Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dunedin in the Sunshine!

Believe it - the proof is in the pictures.
I had 2 days in Dunedin, and didn't hire a car until I was ready to leave, which meant I walked everywhere - I'm sure my doctor would be pleased, and I felt better for it.
But while wandering, I took photos, as one does! Of things which interested me, or amused me, or puzzled me.
For example, I had dinner in a lovely Italian restaurant on Princess Street in what was 'The Savoy' - Etrusco. Not only was the food lovely and the service good, but the building is delightful, including as it does stained glass windows with coats of arms. These are apparently English, but they look lovely, And the outside has delightful touches, like the lions holding up the verandah:
Dunedin is full of lovely buildings, and some with unexpected functions:
And then there's the Railway Station. It is apparently Dunedin's most photographed building (according to one brochure I looked at). So of course I did, in company with a group of other tourists! (Although some were just as fascinated by the poppies in the ornamental garden.)
And that's just the outside. What a lot of visitors don't realise, is that it's just as lovely inside and up close. There are a lot of very classy tiles, stanined glass windows, and small decorative details, if you take the time to look:
Outside the Station, in the formal grounds, is a signpost. In a sign of the times, it points to, among other places, Otaru! Any the wiser?

It is in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.
Opposite the Railway Station is a gloriously irrelevant piece of graffiti:

I guess it was an important statement to someone at some time!
I was also taken by Dunedin prison. Auckland's Mt Eden Prison looks like a prison should - grim, forbidding, dirty, uninviting. By contrast, Dunedin Prison, could easily be mistaken for a well-maintained warehouse, or a converted apartment building. If you missed the sign, and just glanced at it, you would never know.
(Actually, this is an entrance to the Court, next door to the Prison itself)
Even some of the smaller buildings have aspirations 'above their station' - I mean, it's ONLY 2 stories high, but look at the proportions of the coat of arms!

Some of the buildings are a little quirky, which I liked. A case in point: The Mercure Hotel in which I stayed, has a long history, but it also has some interesting embellishments!

(This is actually the rear of the building)
And then, while walking along Princess St towards South Dunedin, I came across, this little park - very inspirational!
Contrast this: an advertisement for a gig at a local bar, with special memorials to VC winners in Queen's Gardens!
I have tended to associate Dunedin with churches, and certainly there are some very impressive ones, but I was taken by a number of statues on this trip:
Although I'm damned if I know what Victoria's flunky is doing holding a bloody great two-handed sword! Routing the people who were enjoying themselves perhaps?
Churches - I only really spent time gazing at First Church in Moray Place. The day was sunny and warm, the trees in front were still draped in their new fresh spring greenery and so provided a soft framing to one of New Zealand's finer Gothic style churches - certainly one of the most impressive spires!
Perhaps the most puzzling moment came when I glanced at this sign, and then had to do a double-take. It was just along from my Hotel, and, when read carefully is absolutely clear; but it does illustrate the perils of not being careful when deciding on a web address or URL! First glances can be deceiving.

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