nostromos bLog






* all entries (444)
* concerts (28)
* misc (119)
* techtalk (18)
* travel (241)
  `-bruxelles_07 (8)
  `-canada_14 (22)
  `-hongkong_09 (13)
  `-iceland_10 (14)
  `-ireland_16 (7)
  `-japan_13 (22)
  `-paris_06 (1)
  `-poland_10 (3)
  `-russia_10 (12)
  `-scotland_15 (11)
  `-sweden_09 (10)
  `-taiwan_12 (22)
  `-tokyo_08 (14)
  `-usa_09 (10)
* zoo (38)
  `-abroad (8)
  `-linz (3)
  `-misc (11)
  `-schoenbrunn (16)


07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)
08(01)
10(01)

Sun, 04 Sep 2011
day 05 in kiwi-land, (0 comments)
today we saw dolphins in a bay in ngunguru, yippieh!. we passed by with the car when i noticed loads of people standing next to the street, some with cameras, all staring at the sea. i then got a glimpse on some splashing water about 100m away from the shore and something that looked like a black fin. so we stopped, and joined the crowd watching several dolphins swimming in the bay. i think it were about ten to twelve dolphins. some people grabbed their canoes or surfboards and tried to get closer to the dolphins. although they were curious they still kept a little distance to the people. but very cute.
around 30 minutes later, the dolphins left the bay and swam back to the open sea. so we went on to matapouri, a lovely little village, where we followed a hiking trail that led us around the cliffs and back to the beach where we started - the whale-bay walk. also we had a short stop at the whale bay beach. again a wonderful beach. although there were a lot of houses it still seemed like a ghost town to us. no people, no cars, just us, and some birds. but we noticed all those real estate agent posts, that almost every house had in the front garden. seems like one could buy a lot of houses here, or even the entire village.
last stop for today was the hundertwasser toilet in kawakawa before we headed to the hostel in paihia. there was a cute cat on the other side of the road, but sadly i didn't get very close to it.
wohooo, we took a pee in the hundertwasser toilets! and it's also father's day today in new zealand.

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Sat, 03 Sep 2011
day 04 in kiwi-land, (0 comments)
today i got up and started picking oranges from the tree in the garden, as tony said guests of the hostel can pick them if they like. so i picked some, and then squeezed them to have fresh orange juice for breakfast, while nina was taking a long shower. nomnom, that was really good. before we left, tony gave us some more advice on what to see and where to go. and today it was nina's turn to drive the car. we soon got to waipu cove, a lovely beach right next to the street. there we met a father with two kids who was into photography and wanted to teach his kids some principles on photography (as he said). he also told us, that there's a nice path up the hill which will bring us to some lovely places. but before that we had to cross a little river. so we took off our shoes, passed it, and started our hiking tour.
and the guy right, we indeed saw some wonderful things, like cute birds, impressive trees, or shelly beach, with millions of shells - what a beautiful and colourful graveyard. some of them were really big. we also saw the guy then doing long-time exposures of water, while the kids were running around and having fun on their own, like hiding in the soft, high grown grass. it was really fun, because one of them was right close to our path, then jumped into the grass, and has disappeared. very cool.
when we returned, the water was almost gone, so we could hop over back to other side of the stream. we had a nice cupcake with a coffee at the nearby cafe, and then drove on to whangarei to spend the night there.

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Fri, 02 Sep 2011
day 03 in kiwi-land, (0 comments)
after checking out at the hostel and putting our stuff into lockers again, we headed back to "real groovy" to look at the awesome stuff they offer again. also the cafe had opened now, so we had our breakfast there with excellent coffee and delicious muffins. then we were strolling around auckland again, came by a museum which unfortunately was closed, went to the huge university campus and albert park where they have really awesome trees.
getting internet here is actually not an easy task. it's quite expensive (about 2EUR per 15 minutes). so we stopped at a cafe that had a "free wi-fi" sign outside. at least we could check emails, and nina had a delicious bagel. then we had to rush back to the hostel as we were fetched from there to be brought to our car. yippieh, finally a place to store our luggage. so a guy drove us to some other region of auckland and a little while later we had our car. a shiny nissan sunny, fully insured. i took the risk of starting to drive. it really is hard to go on the left side in the beginning, especially when taking a turn. but i know that soon i will be used to it. so, until then, i should avoid getting involved in any accidents. when driving state highway 1, we decided to go to the botanical garden of auckland, since it was free of entrance. it covers a huge area and it really would take you loads of time to see everything, so we were just walking around, not seeking any particular plant.
it's getting dark here pretty early, around 19:00 o'clock. so when we left the botanical garden, sun already started to set. we decided to spend the night in waipu, where they had a YHA hostel (which nina and i are still members, as we joined them in iceland, one year ago. but membership expires on 13th of september, but we can renew our membership then). at the hostel there was only us and one other guest, named tony. he was very friendly and gave us advice on what to do in the north, and what to see. quite helpful information for us. tony is on holiday right now, and his wife and kids are in germany, visiting relatives. funny thing is, his whole holiday trip, and also his wife and kid's trip is paid by some guy who spends his time in tony's house. what for? rugby of course. this guy spends all this money just to have an accommodation during the rugby world cup, that currently takes place in new zealand. lucky tony.

