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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Bungee jumping in Taupo

(Norwegian text further down)
I didn't have very many plans when going to New Zealand. I still don't, in fact. I am currently in Wellington with no idea how the next month will look (but more on that later). However, I did have a few things I wanted to do: I wanted to visit Hobbiton (check), I wanted to go to the Waitomo Glowworm caves (check), I wanted to do some hikes (which I have, but I want to do more), and I wanted to bungee jump.

Now I'm not a person who takes a lot of physical risks. But even though I'm in no way an adernaline junkie, somehow the idea of bungee jumping got stuck in my head. Maybe because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that the fear wouldn't hold me back. Maybe just to be able to experience what it's like to fall 47 metres toward the ground (luckily a river in this case, which somehow makes it less scary).

Queenstown is the most popular place to bungee jump in New Zealand - it was where it all started, and there are several different jumps there. Taupo is the most popular on the North Island, and as I happened to be there I thought 'well, why not now?'. And I did it! And it was okay. I talked to a Canadian guy afterwards, and he said that all he wanted to do was just go again. For me the one time was plenty.

And like most things in life, the scariest part was before I jumped.
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Jeg hadde ikke veldig mange planer da jeg dro til New Zealand. Det har jeg fortsatt ikke. Akkurat nå er jeg i Wellington, og jeg aner ikke hvordan den neste måneden kommer til å se ut (men mer om det senere). Men jeg hadde fortsatt noen få ting jeg hadde lyst til å gjøre: jeg ville besøke Hobsyssel (gjort), jeg ville dra til gløderormhulene i Waitomo (gjort), jeg hhadde lyst til å gå noen turer, særlig i fjellet (og det har jeg gjort, men jeg vil fortsatt gå flere turer), og jeg hadde lyst til å hoppe i strikk.

Jeg er ikke en person som tar mange fysiske riske. Men selv om jeg på ingen måte er en adrenalinjunkie hadde ideen om å hoppe i strikk på en eller annen måte blitt med meg. Kanskje fordi jeg ville bevise for meg selv at jeg faktisk kunne gjøre det, at frykten ikke ville holde meg tilbake. Kanskje bare for å oppleve hvordan det føles å falle 47 meter ned mot bakken (eller elven, som er litt mindre skremmende).

I New Zealand er Queenstown det mest populære stedet å hoppe i strikk - det var der det hele begynte. Taupo er det mest populære stedet på Nordøya, og siden jeg var der tenkte jeg "hvorfor ikke bare gjøre det nå?". Og jeg gjorde det! Og det var okay. Jeg snakket med en kanadisk fyr etterpå, og han sa at nå hadde han bare lyst til å gjøre det igjen. En gang var mer enn nok for meg.

Men som de fleste andre ting i livet var det mest skummelt før jeg hoppet.

And a little video clip, of me sounding slightly terrified.


Friday, 25 September 2015

Lake Taupo




 Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand, created by a volcanic eruption, and the pride of the area. The first day I decided to take a walk along the lake. It was a grey day, and of course is started raining halfway through. I kept on going, though, and rainy walks have their own allure.








After my second day here, I decided to go down to the lake to take some photos at dusk. Like most people I love sunrises and sunsets. The light, of course, is beautiful, but there's also something incredibly calming about witnessing the transition, from day to night and night to day. It is such an obvious change of state, yet one that is easy to ignore.



And today, today I walked back along the lake, after visiting the botanical garden. I wasn't really planning on stopping for photos, but blue sky was visible for the first time while I've been here, and the sun was just starting to set. People were walking leisurely along the beach, after a day of work or exploring. Nobody were rushing, everyone just enjoying the last rays of sunshine of the day.

And it's quite incredible, how different a place can feel, depending on things like time and weather. You can go somewhere a thousand times, and yet still discover something new, feel something new, the one thousand and first time you visit.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Kuirau Park | Rotorua





I woke up to a grey and dreary day, and so I walked out withoug many expectations, thinking it was a day for spending safely inside. And then I walked to Kuirau Park - with the natural geothermal steam against the grey sky it was like stepping into a fairytale. Around every corner I expected to see an elf hiding, a dragon sleeping, a centaur waiting. Because this mysterious park looked like it could contain anything.

Monday, 21 September 2015

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.


"Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort." (J.R.R. Tolkien)

I was a bit too excited to visit Hobbiton, so I mentally prepared myself to be disappointed. But despite being overpriced, and only offering group tours, despite some construction work and chilly weather, I loved it! I loved being able to physically visit a world I've been lost in so many times. And I especially loved that it was Hobbiton I got to visit, as Hobbits might just be my favourite fantasy creature out there - lovers of comfort and food, but courageous when they need to be. As a relatively short person I've also always wanted to live in a hobbit hole.

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Jeg gledet meg litt for mye til å besøke Hobsyssel, så jeg forberedte meg på å bli skuffet. Men selv om det var alt for dyrt, og det bare var guidede turer, og selv om det var litt byggearbeid og det var en kjølig dag elsket jeg det! Jeg elsket å kunne fysisk besøke en verden jeg har vært fortapt i så mange ganger. Og jeg elsket spesielt at det var Hobsyssel jeg fikk besøke, ettersom hobbiter sannsynligivs er de fantasyvesenene jeg liker aller best - de er hjemmekjære og matglade, men er modige når de trenger det. Og som en relativt kort person har jeg alltid hatt lyst til å bo i en hobbithule.


 This tree, on top of Bag End, is apparently one of the most expensive movie props ever. It is all fake, as they had to have a slightly smaller tree than the one shown in the Lord of the Rings, to appear 60 years younger. All of the leaves are handpainted, and handdrawn onto the tree. It is shown in the movies for a few seconds. One of the many tiny perfectionist (and very expensive) details Peter Jackson insisted on.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Rotorua

Within seconds of the bus driving into Rotorua, I liked it better than Auckland. Rotorua is a town known for its geothermal activity, and has for that reason become a massive tourist attraction. Nonetheless its a lovely town, surrounded by lakes and with its own redwood forest.

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Jeg likte Rotorua bedre enn Auckland i det øyeblikket bussen kjørte inn i byen. Rotorua er en by som er kjent for sin geotermiske aktivitet, og har av den grunn blitt en stor turistattraksjon. Det er uansett en fin by, med flere innsjøer og til og med en Redwood-skog.


Te Puia
Te Puia is a Maori Cultural attraction, and is possibly the most touristy way you can imagine to experience some Maori culture (though not necessarily in a bad way). Te Puia is located within a thermal reserve, called Te Whakarewarewa, where the main drawcard is the geyser, Pohutu. There's some sort of thermal activity around every corner, whether geysers, mud pools and hot pools. Large parts of New Zealand is very similar to Norway, but Rotorua is very different. Which might be one of the reasons I've been enjoying it so much.

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Te Puia er en Maori kulturattraksjon, og er kanskje den mest turistete måten å oppleve litt av kulturen til Maoriene. Te Puia ligger i et geotermisk reservat som heter Te Whakarewarewa, hvor den største attraksjonen er geysiren Pohutu. Mye av New Zealand er veldig likt Norge, men med geotermisk aktivitet stort sett overalt er Rotorua veldig annerledes. Og det er kanskje en av grunnene til at jeg liker stedet så godt.