I've got a Golden Ticket

Trip Start Jun 10, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dunedin is a city of hills. As such, one of our first stops was Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world (really; it's in the Guiness Book of World Records). It doesn't look that bad from the bottom, but once you start to hike up, it gets much worse. We made it, feeling a certain satisfaction, and while resting at the top were entertained by cars struggling to the top. We had heard that unless you get some good momentum going before you reach the really steep part, you won't make it, though all the cars we saw did, including a van full of other backpackers whose cheers could be heard through closed doors and windows when they gained the summit.

We actually had some things planned for the first full day we were there that had specific times, so while waiting for the first of those in the afternoon we ventured into one of the coffee shops Dunedin is semi-known for. We all had snacks and coffee (a cinnamon roll and cappuccino for me) and sat around talking for a while. The coffee, music, talk and atmosphere made me feel almost like I was back at college in a coffee shop just off campus.

Our first activity was a tour of Cadbury World, the chocolate factory in Dunedin. It was sort of neat seeing behind the scenes, and especially getting free chocolate, but it was still just a factory. They had a chocolate fall, but it was just for entertainment purposes and had no manufacturing use. Later that evening we toured the Speights Brewery. It was a much better tour, even though the pump they use to get spring water was broken so the brewery wans't opporating during the tour. It had a section with a short history of beer and Speights, then we were taken into the brewery itself and got to see all the equipment used. The guide was much better as well, joking around with us and just generally more pleasant than the Cadbury one. At the end we had 30 minutes in a tasting room to try the six types of beer Speights produces. I still strongly dislike the taste of beer, but it was interesting to taste the differences between them. The one I think I would like most if I liked beer (or the one I disliked the least currently) was the darkest because of its coffee-like aftertaste.

The next morning we were woken up by one of the managers yanking open the curtains in the dorm we were in and unceremoniously kicked out of the hostel. We hadn't booked another night and they booked all the beds, so we had to go. It was fine, because we had planned on heading to Queenstown that day anyway, but first Philipp went to eat lunch with the cousin of a friend or something, so we had to waste a couple hours before leaving. We ate some lunch and Dom and I played a game of chess on a giant chessboard in the center of town (I won). However, when Philipp got back he said the guy he ate lunch with told him the peninnsula was not to be missed. Even though Dom and I still wanted to just head to Queenstown, it was Sebastian's car and he wanted to go to the peninnsula, so we had to find another hosel.

The peninnsula was all right, but not worth another night. We saw some sea lions and some good views from some oceanside cliffs, but that was about it. We saw a penguin or two as well, but once again from a great distance. The plus side of it was the new hostel we stayed at, Penny's, had free Internet. Anyway, we set off for Queenstown the next day, so it was not too bad.
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