Did I learn anything new today?

6 03 2011

With hubby doing some temporary shifts at Auckland Airport, we’ve had the roles reversed and he’s been “going away on business” rather than me. Hmmm, not sure I like that! LOL

This weekend I decided to go up with him to see if I could experience a bit more of Auckland. We did a day there when we were on our recce/holiday in October 2009, and my first plan was to go and see my old uni mate who lives up there.

After exchanging some texts with her, it turned out that she was away herself that weekend, so that put paid to that plan. I turned my attention to figuring out Plan B. After a little bit of research and some thinking, I decided upon a visit to Rangitoto and a nice walk with views back to the city.

Well, as it turns out, the weather when we got to Auckland was just like the last time we visited. Shitty and wet. Not really conducive to visiting a volcanic island. So then came Plan C. Or at least trying to figure one out.

Being stuck in a hotel by the airport, my first dilemma was getting into the city without spending a small fortune. Luckily, the public bus service sorted that out. An hour later though (don’t ask) I got off the bus with the intention of going to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Now, I’m not exactly a “culture vulture”, and I prefer engaging, interactive museum exhibits than staring at stationary artefacts and reading lots of blurb about their significance. (significant though I’m sure they are).

Auckland was definitely more of the latter rather than the former, but I needed somewhere dry to pass the time, so I spent a couple of hours wandering through the exhibits, a little aimlessly if I’m honest. We’ve travelled far and wide. We’ve been to countless museums, including Te Papa. Auckland didn’t really make it high up the list. It doesn’t even provide a great view of the city centre.

But was my time wasted? Don’t you go to museums to learn something? Did Auckland Museum at least fulfil that objective? Well, I sat on the bus on the way back (and a much shorter journey than the first) trying to figure out the answer to that question.

And the response? I did. I learnt that Auckland is made up of 48 volcanoes, and if those dormant beasts dare to wake, Auckland would be worse off than Christchurch.

I also learnt about the major sacrifice that NZ men made supporting the Commonwealth during the first World wars, losing a significant proportion of its fighting-age men to defend the honour and valour of its allies.

And I also learnt about the ANZAC battle that has led to the creation of a national holiday on 25th April. But I’m still not clear about why the day has been marked as a holiday. After all, Rememberance Day in the UK is observed on the Sunday closest to the 11th November.

So at least I learnt something and didn’t waste my time completely. But should I have learnt more?

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