April 25, 2017

Today is Anzac Day, which stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and it is observed every year to remember those who have died or served in the military. So kinda a combination of our Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It was originally established to honor those who fought at Gallipoli in World War I.

This morning I got up before sunrise to go to the memorial event/parade at sunrise at the Auckland Museum.

It was really odd to walk there with lots of people when it was dark and almost no one was talking. It was kinda eerie. I misunderstood about what time it started so I got there a little after it started. There were SO many people there, it was amazing. There were political people talking, there were speeches, songs, and prayers in Maori and English, and there was a memorial wreath placed at the monument for the unknown soldier. There was also a helicopter fly over and then, around sunrise, the veterans, families, active military, etc. paraded out.

They also had a bagpipe group that was playing in the parade.

I walked back to the hostel while I enjoyed the sunrise, it was beautiful!

On my way back I stopped by a bakery and bought an Anzac biscuit (aka cookie), which I thought was an appropriate way to commemorate the day. It was a lot bigger than I expected!

Once I got back to the hostel most people were still asleep, so I read out on the porch and enjoyed the sunrise some more.

For most of the rest of the day I just hung around the hostel and did laundry and packed up most of my stuff. I also gave away or put things on the “free shelf” that I am not taking home with me. It’s so nice that I gave myself plenty of time to be ready to leave so I’m not stressed or rushed at all. I’ve done most of what I wanted to do in Auckland but tonight I am going to the Sky Tower. I want to go a little before sunset, so I can see the city during the day and at sunset, and at night.

The other day I saw something in a gift shop and decided that Gladys needed a companion. So, this is Kipling. 😀

It’s really hard to believe that I am going home day after tomorrow. Craziness.

I took the bus to the Sky Tower late the afternoon. Thankfully I got there early cuz the line to buy tickets and get up there was fairly long. Once I got there though it was pretty neat. You can also pay to walk around outside of the Sky Tower and/or bungee jump off. So I got to watch someone jump, which was entertaining, lol.

The views were nice from the top and I stayed for quite a while since sunset takes a while, lol.

There was also a road/path painted pink, which I assume had to do with the Master’s Games.

There were also places where they just had glass flooring, which was a little freaky. Unfortunately the outside part was pretty dirty though, so it didn’t make for very good pictures.

Once it was pretty much dark, I went down to the next level and bought an ice cream and enjoyed the night view of the city for a little longer.

After that I went to the ground level and looked around the gift shop a little bit and saw these hilarious socks.

They glow in the dark too! lol. I considered getting them as a gift for someone but decided against it.

The tower looked really cool from the outside at night too 🙂

Once I left there I went to the grocery store to buy a bunch of candies to take home for my family to try (and to use up some of my New Zealand money) and the lines were ridiculously long. ugh. After I finally finished there I waited a long time for the bus and went back to the hostel. From the street right near my hostel I got this view of the Sky Tower, which was kinda fun. 🙂

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