This morning dawned a little better than yesterday; still looking threatening with dark clouds and mist on the horizon, but we set off optimistically to look at Dunedin. It is the place where the buildings look recognisably English, or Scottish, with lots of stone and brick and some veritable mansions in parts of the city. We went to see the famous Railway station first, a very grand impressive building indeed, and Rich was very tempted to take off on another train journey, but eventually settled for a bus tour of the city when one arrived outside the station. It took us to all parts of Dunedin with a funny and informative commentary from our driver. The links with Edinburgh, in terms of the situation as well as the architecture, are clear. We then explored on foot until after lunch, when we had decided to go out to the Otago peninsula and Larnach Castle, to see the famous gardens there.
We were not disappointed; it really is a fabulous spot and incredible work has been done with structures, levels and garden rooms reflecting different parts of the world, different eras or different styles of gardening. I was particularly impressed with the plant combinations and the plant choices, some quite unusual and dramatic. The only other time we have seen Echium of this stature was in Ireland. They have an Alice in Wonderland theme running through the garden too, hence the huge throne I am sitting on.
From there we wound through precipitous little lanes on the Otago peninsula seeing the sea from every side. Dunedin probably has more coastline per linear mile than anywhere! We saw lots of sea birds, culminating in the Albatross colony on the cliffs right at the end. They are so huge and soar so effortlessly it is an amazing sight. They have a body about the size of a swan and a 3-metre wingspan. They never flap their wings except at take off, and glide effortlessly. We also saw seals again, but they refuse to be photogenic.
On the drive home Rich spotted some very photogenic old boatsheds and some old Dunedin trams, and lastly what appeared to be Nogin the Nog’s boat! I wonder how many of you remember him?