Posts from the ‘New Zealand’ category

Fotoeins Friday: New Zealand, new day, new year

UNESCO World Heritage logo, Wikimedia CC3 license

Plugging 20 UNESCO Heritage Sites Around the World

Since 1995, I’ve been fortunate to experience significant travel: first as green graduate student on my first (of many) trips to Chile; followed by the opportunity to live and work in 3 countries on 3 continents inside a span of 10 years. I didn’t give much thought about their relative importance at the time, but I’m lucky to have visited a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS).

I’ve written about 5 UNESCO sites in Germany and there’s more to come. Meanwhile, here below are a list and short descriptions of 20 additional UNESCO WHS from around the globe:

  1. Australia: Blue Mountains (Katoomba)
  2. Australia: Fremantle Prison
  3. Australia: Sydney Opera House
  4. Argentina: Iguazú Falls, Iguazú National Park
  5. Brazil: Iguaçu Falls, Iguaçu National Park
  6. Brazil: Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves (Curitiba)
  7. China: Historic Centre of Macao
  8. Czech Republic: Historic Centre of Prague
  9. Czech Republic: Kutná Hora
  10. Denmark: Kronborg Castle (Helsingør)
  11. France: Historic Site of Lyons
  12. Italy: Cinque Terre
  13. México: Historic Centre of México City
  14. México: San Miguel de Allende
  15. New Zealand: Te Wāhipounamu (South Island)
  16. Spain: Alhambra, Generalife, & Albayzín (Granada)
  17. Spain: Cathedral, Alcázar & Archivo de Indias in Seville
  18. Sweden: Skogskyrkogården (Stockholm)
  19. United Kingdom: Old & New Towns of Edinburgh (Scotland)
  20. USA: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island)

( Click here for more )

New Zealand, true-colour image from NASA Terra satellite, December 2002.

New Zealand’s Māori anthems: Pokarekare Ana, E Ihowa Atua

New Zealand is located in a part of our planet that’s about as far as one can go. The country provides easy inspiration with her striking scenery and friendly people. Memories remain sharp and fresh after multiple visits to Wellington and Auckland, as well as a solid three weeks on the South Island.

I’m in love with her. The longer I’m in country, the more the land reveals deeper insights about her culture and language. New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Bringing me back to this land are two songs in Māori, “Pokarekare Ana” and “E Ihowa Atua”, which are, respectively, the unofficial and official national anthems. An appropriate choice of music evokes a grand sense of longing that’s especially true standing among majestic snow-covered peaks on an island nation deep in the Southern Ocean.

( Click here for more )

Fotoeins’ 13 Instants from 2013

It’s been an interesting year, as “interesting” came complete with their own highs and lows, across a variety of nations on three continents. Friends would say that’s simply par for the course to describe any length of time on travel. I ended my year-long around-the-world (RTW) trip in January, sought a new path in Sydney, Australia between March and June, and returned to Vancouver, Canada with a short stop in Europe for a writing course at the end of July. The following 13 moments in 2013 arrive courtesy from Berlin, Germany; Sydney, Australia; Vancouver, Canada; and Wellington, New Zealand.

( Click here for more )

Food Alley, Auckland, New Zealand

Mum’s cooking at Auckland’s Food Alley

Long distance recollections

A number of years ago, I stopped in Auckland, New Zealand for a few days on my way back from Sydney, Australia to La Serena, Chile.

I was stunned to find mum’s cooking.

I immediately called mum in Vancouver to let her know someone stole her recipe for claypot rice.

She was skeptical and told me to get back to Vancouver for the real thing.

I told her the commute back home from the southern hemisphere was a little rough, but I’d be back to visit in a few months …

The holy urban trinity

It might be an odd combination, but when I’m in a city for the first time, I look for three things: green spaces, art spaces, and decent food.

With subsequent visits to Auckland, I’m happy to have found all three in New Zealand’s largest city.

Getting around Auckland isn’t as difficult as it might seem, as various Link Bus services are an inexpensive and effective way of getting around the city for both residents and visitors. After my visit to the Auckland Domain and the Auckland Museum, I step off the Inner Link bus on Albert Street, and I make the short way to Food Alley for dinner.

Food Alley in Auckland’s CBD

Recommended as a cheap-eat by various sources including the New Zealand Herald, Food Alley is an unassuming looking no-nonsense food court, consisting of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian, Korean, Malaysian, Thai, and Vietnamese stalls.

While some might express disapproval at eating in a food court, Food Alley is similar to the Cooked Food Centres (the old “dai pai dong”) in Hong Kong or the hawker centres in Singapore. Drawing comparisons with southeast Asia is a very good thing.

In late-afternoon and early-evening, Food Alley is packed with people, and every stall is seeing some action.

This is a first indication of a good thing.

Many minutes of indecision ensued when faced with all of the choices. But I feel an invisible force tugging at my sleeves, and I’m “pulled” toward Claypot Rose, where a number of dishes are cooked in … well … claypots. They even include little pictures of how the dishes appeared.

Now, a common piece of wisdom is avoid places with pictures of food, but every stall in Food Alley has little pictures showing what they have on offer. But it’s busy here, and people are quiet as they’re digging eagerly into their food. They’re in animated conversation once their plates are empty.

This is the second indication this place is going to be good.

Food Alley, Auckland, New Zealand, myRTW, fotoeins.com

Chinese Clay Pot Rose

I remember looking into our family’s kitchen while mum prepared steamed chicken with ginger and Chinese sausage on a bed of rice and bok-choy. I see that memory come alive in front of me, the “claypot chicken rice with Chinese sausage” (煲仔雞臘腸飯) consisting of chunks of steamed chicken (雞) and sausage (臘腸), seasoned with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and crowned generously with chopped green onion and red chiles. To augment my round of gluttony, I order an extra BBQ-pork egg foo yung.

Pure taste was my third indication and the ultimate clincher.

Like a question of what came first or, simply, what’s better, both chicken and egg are really good, but the claypot chicken rice brings me back to the past with the familiar flavours. I never thought I’d experience that taste outside of my childhood home, until I stepped into Food Alley and discovered the replicated stylings of mum’s cooking.

Address & Map for Food Alley

Food Alley is located in Auckland’s Central Business District at 9 Albert Street, just minutes on foot from Britomart Train Station. They’re open every day from 1030am to 10pm. The Link Bus, including the City-, Inner-, and Outer-Link services, runs in both directions on all routes with 10- to 20-minute frequencies every day until about 11pm.

Other recent commentary about Food Alley: The Selfish Years, and The Food Pornographer.

I made the photos above with a 4th-generation iPodTouch on 31 July 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-3n0.

No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions Disclosure: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,432 other followers

%d bloggers like this: