Saturday, February 11, 2017

Auckland, N.Z.- February 11, 2017

This morning after breakfast we boarded a bus for a tour of the city of Auckland guided by our tour director, Katie and bus driver, Eric.  We then took a harbor cruise tour.  Beautiful day with bright sunshine, temperatures in the 70's and wind.  The bus brought us back to the hotel from the boat ride and then we were free to do whatever.  Tom and I walked about the city looking for someplace to get lunch.  There are many places to get sushi as Chinese are probably the largest group of tourists to come down here.  We did find a place to get burgers which were pretty good.  Returned to the hotel and felt a real need to get some rest in the afternoon.  A group of Indian men apparently came to the hotel and many have moved into rooms on our floor.  A knock came to the door and when I answered the door one of these men dressed in a bathrobe was at the door.  He apologized and moved on.
Early evening we went out in search of toothpaste since Tom's was confiscated at the airport.  After obtaining the toothpaste we noticed a street closed off and large groups of people walking through the closed off street so we decided to investigate what was going on.  There is a city parklike area where there was a Chinese Lantern Festival happening.  No charge for admission.  There was lots of displays of large lanterns depicting all kinds of scenes.  Reminded me of our Christmas displays set up in various towns. We have been in the midst of Chinese New Year's celebrations throughout our travels in Australia and, now, New Zealand.   There was also music entertainment Chinese style and Chinese food vendors.
We didn't eat at the festival but came back toward the hotel and ate at a restaurant that our tour director had pointed out, Betsia restaurant.    Food was good with kebabs and salads.