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'Auckland - The City of Sails'

Places to See in Auckland - Queen Street, One Tree Hill, Harbor Bridge, Davenport, The Auckland Art Gallery, Taupo - fresh water lake


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International Travelogue - Trip to Auckland, New Zealand

Life is an awfully lonesome affair, you come into the world alone and you leave the world all alone yet it seems to me, you are more alone whilst living than ever going or coming.

  Amidst all good and bad days one fine morning last March, our son invited us to be in Auckland. We were busy with the formalities and by the time it completed, March rolled to the first week of June. On the 16th, my husband and I boarded the flight for Bangkok and from there to Auckland, “The City Of Sails”

It was a nice sunny 18th morning and we reached Auckland at 11 am. Our son had come along with his friend to pick us up. He had rented a nice apartment for us in the heart of the city. The city’s busy main artery and show street is “Queen Street”, which was just a few minutes walk from our place.

New Zealand’s biggest city Auckland is a throbbing and high-spirited cosmopolitan city situated in elegant blue water setting on a narrow neck of land between Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbor. It is clean and admiringly beautiful and I call the city “Green Auckland”. Before I write about Auckland I would like to mention a brief History of New Zealand.

The local or the original people of the country are known as “Maori”  Prior to the arrival of European Colonists in the late 18th century the Maoris had settled throughout New Zealand. Any people visiting the country will become aware of the Maori language as the vast majority of place names are of Maori origin. We visited many places and some of them worth mentioning are Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill, Harbor Bridge Davenport etc. We also had the opportunity of seeing some beautiful beaches. The Auckland Art Gallery is amazing and has the most extensive collection of National and International art in New Zealand. Although we missed going inside Auckland’s most iconic building, the Sky Tower, nevertheless whilst on wheels we were very near to it always missing the turret by a few yards. On, the 11th of July our son and his few friends decided to take us to Taupo and Rotorua taking two days leave from their workplaces. Meanwhile our daughter had joined us on the 2nd.

So we had two cars. In our car we were our family and in the other, our son’s three friends. Our son was driving as he is more familiar with the roads and following him at the back were his friends...It was late in the evening when we started. Auckland is a great city for driving. The traffic is generally light, roads are well-maintained and the passing scenery makes the kilometer worthwhile. Although many times from the opposite side huge monstrous trucks decorated with light used to pass by.

After three hours we were in Taupo - Taupo is known for the largest fresh water lake. The water is stunningly blue, the air fresh and unpolluted. The Almighty is a creative designer and has care fully decorated the earth with mountains, rivers, sea, and the most important of God’s creation - human being who has a mind. I do not find words for the scenic beauty. Every place seemed to be a post card carefully painted with rich colors. Good time passes soon and we were at the end of fourth week. It was here whilst our stays in Auckland, we met a certain gentleman who took English classes for the Church girls and boys. We got introduced to him and he asked us ‘’ Are you from India” “Well yes” was our answer. “Which city”, he questioned? We told him Noida, which is one hour drive from Delhi. “Oh! Delhi the capital of India!” he exclaimed. “Yes” I nodded promptly he answered, with his raised eye brows, “Delhi is very dirty”. “How do you know?” I gave a quick reply. He answered he had seen on the TV. Oh! I put a brave smile, “You must have seen Old Delhi, but New Delhi is very clean. “I am so sorry” answered the Teacher’

When we reached home, silently I said to myself, what a shame. Oh! God I lied to myself, I lied to the English Teacher - Our whole country is dirty. We are over populated, we refuse to abide with the code of law, we have no traffic rules and we take the law for granted. I am truly ashamed to write down this; I wonder how many of us know the meaning of our Tiranga, our National Flag? In every country children are taught in schools “Know your country” We have no such concept. How long will this go on? How many more times we tell lies, how many more times we deceive in the form of untruthful statement and how many more, we do not know where to hide our faces? No more The winds of change We must and we will. It is not “I”; it is four wheels of “We” on the move to “Unbelievable India” serene, poised, firm and morally upright. I wish I can write down a hundred times, May We, May I have the opportunity to go to a foreign land again and again, and each time We go, I go, I treasure my thoughts in secret, “Your country is good, but ours is better - the best” I walk with pride on the road and tell to the one who puts up a question. We have no desire to stay in your country for long, a country which is not ours, which is not mine. Someone much better is waiting for me, my people, and our land. It is a sense of possessiveness a feeling of elation And a feeling which I do not understand--

Contributing Traveller  Minakshi Chakraborty loves her country. She is an Arts Graduate under Meerut University and is computer savvy. Whilst studying in Sophia convent, she was awarded the "Top Girl Badge". Her Hobbies include teaching, writing, listening to old classics, traveling, reading and is fond of History. DOB 5th July 1950 Email [email protected] , [email protected]

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