So long to Christchurch, hello to Moeraki, known for its marble-like rocks sitting in the ocean, and a restaurant called Fleur’s Place. Those are the two main attractions in this sleepy seaside hamlet. If you come here, make a booking at her ramshackle seaside cottage. It sits on a pier and a lovely, white-haired woman (who must be Fleur), and her staff cook whatever the fisherman show up with each afternoon. We tried the seafood chowder, smoked potted eel, and a sampler of different pan-fried fish fillets. And we washed it down with savory seaweed beer! Gosh I love trying new things!
I love how water can shape things over time.
Welcome to our next stop: the city of Dunedin! Its heritage is Scottish, so of course we liked it…as Clay’s ancestry is Scottish, and he has a Scottish brother-in-law…and the Scots have the best accent in the world…and Scottish people have the most beautiful blue eyes. Anyway, we arrived on Valentine’s Day and went to a Scottish restaurant for dinner fittingly called Scotia.
They had a dizzying selection of whiskies.
I overheard an old man in a pub the other day betting the bartender who would win some rugby game, and he bet the bartender two whiskeys that his team would win, and followed up by saying, “Put your money where your mouth is. Talk is cheap, but whiskey costs money.” Ha! I like that.
Yes, I ate homemade haggis on Valentine’s. In case you don’t know about this Scottish tradition, Google it. It’s very hearty, and I think healthy if it is homemade. Chock full of iron and fiber. At least that’s what I tried to tell myself as I ate a sheep’s minced heart, liver, and lungs.
A fellow diner with whom we struck up a conversation. His name is Neville and he is spear-heading the effort to restore the cable cars in Dunedin, which was the world’s second city to have cable cars. San Francisco was the first. He looks like an older Woody Harrelson to me, no? We talked to him so dern long that my haggis got cold.
Dunedin has a good energy, because it is home to The University of Otago. So it’s got lots of young, rowdy students who love to go to rugby games in kilts and make a bunch of ruckus. Being around youthful energy is always a good idea. This cool setup was on their campus.
Now that I am out of school, I forget how much I love learning! Made me want to take up practicing my French again. The whisper dish was awesome! Clay stood at the other end, and with these big metal dishes, our whispers from meters away were loud and clear.
The University of Otago reminded me of Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Golly I wish I had been accepted there!
I love buildings that fit the shape of the property on which they are situated. Especially if they are Irish and can make me a good Irish coffee!
Another pretty cathedral of Dunedin.
If I woke up and didn’t know I was in New Zealand, I would think I was in one of those exquisite, painstakingly designed, took-a-million-years-to-build, glorious European cities.
Dunedin Railway Station.
Whoever is the landscape architect here shares my love for wildflowers. Macmama taught me, “One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” -Hans Christian Andersen
A wee look at the train station’s interior.
Beautiful tile mosaic floor inside.
There is something so romantic about an old train station.
They don’t make ticket windows like this anymore! Love the nostalgia of rail travel. The few times we have visited NYC, we always go sit in Grand Central Station and people watch. It’s a beautiful old train station with such an exciting energy…all the businessmen and women passing through with their NYC-fast-pace walking, coffee in hand, headed somewhere to make some deal in a high rise, or maybe on the way to audition for a broadway show. I like imagining their lives.
Baldwin Street, Dunedin. The world’s steepest residential street.
Can you tell I was not wanting to participate in this photography session?
Driving back down this street was more terrifying to me than a roller coaster. I can’t imagine living on it and driving it every day!
Adieu Dunedin, aloha Tunnel Beach! Tunnel Beach is an incredible sandstone formation just south of Dunedin.
As we treaded veeeeery lightly and quickly over that natural land bridge in the photo, I said a little prayer of, “Lord don’t let this thing collapse into the sea right now…please.”
Why they call it Tunnel Beach! You gotta climb down through that creepy tunnel in order to get down to sea level. I felt very, very claustrophobic and like the earth above me might cave in on my at any second.
It reminded us a little bit of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland…not nearly as tall though!
Das me up there!
See the faces?
This is one of my favorites. That rock formation looks like a Beluga Whale! Equally as pretty to watch was how much fun that dad and his daughter were having playing together.
At low tide, you can walk into these sea caves. I guess I am petting the rocks?
A bit spooky in there! Again, felt very claustrophobic. Walked in, sprinted out. I didn’t realize I have an irrational fear of something terribly heavy falling on me and crushing me until our day at Tunnel Beach.
Back up at the top!