For The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate
When The Captain asked me if I wanted to go the Auckland Lantern Festival, my first thought was ‘really, Lanterns, that sounds kind of boring’…..
…but our friends Bev and Robbie from S/V Mersoleil had raved about it, and they were going, so I decided to attend.
And ignorant me, I learned that Lantern Festivals are a really big deal!
Part of the Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC-221 AD) …..
…..Lantern Festivals are usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar which marks the end of New Year festivities.
The Lantern Festival is also popularly referred to as the Chinese Valentine’s Day…..
….because in days of old it gave girls and boys a rare chance to go out in the evening without chaperones.”
The Auckland Festival has been running for 16 years and is held in Albert Park.
On the evening we attended, the Park was jam packed with celebrants.
In addition to the extensive display of beautiful lanterns (I have only shared a small percentage of them here)….
…..the Festival offered a multitude of entertainment for all ages…
and some of the yummiest, most affordable food that we have found in New Zealand.
All for the entry price of $0.
So if you are visiting Auckland at the conclusion of the Chinese New Year….
….check out the Lantern Festival.
You will be glad that you did.
Auckland. The City of Sails. Filled with excitement as it welcomes the Volvo Ocean Race, arriving after a 20 day, 5,264 nautical miles journey from Sanya, China.
Leg 4 of this round-the-world race is now completed.
The remaining six teams have sailed over half way around the world.
For now, it is time to refuel, refit, and relax…..
….and to celebrate with fun activities including those designed to inspire a future generation of Ocean Racers
So why do they do it?
What is their reward? There is no cash prize for winning the race but there is a trophy that ‘symbolizes the glory of winning’. I think that Mike Sanderson, winning skipper of the 2005 -2006 Volvo Ocean Race said it best: ‘It was my Olympic Gold, my Mount Everest, my childhood dream’.
It was quite a treat to cross paths with these amazing sailors, even if we are circumnavigating in opposite directions and at much different speeds. I wish the racers fair winds and following seas as they continue their journey from Auckland on March 15.
The Captain and I have returned to Amandla after a bit of land travel on the North Island.
Our travels took us from the tip of the island at Cape Reinga…..
…to Tongariro National Park in the south central part of the island – with many stops between.
We were treated to spectacular landscapes…
…and stunning views.
We enjoyed the city buzz of Auckland …..
…and art in many forms from traditional to street.
Best of all was a visit from my cousins Penny and Peter who spent a few days with us in Opua and then took me on a brief road trip to scout out locations for my subsequent travels with The Captain.
While it is nice to be back home on Amandla, we will miss long hot showers, indoor heating and (me) maid service.
We will remain in Opua until around December 15 when we will ‘life anchor’ again and set sail for Marlborough Sound. From there, we will do a bit more land travel on the South Island.
This one is for The Daily Post: Photography 101
The timing for this assignment was perfect as I headed to Auckland, New Zealand on a ‘land cruise’ with my cousins yesterday.
As we approached the city, the Sky Tower beckoned from the Auckland Skyline and I immediately knew I had found my muse.
As evening came (at a nice, late hour as summer approaches in New Zealand) I headed down to the Sky Tower for a few night shots.
Then this morning, headed back for a few daytime close ups and was treated to a show from a very brave ‘Sky Jumper’ who decided to take a leap.
While I am comfortable spending weeks in the open ocean on a 47 foot sailboat, the thought of jumping from or walking along the Sky Tower rim is something that I just don’t have the courage to do, so I really commend the few, the brave, the insane that rise to the challenge.
View my other Photography 101 submissions here