Friday, May 8, 2015

Anzac Day - Part 1

It was 4 in the morning when I discovered my hopes a red-eye flight would make for minimal jet lag were misguided.

I do not like being wide awake at 4 am, but if there is ever a good day to have it happen, it's Anzac Day. Not just any Anzac Day, the centennial Anzac Day. It's even better when you're sneaking down the hall for a glass of water and realize your travel companion is wide awake as well.

Anzac Day, for those not in the know (which is pretty much everyone not in Australia, New Zealand, or Turkey) is the day the Australia New Zealand Army Corps (or ANZAC) invaded Gallipoli during World War 1. Unfortunately, "while there may have been no military victory, there was victory of the spirit as New Zealand soldiers showed courage in the face of adversity and sacrifice." 

Anzac Day is kind of a big deal here. The day starts with a dawn service at 6 am, and there are more services throughout the day. Being up at 4 am, Katie and I were optimistic we'd be able to make the 6 am service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. We did not.

Having missed the dawn services, we decided to try our luck at Mount Eden instead. We pulled up, and found the gates locked until 7. Undeterred, we thought we would traipse on up to the top (which didn't look too far), dressed in Anzac appropriate service attire.

Of course, there was no traipsing about it.

Mount Eden is the highest point in Auckland.

One does not simply traipse to the top of Mount Eden.

We huffed and puffed and swore our way to the top. Our reward? 360 degree views of the city. Oh, and rather large, well preserved crater.

See the island off in the distance? It's Rangitoto. You'll be hearing about it in detail eventually.

This is the crater.

Then to make us feel bad, 20 people came running up the hill, with barbells on their backs. As if that weren't enough, THEN they commenced with their workout.

This hill, to be exact.
We took that as our cue to leave.

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