Dunedin or Dùn Èideann


Nev’s Big Yellow bus

– much cheaper than the cruise ship tours and only about eight passengers – easy to get on & off.

We were picked up by Nev’s driver / guide and ferried the thirty minutes from Port Chalmers, where we docked, to the centre of Dunedin. The cruise company charged $15 for the shuttle service to / from Port Chalmers to Dunedin and Nev’s charge was $35 to pick us up from the ship and take us to Dunedin and then start a two hour tour in and around the city. No brainer really.


Coming alongside at Port Chalmers.


The Iona Presbyterian Church (1883) dominates the port area.

Dùn Èideann is the Scottish Gaelic spelling for Edinburgh, and Charles Kettle, the surveyor of Dunedin used the same construction plan to design Dunedin as was used for Edinburgh. His wish, in 1848, was to recreate a Scottish city in New Zealand.
He named all the streets in Dunedin after the streets in Edinburgh, and built the Dunedin  buildings in the same Gothic Victorian style as Edinburgh, so you can still see this influence in many older Dunedin buildings.

We left the ship around 9.00 am and thirty minutes later arrived in Dunedin city centre, where we were dropped off to do our own ‘thing’ for an hour and a half.

DSC08082rPart of the main shopping street taken from the city centre market area – the Octagon Reserve.

DSC08081rThe market was not a food market, but general item market and at 9.30 am it had not yet begun to trade properly. There were a few stalls operating, but we were more interested in the various local sites than shopping.

DSC08083rRegent Theater built in 1928, it can seat 2000 people. To help to keep it going, after the refurbishment in 2010, the management have an annual second hand book sale, which has grown to be the largest secondhand book sale in NZ, and some consider even in the southern hemisphere. The sale raises over $100,000 a year towards the upkeep of the theater. The books sell for about $1 each, having been donated for free by the residents of the city.


With my back to the theater and on the side of the market area this shows the town hall and St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral.

DSC08088rWhen cruise ships are in port the cathedral offers free organ recitals during the day.

The first church was built here in 1862, but the current cathedral was not started until 1915 when the foundation stone was laid. It was consecrated in 1919.

800px-Town_Hall_DunedinPicture from the internet my own effort was very poor.
The foundation stone of the town hall was laid in 1878 and the town hall opened in 1880. It has the feel of Edinburgh.

DSC08089rDunedin and Edinburgh have been ‘twined’ since 1974.

I’m sorry to say, but the weather reminded me of Edinburgh as well – cold and windy with showers, and I had to wear long pants for warmth, and it was supposed to be summer! I’m sure I’ll get in to trouble for that remark. :-o)

DSC08094rAfter we’d wandered around on our own we joined the others for the tour of Dunedin and the surrounding area. The above picture is Otago Boys High school, founded in 1863 and is New Zealand’s oldest boys’ secondary school.

DSC08099rBaldwin Street, which is listed as the steepest residential street in the world.

The steep part is concrete because if it had been tarmac and during a hot summer the street would have melted and flowed downhill . . .

Once a year Cadbury’s have a sweet rolling event – Jaffas are released at the top and bounce their way down to be caught by hundreds of children

250px-JaffasJaffas from the internet


Picture off the internet showing the slope if the road is flat compared to the house.

DSC08102rRemember when railway stations were a work of art?

DSC08103rI suppose they would have had the same feeling that one gets today at an airport – but why do I prefer railway stations? For me, a railway station is far more romantic, think Casablanca .

DSC08106r   The Silver Fern about to depart – will the lady with the blue bag make it?


A brief encounter ?

DSC08114rThe feel of solidarity – stained glass windows – very church like.


From the city it was just a short ride to some high points for the views.


Working our way down to sea level.

DSC08138rcSwimming beach, but I wouldn’t fancy a swim at this beach considering there is little between it and the Antarctic. Perhaps if I wore a wet suite I’d brave the water.

DSC08135rWe were still in the outer suburbs, when across the road the local sheep didn’t seem to mind our yellow bus. Dunedin can be seen across the hills.

It was the end of our tour and the next stop was our cruise ship, just in time for lunch.


Stations of memory

Why do trains have such a fascination? After reading From Russia with Love I knew that one day I would travel by train through Eastern Europe, if not along the same line as Mr Bond, but some where in Eastern Europe.


Murder on the Orient Express – could I afford to travel with Agatha Christie as she keeps us on the straight and narrow, or should I just buy the DVD ?

Murder on Orient

Perhaps it should be, Stamboul  Train, which runs from Ostend to Istanbul with Graham Green at the controls.


It is not just trains that held my attention, via books, but also the names of the cities through which we pass.


Funeral in Berlin by Len Deighton


I wonder if the main character would recognise Berlin’s mainline station today?

If we move on from trains to cities we must use railway stations, which bring back memories of railway stations in films –


Brief Encounter had a number of station scenes.


Remember Rick in the rain on the railway station in Paris as the German entered the city?


How about Burt Lancaster in ‘The Train’, trying to save French paintings in 1944, and the number of stations that his train passed through in an effort to fool the Germans?

For me black & white has more ‘depth’ to the scene.

As our train ran from Prague to Budapest I couldn’t help but photograph ‘romantic’ stations.





Doesn’t this station reek of spies and all things connected with the 1950’s?

Brat outside

Leaving Bratislava – you can just see the front of our train.

Nove Zamky

Nove Zamky – can you hear the Russian tanks?





Unknown, does anybody recognise this station ?

A four night stay in Budapest and we were off again,


Our train arriving to take us to Vienna.

Vienna, the home of Graham Green’s, The Third Man, which is another book to bring back a reason to travel by train in Eastern Europe.

Third man

Leaving BUD

Farewell Budapest


Gyor our first stop

Each of the stations mentioned have histories that would fill a library – battles fought, ruled by the armies of Sweden, France, Turkey, Mongols, Russians, Austrians, Germans to name a few. Coming from a country that has not suffered invaders for over a thousand years it is hard to comprehend.

approaching VIEApproaching Vienna as we passed large marshaling yards.

Four nights in Vienna and we are off again to Frankfurt.


 Seven hours, but in comfort.

Cubical VIE FRA Conpartmen 01

Facing forward for the top one and facing backwards for the other.

Inside we had a four individual chairs and a table – plenty of room for four adults. We could hear what was going on, but we were still private. Not that there was a lot of noise, just quiet chatter.

Leaving Vienna

Wien Westbahnhof

Wien Westbahhof

Linz01   Linz


A town that has a history that will take generations to forget
Adolf Hitler spent his youth here before moving on to Vienna – he considered Linz to be his home town.

Adolf Eichmann also spent his youth here.

On the other side of the coin many victims of Nazism have been remembered by Linz citizen in the naming of various streets. Simon Wiesenthal founded his Jewish document centre in Linz.


  Our final station, before Frankfurt, was Nurnberg. I couldn’t help taking pictures of this city’s railways station. Growing up in the aftermath of WW2, with tales of the trials and executions of war criminals in this city, one felt as if we all knew of the city, even though none of us had visited the city.

220px-Defendants_in_the_dock_at_nuremberg_trials  The accused at the trials.


Frankfurt station, which brings to mind Elvis

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