lived for a long time, including horrible times of earthquakes and where I have some of my dearest friends.

285
At Millers Flat

Before the earthquakes, city was known as a ‘Garden City’ for its beautiful gardens and overall very English atmosphere including punting on Avon River. Nowadays city is still very much under construction, but large and significant developments can be observed everywhere.

To say that I had a lovely time with my friends in Canterbury would not do the justice, perhaps ‘wild times’ would be better description!

The last leg of my journey took me from Christchurch to Picton via magnificent Coastal Pacific Scenic Route, courtesy of Kiwi Railway. The train journey took five hours and that means five hours of watching truly wonderful scenery of bushy hills and rugged Pacific coastline. The train’s open carriage provides opportunity to really enjoy the views as you travel very close to Pacific Ocean.

View from the train – quintessential NZ landscape!
View from the train – quintessential NZ landscape!
Another view from the train!
Another view from the train!
Train travel
Train travel

Once in Picton it is only a short walk to board the ferry across the Cook Strait. At the peril of sounding like a promotional tourist brochure, I must say that sailing across the Cook Strait is absolutely amazing. While I have crossed it before, every time is different; the beauty of Marlborough Sounds, wind that always blows across the Strait, (known as ‘Roaring Forties’) smell of sea and then approach to Wellington’s harbour after three hours journey.

Disembarking from the ferry, I thought how wonderful it all was and how fleeting.

Familiar streets of the city came into view and I knew that another year is now ahead of me … year, I decided is to be of solitude and writing. But of that – another time.

From the ferry
From the ferry
Crossing
Crossing
Sailing across the Cook Strait!
Sailing across the Cook Strait!

Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

20 thoughts on “Summer”

  1. Thank you for the tour! There are many places I hope to see, and NZ is certainly one of those, but it is SO very far from me………. well, it’s unlikely. But oh my, it looks like a wonderful place to call home. Wishing a happy and healthy New Year to you, my friend.

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    1. My dear friend!

      I am always so happy to hear from you! NZ only seems far from your place, truly it is well worth visiting! You would enjoy it, I am sure!

      Thank you so much for visiting the Lantern!

      All the best for 2015!
      Daniela

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  2. You do New Zealand proud and your writing skills impress the rest of us. WordPress is fortunate to have such an accomplished author to share with its membership and look forward to you future offerings.

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  3. Hi Daniela😀 What a lovely holiday you had. Thanks for sharing it. Is that your very tall daughter you are standing next to under the Christmas tree ? Have a lovely 2015 my friend. Ralph xox❤

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    1. Hi there my friend!

      Thank you for visiting the Lantern, must pop over to yours soonish! You would have loved travelling down south with me I am sure! My daughter is the one standing next to me on my right hand side in a black skirt and pale-blue top, she is not very tall!

      You have great 2015 too!

      Many thanks,
      Daniela!
      XO

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful trip you had, with some marvellous weather as well. Summer is a favourite with me, too. Glad you were able to renew your Christchurch connections. Some areas are starting to come right. I feel more positive about the rebuild this year. All the best for 2015.

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    1. Thank you very much for reading and commenting! I do love South Island very much and Christchurch is very dear to me! I am truly happy to see progress made and am sure that city will be truly beautiful again, although it will take some time.

      Best Wishes for 2015!
      Daniela

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year to you too Malcolm -;)!

      While influence of Britain certainly shaped lots of New Zealand, especially in early years, what really makes New Zealand unique is merger of European with Maori and Pacifica cultures and, more recently Asian cultures – all of which makes today NZ.

      And cucumber sandwiches are sometimes served but did not have them this time!

      Thank you very much for visiting the Lantern and your support!
      Daniela

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  5. Hi Daniela (Zemljakinjo), looks everything worked for you on your holidays – family, the weather, fantastic scenery and everything else. The photos you have taken are very nice and inspiring – I want to go now and visit all those places and travel in the same train🙂

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    1. Hi Zemljace!

      How lovely to hear from you! Thank you very much for reading and for commenting! Yes, it was lovely and you should certainly travel down South. With your eye for landscapes and photography – you would enjoy very much!

      Many thanks,
      Daniela

      Like

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