Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mount Eden

Things have been too rainy to be fun here in Auckland.  Then again, it seems like most of the South Island is under floodwater, which might be less fun.
In a rare hour of sunshine, I walked up Mount Eden.  Despite it being 8am, it was rather crowded up there!  (I felt a twinge of superiority, however, for my early morning effort, when I saw the coaches which had carried most people up there.)
Meanwhile my quest to appreciate Auckland food continues.  Dinner disappoints - my moussaka in a Turkish restaurant seemed to be topped with Smash.  Given that the topping was about two-thirds of the moussaka, this was particularly unfortunate.  But if an Auckland chef is asked to cook before lunchtime, they excel!  Breakfast here is of a quality you would expect in only the most spectacular British coffee houses.  Maybe they're just morning people...
Some pics:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Karekare - the surfers beach

Time for a day out.

We headed through the native bush clad hills west of Auckland to arrive at the dramatic west coast beaches.  In contrast to the wide yellow beaches of the east coast, west coast beaches are typically "black" (more a sort of mushroom grey-brown actually) from volcanic rock.  Volcanoes also created the ragged cliffs and ruptured landscape that make the area so wild and magical.

Although it wasn't a particularly rough day, the height and range of the ever dancing waves delighted me. 

In italiano: Karekare, la spiaggia dei surfer

Era ora per una vacanza.

Abbiamo trascorso le colline vestite di foresta nativa che si trovano all'ovest di Auckland.  Diverse dalle spiaggie calme e gialle dell'est, le spiaggie dell'ovest sono tipicamente "nere" (in realta' piu' marroni) dalla roccia vulcanica.  Oltre al colore, i vulcani hanno creato un paesaggio strappato e verticale che rende il posto cosi' magico.

Sebbene il giorno non fosse cosi' tempestuoso, l'altezza e dimensioni delle onde mi affascinava.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Pile of Persimmons

The pile of persimmons turned out to be more than I could use.  Even after making persimmon cheesecake, persimmon loaf cake and persimmon jam, I still have a mini mountain of persimmons.  The persimmons are sweet and aromatic - the recipes are nice, although next time I might try mixing persimmon with tarter fruit. The persimmon cheesecake went down particularly well.

The days are turning russet and golden as we run into autumn.  It's nice to see the continuing sunshine through the showers.  I'm hoping to get a little walking in soon, while the temperature is so perfect.  Meanwhile the veggie garden is coming along well.

In italiano: un sacco di cacchi!
Il mucchio di cacchi e' stato,  alla fine, troppo.  Persino dopo la preparazione di cheesecake ai cacchi, torta di cacchi e marmellata ai cacchi, ho sempre una piccola montagna di cacchi.  Sono dolci e aromatici.  Le ricette sono buone, sebbene vogliono qualcosina di piu' aspra, nella mia opinione.  Magari la prossima volta faccio una combinazione di cacchi e qualche frutta acida.  Communque, la cheesecake e' stata particolarmente gradita.
I giorni cambiano in rosso e oro man mano che l'autunno va avanti.  E' bello vedere il sole ancora, fra le piogge.  Spero di fare qualche passeggiata presto, adesso che la temperatura e' perfetta.  Nel frattempo, l'orto fa dei progressi stupendi!