A road trip, Napier and Labour Day Weekend: Part 1

This weekend was the first long holiday weekend in months, and also another lovely, sunny one, which was good after the pretty awful weather we had earlier in the week.  We began the Labour Day weekend with going to see the Royal New Zealand Ballet in their mixed programme, Tutus on Tour.  This is composed of 5 pieces (4 pas de deux and a new version of “Peter and the Wolf”) which will tour around the country, visiting almost 50 towns and cities.  The company splits in two to accomplish this.  I really enjoyed a 1953 piece by Anthony Tudor, “Little Improvisations”, about two children playing in an attic, and Andrew Simmons “Through to You”, beautifully danced by Qi Huan and partner (there was no cast list).  “Peter and the Wolf” was great fun, and bound to appeal to the younger members of the audience, while having enough in it to also appeal to the adults.

On Saturday morning, we set off to drive over the Rimutaka Hills to Masterton, and then headed over to Dannevirke and Norsewood, where we stopped for a quick break and look around.  Norsewood was founded in the 1870s by Scandinavian migrants, mostly Norwegians with a few Swedes.  It was funny to see that distinctive red paint of Sweden (faluröd) in the middle of New Zealand!

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Welcome to Norsewood

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A real Swede in Norsewood

From there we drove on over to Napier.  Situated in Hawke’s Bay, the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, and rebuilt in Art Deco style.  As we drove in, the streets were lined with palm trees, which made us feel we were in California!  After checking in to our hotel, we went for a wander.  In Napier, you need to stare up, as the street level is shops, the art deco features being on the upper half.  Below are some of our first impressions of the city.

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As you can see we had glorious weather.  It was such a contrast to the beginning of the week in Wellington!

IMG_1270An evening stroll

For dinner on Saturday, we went to Indigo, an Indian restaurant, with excellent service and food.  Poppadom and dips came while we perused the menu.  I opted for a fish curry, which was delicious, and Karl had his usual chicken tikka masala, which he said was one of the best he had ever had.  Feeling satisfied, we walked back to our hotel for a nightcap and ready to face the next day.  More to come of our impressions in part 2.

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