Sunday, 13 June 2010

NZ Holiday - Day 10 - The Chinese Garden Monstrosity, Steep Street of Impending Doom and Delightful Rich Dude's House

Dunedin. Wish we’d spent more time here. Historically rich and excellent winding roads for more of that ‘spirited’ driving.

Dunedin lays claim to the world’s steepest street. The Ford managed to crawl up and down this impressive 45° obstacle with 4 adults on board! No-one in this area needs a Gym membership. A walk in the backyard would be like climbing Everest. Mark and Tamsin know all about this sort of terrain.

Excellent venison sausage and mash for lunch. Damn I love venison. Bambi sure does taste good. So many deer farms here. The 7 foot fencing must cost a fortune. Lots of sheep too, And field after field filled with some sort of smelly vegetable they use as a winter feed supplement.

Nita insisted on a visit Olverston, an enormous historic mansion which made me very angry cos there was no parking. The place was incredibly incredible though. The story behind it even more so. The owner left the house to the city of Dunedin fully furnished, right down to clothing and personal belongings. A beautifully restored 1922 Fiat limousine, originally purchased new by the owner, is in the garage.

Olverston is a unique time capsule showing how a very wealthy family lived in Dunedin during the early 1900’s. Their lifestyle and tastes are displayed by the paintings, sculptures, carvings and furniture they collected over some well-travelled years.

The modern conveniences incorporated into the house seemed ahead of their time. T’was almost as though the 4 story house was built recently and back-dated to look old. For instance the telephone and intercom service throughout the house; a lift, central heating, heated towel rails, modern conveniences abound, even for the servants.

Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to really appreciate the beautiful detail throughout, as the tour was fast paced by a prissy bitch to allow for a maximum of revenue returns. In essence we were booted out as quickly as possible, predictably into the gift shop. Well, whatever it cost it was worth it. I forget the entry fee as I’m not allowed to pay for anything.

We then went to a ‘famous’ Chinese Garden. This was a mistake after being surrounded by such historic grandeur at Olverston. We still might have been impressed with the Chinese Garden if it had been properly executed, but it was a plastic facsimile, with structures and landscaping so utterly false and contrived. Just frigging awful. Eric and I spent the whole time making fun of the polypropylene wood sculptures and shot-creted rockeries. Chinese people would cringe to see this commercial monstrosity.

Go to day 11.

Go back to Day 1- The Airport/Customs/Flight/Airport/Customs Horror.

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