Sunday, 11 October 2015


Napier is a small city on the North Island of New Zealand. Following a big earthquake in 1931, the whole city had to be rebuilt. All of the new buildings were built in the style popular at the time: Art Deco. Wherever you go in the city centre, you just have to look up to see some stunning 30s architecture. Which makes it one of the most charming cities I've ever been to.

Of course, as Napier is now known for its Art Deco architecture, the tourist industry has realized what a great opportunity this is. And so has the city, making street signs remnant of the 30s, playing up the Art Deco wherever possible.

The backpackers I was staying at was an old Art Deco hotel, and even the toilets and bus terminal has been painted to go with the style of the rest of the city.

Napier is also a coastal town, which makes it even more charming, at least in my eyes. A perfect summer getaway, and with the weather warm enough to wear shorts for the first time since I got to New Zealand, it felt like I was on a lazy summer holiday by the seaside.

I went to the beach and paddled in the sea. It was still cool, but there's a wonderful novelty in being able to walk barefoot at the beach in October.

"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

On another note, I'm realizing again and again on this trip that I can do whatever I want, spend my time however I want. It does really take some getting used to. After 18 years of living at home, and 17 years in formal education, there has always been something I'm supposed to do. But not now. Right now I only have to consider what I want. If I want to go to every museum there is, see every sight possibly worth seeing, I can. And if I want to spend a couple of hours lazing in the sunshine in the botanical gardens, I can do that too. And although this won't last forever, and I really don't want it to last forever, it is a pretty incredible feeling to know that the next two months offer total freedom.

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