February 8 at 5:06 PM ·
We docked at Napier NZ this morning, and since we don’t have much time, Glen booked us the Hawke’s Bay Express, a modern road train built & run by a local family that feels like an old-fashioned steam engine. We toured downtown, up to Bluff Hill for panoramic views of the city, including the Sleeping Giant mountains in the distance, then continued to Ahuriri, once the old port village and now a haven for summer tourists. We stopped near the former National Tobacco Company building, perhaps the region’s Art Deco masterpiece, at the Customs House for more maps & photos explaining how the giant earthquake of 1931 not only demolished the young city, but raised up the ground level creating a whole new section to build that was formerly marshland or underwater. Since they had to rebuild so much all at once, they made wider car-friendly streets and chose the cheaper and then-current Art Deco style, which they have preserved to this day even in the street signs. They have an Art Deco Festival, several shops selling antiques and/or reproductions, vintage cars on the Marine Parade, and even vintage cars with owners in period attire along with a Dixieland band at the dock! We even walked down the shingle/pebble beach to the water’s edge to see Cape Kidnappers across the bay. Very cute town and wish we could stay longer, especially in the lovely weather today!
at Ms Noordam.
February 9 at 1:00 PM
We sailed away from Napier early at 2pm since we had to get all the way around the horn for Tauranga in the morning, which was 20 knots so really rocky seas again. I took double pills and made it through with only a little headache. Ruth, Glen & I watched Bohemian Rhapsody, then I strolled around with Ruth while guys played cards again. This was the last gala night to dress fancy, so I wore the sequin butterfly shirt Grandma gave me from her closet years ago, and I toasted to her with a Johnnie Walker Black. 🙂My new rhinestone headband from Napier went well with the sequins so I wore it too. Hopefully our formal group photo on the staircase will turn out well! At 9:45 the scheduled “Chocolate Surprise” was a parade of chocolate desserts all around the deck, so glad it was perfect timing after our dinner! Everyone else was too tired for any other events, so we all called it an early night.