Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Edinburgh of the South

Day 78
St Kilda Beach to St Clair Beach and back
Time: About an hour or so
Distance: Not important
Avg Speed: Walking
Terrain: Sand

After eight days in a row of riding we’re happy to have our first rest day in Dunedin. I think we’re planning a few more. We found a very nice holiday park by the beach and seem to be content to explore the area from here. We should have a variety of things to see and do. Tomorrow we’re headed to the city centre to run some errands and do the cafĂ© thing.
Dunedin is a very cool city – one we had a chance to visit when my parents were here. Our time was limited and we saw just enough to make us return. At one time Dunedin was the largest city in New Zealand, the result of the gold rush in the late 19th century. During its heyday, this very Victorian city was the center of the richest and most influential region in the country.
Dunedin gets its name (Gaelic for Edinburgh) from Scottish roots. The Scots were the first Europeans to settle the area in 1848 and the city stills maintains a strong Scottish heritage. Robert Burns is immortalized in a large statue in the center of the city at the Octagon.
Perhaps Dunedin gets a lot of its character from the University of Otago. Founded in 1869, the university is regarded as the epicenter of higher education in New Zealand.
The location of the city has a dramatic landscape and is surrounded by lush green hills and the Southern Pacific Ocean. To this east of the city lies the Otago Peninsula. We hope to do a day trip there and look for some of the area’s world renowned wildlife.
We ended the day with a nice walk along St Kilda Beach to St Clair Beach. We watched the surf and the surf riders; looks like we’ll need a good wetsuit if we decide to join in.
Hang Loose,

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