Auckland Museum

 More time to kill as I try to avoid doing the lesson plans for Blue Dragon, so I finally made my way up to the Museum. It’s located in the Auckland Domain, an area of grassland up past the hospital. An old building, all columns and sandstone, stood on a hill with a nice view of the harbour from the front. There’s a new entrance being worked on at the other end of the building, which will apparently increase it’s footprint size by 60%. This will open in December, so I’ll have to pop back then.

 Entry is free, but they ask for a $5 donation for adults. Well worth the price, in my opinion. The lower floor is given over predominantly to Maori and other Pacific history, with some information on immigrant Auckland over the years. Floor 2 is natural history including a very good permanent volcano exhibit. Part of this is a rather unsettling demonstration of what could happen should one of New Zealand’s many active volcanos choose to erupt. I won’t spoil it – go and see!

 The top floor is given over to military history ranging from the South African campaigns through the two world wars. I found someone with my surname in the list of the dead from WWI, which did surprise me as I don’t think I have that common a surname. To him and everyone else on all the walls on the third floor – thank you.

As luck would have it, it had been tipping it down almost the entire time I was in the building but had stopped by the time I left. It was a little late to pick any lunch up, so I headed back to the hostel for beans on toast. I had to borrow the hostel’s only can opener, though. It seems all the campers keep nicking them to take with them. It’s not something I really want to have to buy for myself but I fear I may end up with one in my rucksack by the middle of next week “just in case”.

 I spent some time in the afternoon rattling off more course notes for the Blue Dragon and my passport is now in an envelope somewhere, hopefully being checked over for my new Vietnamese visa. With any luck, it’ll arrive back at Indy’s before I head south again.

The evening wasn’t terribly exciting. Nice to catch a few of you on MSN for the first time in ages! I had an early night with the aim of rising at 3am to watch the World Cup opening ceremony. Instead, I just snoozed right through. Well, it was only Germany displaying their defensive frailties. As a Newcastle fan, I’ve seen enough of that kind of football to last me a lifetime. Posted by Picasa

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