Friday, February 11, 2011
This morning we took a bus tour around Christchurch to the neighboring area to Lyttelton. The views were beyond amazing. We wound our way through some mountain paths and I have to take my hat off to our bus driver as he navigated those hairpin turns, horseshoe bends and switchbacks with seeming ease. The roads were quite narrow, one lane each way, and along the way were cyclists tackling the mountain. There were few guard rails and at times we were right near the edge by a sheer drop into an abyss. I'm not bothered by heights but even I was getting a little queasy at how high up AND close to the edge we were.
But the views were worth the risk. I can't even do justice in describing how magnificent they were and we were told we "haven't seen anything yet". If that's so, then it's mind boggling how beautiful it is here. I can't even begin to describe it and will wait until I can post a few pictures to give even a poor semblance of what I mean. So far I'm really enjoying New Zealand and as a destination place, it seems even more ideal than Australia if you don't want a lot of crowds and want some wide-open space to relax in or be as active as you wish.
We all grabbed a quick lunch at a stop in Lyttelton, at a local bakery. They had a nice selection of savory pies and I enjoyed another meat pie. If Australia was known for its fish n chips, I have to give the nod to New Zealand for its meat pies, at least at the Lyttelton Bakery. The crust was flaky, the gravy was good and there were honest-to-goodness chunks of beef in that little pie. I also tried a dessert bar called a Sploge. Which I'd never heard of before but the girl at the bakery explained it was a chocolate layer underneath a caramel layer. 'kay, twist my arm to try it. At the first bite, I wasn't sure I liked it as it seemed a bit more crumbly than I expected which always connotated dryness in a bar cookie to me. But the flavor was quite good and I liked the caramel layer over the chocolate layer. It wasn't caramel the way I normally think of caramel as it wasn't free-flowing gooeyness but rather it was like the chocolate layer in a brownie texture but with a caramel flavor.
After we got back to Christchurch, I walked around the botanical gardens then browsed amongst the Art Centre shops until it was time for my fudge kitchen tour at the Fudge Cottage (next post).