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Thu, 01 Sep 2011
day 02 in kiwi-land, (0 comments)
since the hostel could offer a twin room for only one night, we decided to try our luck today at some other hostel in auckland. but before that the reception lady got us a nice car offer. ha, the guy at the airport was wrong again! though it was not one of the low budget offers, it's still pretty cheap, and even cheaper than if we would have booked it beforehand via the internetz. so we have a car now, which we will pick up tomorrow at 14:00. or, to be more precise, we will be picked up to be brought to the car. we left our luggage at a locker in the hostel and started to explore auckland. so we went down upper queen's street to the harbour, where we wanted to get a ferry to rangitoto island, to go a little hiking and enjoying nature and a fabulous view over auckland (according to the guides). but unfortunately the last ferry has already left the harbour. so we decided to go to kelly tarlton's antarctic encounter and underwater world park instead. but before that, ninsti bought herself a nice second hand tele lens (70-300) at a camera shop with second hand stuff.
at kelly tarlton's we saw a replica of an old explorer's hut with woolen underwear and such, had a snowcat ride through new zealand's only colony of antarctic penguins, and were guided by a conveyor belt through an aquarium tunnel.
the huge tank was filled with stingrays, sharks, turtles, and all kind of fish, crabs, seahorses, octopuses, puff fishes, eels and sea stars.
a little later we were getting on the bus back to auckland again to see auckland's landmark, the sky tower. its height is 328 metres, making it the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. unfortunately the outdoor deck was closed, so we had to stay inside. but they have some spots on the deck where they put glass windows into the ground, so you can step on them and look down. it actually was not that easy for us to step over them, but we did it. at the time we were on the upper deck the sun has already set, so we got a nice view over the city at night.
also they had a nice shop on the ground floor from weta, the guys who did the costumes and/or effects for movies like king kong, lord of the rings, and avatar with a live-sized uruk'hai statue, and the blue girl from avatar. on our way back to grab the stuff from to the hostel we found a lovely shopped named "real groovy" which had still opened. after a little shopping we got our stuff from the lockers and brought it to the hostel we will spend this night. auckland has pretty steep streets, so it was quite strenuous with all the luggage. but fortunately the hostel was not too far away, and once we had our luggage in our room, we went to get some food. nearby we found a chinese bbq, that looked nice. you have a grill on your table, grab the meat, fish, vegetables, and all stuff at a buffet, and then start to grill it. was fun and also delicious. some random stuff i noticed so far: we did not see or hear a single police car (but loads of ambulances), also i haven't spotted a single cat yet (ownoez), but we saw lots of asian people, and transfer is actually pretty expensive.

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Wed, 31 Aug 2011
day 01 in kiwi-land, (0 comments)
at 22:50 ninsti and i started our journey to new zealand at vienna airport. around 24 hours later we arrived in auckland. before we had a flight to dubai, lasting five hours and 40 minutes, then a stop in dubai for about three hours. at 10:15 (local time) we got on the next plane for a nineteen hour flight. additionally we had about one hour delay because of some fuelling troubles (or so the pilot told us). crossing 12 time zones, we finally arrived tomorrow, half a day later, at 13:00 o'clock. welcome to the future. that was pretty strenuous, since we did not get much sleep due to emirate's on-board movies. i had the latest "x-men", "thor", some awesome korean movie, "the greatest movie ever sold", "super 8". ninsti had "kung-fu panda 2", "midnight in paris", "african cats" (meow! great movie), "source code", and "win win". and i'm sure we both forgot some here to list. at about 08:00 o'clock we landed in sydney australia, to have the boeing A380 refuelled and cleaned. so we had to get off, wait another 45 minutes, and then get on again, back to the same seats we had before - only cleaner. the airbus from sydney to auckland was pretty empty, so i occupied four seats in the middle row and took a one hour nap. uuh, that was good.
we both were pretty tired and exhausted, so we got a bus to the center of auckland and headed straight to a YMA hostel we read about in ninsti's lonelyplanet guide. they had a twin room. we were pretty worried we wouldn't get one, because at the airport one guy at the immigration office at first asked me if we're here for the rugby champions league. i said no. he asked me where we are going to stay in auckland. i said we want to stay at a hostel. he asked if we had already booked. i said no. "good luck," he said. uhm... i get worried. "what about the other nights?" he asked. i said we'll get a car. "good luck". grrrr... but, ha! he was wrong. we got our double room at the first hostel we went to. i hope he's also wrong about the car. at our room we had a shower and then, instantly, fell asleep. what a hard day, but hey, we made it to new zealand - wohooo!

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