This weekend, I went up to Auckland to visit friends and to go to see The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s latest production of ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which I have decided to review in the next post, as it made such an impression. I had heard excellent things about it and was not disappointed. It was also good to wait to see it in Auckland with friends that I have gone to the ballet with once a year since moving to New Zealand.
The iconic tower, Sky Tower, seen from below
I flew up on Friday after work, on what I call one of the ‘cheese and wine’ flights with Air New Zealand, where you get two decent sized pieces of cheese and a choice of three wines to keep you going on the short flight. Saturday began with a leisurely breakfast of home made waffles before we headed into town. After a browse around Smith and Caughey’s department store, we set off for the Auckland Art Gallery.
Auckland Art Gallery
The gallery is located just next to Albert Park in the middle of the city. Opened in 1888 (and described at the time as ‘the first permanent Art Gallery in the Dominion’), it is the largest art institution in the country, with collections of New Zealand and Pacific Island artists, as well as international art works.
Inside the old part of the gallery
One exhibition we went to, “New Zealand Jewellery”, was not quite what we expected from the title. Wunderuma, as it was named, was a mix of contemporary and historical paintings, objects and jewellery or adornments. There were all sorts of things from necklaces made of cigarette ends to greenstone pendants and silver items. It was interesting and definitely challenging!
Sunday began with heavy showers, which turned to sun, then back to rain, and back to sun. We drove out to Coatseville market, which is perhaps not the best market I’ve been to in New Zealand, but there were still some interesting stalls to browse.
A reminder about the effort bees go to make honey
Straw for sale
As usual there was a wide variety of food to try, taste and buy, from donuts to organic ice cream and gelato, to mussel fritters to cheese and pretzels. I bought an incredibly fresh, soft and tasty pretzel with cheese and salami. To bring home, I purchased some smoked brie, that I am looking forward to eating with some oatcakes.
All in all, a lovely weekend away. Next post: the ballet!