Christmas and Luge
If you live in Rotorua, you probably don't know how rotten eggs smell. This penetrating smell from the warm to fiery hot springs from the volcano (up to well over 100 C) can be smelled throughout the city and also in the countryside. We spent two whole days in Rotorua. At Christmas we took the gondola up a hill and rode Luge. You sit in something similar to a soapbox and go down a very narrow asphalt road. It is comparable to tobogganing and very fun. The gondola itself was built by an Austrian manufacturer and the gondolas are from Switzerland. In Switzerland, one would not build such a short gondola lift. Here, however, it is the big tourist attraction. When you get on the gondola you are photographed sitting in the gondola. The photographers couldn't understand when we didn't want a photo (at very high prices), because it wasn't the first time we rode such a gondola. On this day we also planned to go shopping for our Christmas dinner. Normally the stores in Switzerland are closed. But in New Zealand everything is a bit different. Weekends do not exist here and the supermarkets close partly only at midnight. There are even some that are open 24 hours. Whether that makes sense and is economical remains to be seen. Since we were not really sure, we looked at several stores, whether they are perhaps closed on Christmas. Nowhere we saw a sign and so we bought there also not in stock, because the storage of food at the campsite is not as simple as in a house.
On the 25th we took extra shopping bags with us to go shopping after the trip to the nearby hill. But everything was closed! And everything also means that places like the one with the big yellow M were closed! So on Christmas Day, instead of the planned Christmas dinner, we only had pasta with tomato sauce :-(
The day after we caught up on the grocery shopping, searched once again in vain for new tires and bathed for z'night Angus and New Zealand lamb in hot red wine, simply delicious!