Art deco by the sea

Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
Trip End Jun 30, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, March 19, 2006

I'm here in Napier for a quick overnight stop. I hadn't planned on coming out here, but everyone I met back in Taupo said it was really nice and worth a stop, so I jumped on the InterCity yesterday to have a look.

Napier is on the east coast of the North Island, on the ocean, and it's a town of about 60,000 people or so. What is unusual about it is that the town was almost entirely destroyed by earthquake in 1931. After the earthquake, a rebuilding frenzy over the next two years was done almost entirely in the Art Deco style that was prominent at the time. So the resulting town vaguely resembles Miami, but with nicer people.

There's a nice vibe here, laid-back and friendly. And today is absolutely beautiful, with clear blue sky, turquoise water, and plenty of sunshine. Hard to believe it's cold and miserable back home.

This morning there was a large craft market on the waterfront. The squares all have nice gardens, and there's a pretty pedestrian area with shops and cafes. I took a walking tour this morning that covered the architectural history and features of the buildings, and otherwise just took it easy, which was a nice break after last night's St. Patrick's Day party. I'll be heading back to Taupo shortly, but I'm glad I came out here.
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suanne on

Did you know...
That New Zealand is actually on the same fault line as California, where it's known as the San Andreas fault. Well it's true.


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