2/21/10: Queenstown, New Zealand
If I was given the chance to create my own city, here’s the type of landscape I would look for:
- A lake or bay with the bluest water imaginable
- Surrounding mountains taken from a Thomas Kinkaid painting
- Thick foliage for clean, breathable oxygen
- An abundance of rivers and creeks
- Grassy, green parks surrounding aforementioned trees and creeks
I could scour the earth for years and probably not come across such a place… or I can buy Queenstown.
It’s nice not having any expectations when traveling to a new city (other than the oft-mentioned “you’re going to absolutely love it there”). I pictured a busy metropolitan area similar to Sydney, combined with the cleanliness of Tokyo and including more adventure sports than one can count. Instead though, Queenstown is a tiny town (population: 13,500) surrounded by beautiful mountains and sitting on a lake with the bluest water imaginable. (Although the cleanliness does approach Tokyo levels and the adventure sports thing is definitely true.) My first impression of Queenstown: the “Zhou-sized” airport we flew into was in such a breathtaking setting that people were actually sunbathing by the terminals.
The best superlative I can use to describe how gorgeous this city is? After a nearly sleepless night in the seats at the Auckland airport, a normally-would-be-grouchy Zhou was so impressed that she gave up her nap to walk around the town.
Today’s travel tip: book your hostels in advance! Zhou mentioned the debacle last night thanks to that Tom Jones character, and today was almost as bad. We walked around for over an hour trying to find a place to stay, but everywhere was booked up. Given it was a Sunday with nothing particularly important going on in town (other than the fact that every day is the nicest day ever in Queenstown), we thought it would be easy to find a place. We wound up getting a couple of the last dorm beds available at a hostel at the top of a hill out of the main drag of the city. It turns out that this place suits us very well, but we did get lucky and it’s not fun to walk up and down the Queenstown hills with all our luggage after an awful night at the airport.
Puzzles for Postcards
Rhyme Time! (Solve all four of these Toblerone-inspired rhymes)
Give me a break from all the small talk about this candy bar
If The King named his daughter after one of his favorite candy companies
If Bart Simpson hit you so hard with his candy bar that it gave you a sharp pain
An artisan carves this “rainbow” candy with his trusty knife
Picture of the Day: I know we usually play “Where’s Wal-Zhou?” but today it’s my turn to be found in the picture. Good luck!