February 7, 2012

New Zealand Cruise . Day 10 . Dunedin

If someone left Scotland and founded a town in New Zealand, it would be Dunedin.  Actually, that's exactly what happened.  The whole town was made to feel like Scotland, so the architecture was stunning.   The original plan was to take a train ride up the gorge into the mountains, but the cruise ship rented the whole train and then charged 300 dollars a head to go on the trip.  Since we have a lot of heads in our family, we opted to tour the town and eat chocolate (not a bad deal).  It turns out that the train station is the best part of the tour anyway.  The kids had fun playing tag in the front gardens while the adults sat and enjoyed sunshine and some time inside the train station.    

The coolest thing we did in Dunedin was to go to the Cadbury chocolate factory.  Holy chocolate nirvana.  I am kind of a sucker for those TV shows where they show you how they make stuff, so it was fun just on its own.  But throw in the fact that I have been completely addicted to cadbury cream eggs since I was born, and it was most excellent.  We couldn't take our cameras or bags into the factory and we got to wear these crazy caps which everyone loved.  Since Dunedin is a college town, the guide was a funny college kid who rejoiced in handing out free chocolate samples as often as possible.  The kids were in heaven.  They all had bags and the chocolate was free flowing.  The chocolate waterfall is supposed to be the highlight of the factory, but for me, the liquid chocolate was by far the best.  After the waterfall, you went into a room where this delightful little machine poured liquid chocolate into a cup and you got to drink it.  There are certain meals that are so wonderful, that you remember the tastes, the person you were with, the weather, everything about that meal.  I will never forget the faces of the 12 other people in that room.  Nor will I ever forget the way that chocolate tasted.  No candy bar since has even made a dent in my mind.  I will never forget that cup of blessed happiness.  After the tour guide pried me out of that room, we got to go to the store and fill up on cadbury chocolate.  Since it's very mild in Southern New Zealand, the texture of the candy is much smoother because they don't put in additives to keep it from melting on the shelves.  So if your wondering, yes, the chocolate in New Zealand tastes better than the chocolate anywhere else.  

After the chocolate festival, we went and had lunch and then went shopping at a real mall!  It was nice to just be in regular stores with stuff in English.  Abby couldn't take her eyes off the cutest little pink balance bike and begged us to get it for her.  We found some New Zealand shirts for the kids but not much else.  After that, everyone was pretty pooped from all the adventuring the days before and so we headed back to the ship.  Thus ended our last day in New Zealand, and we were ready to go back for more.

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