Last night, there were just 10 of us at dinner in the castle. We got the full history “lecture” from one of the wait staff. Very interesting. At the table were a couple fro Switzerland, one from the UK, one that had emigrated from South Africa and now lived here, and the four of us. So, nice conversation all around. Three-course, fixed price menu. Had two glasses of wine (one Sauv Blanc and one Pinot Noir) and was feeling no pain.

This morning, I got up at 7:00 and joined my mates at 8:00 for a full cooked breakfast in the Stable right across from the Lodge where we’re staying (which is next to the extensive castle gardens and the castle itself. At 9:15, we drove into Dunedin, stopping along the way for views of the Pacific or of the bay where the city is. Val and Barbie spent their time in the city at the Otago Museum where there is a huge display about the Christchurch earthquake. They said it was quite wonderful.

Pat and I went to First Church for some shots and then headed to the Railroad Station and took quite a few pictures outside and inside. We then walked up to the Octagon (in the center of the city), walked around, did some light shopping, and had a lovely lunch (mine was kumara, mint, pea croquettes).

After lunch, we walked down to the waterfront  -- needed to traverse walking bridges over the RR tracks both ways. Then back for a short visit to Queen Park (which was right across from where we had parked). All had agreed to be back to 2:00 and all were.

We next drove up and up and up and up to the lookout over the city, bay, and peninsula.. This was followed  by driving to the  base of the “steepest street in the world,” Baldwin. The ladies hiked partially up while I stayed at the bottom.

Drove back to the castle for a short stay before heading out to the Royal Albatross Centre for our 90 minute tour at 5:30. We have dinner reservations out here on the peninsula in the town of Portobello on the water when the tour is done. I’m over 6,500 images right now. Lots of bracketing to make sure I have an exposure I like.

The road out to the end of the peninsula, where we were going, is really narrow, twisting, and right along the edge in many places. Some of the road is really only a bit over one-lane wide. Hey, I loved it. Our visit at the Royal Albatross Centre was spectacular. Thee birds have a wingspan of over 3 meters. They nest on the hills by the Centre. And they fly by overhead. We were inside with some tinted glass between us and the birds, but each shot 400-600 pictures hoping for the one great one. I had a 997 shot day earlier in the trip. Today was 1,016. We all really loved it. And we were also shown the fortifications and long-range cannon emplacement that was set up for WWII.

Dinner was in Portobello, 1908 Restaurant. Good food and service. Saw wonderful fading sun over the bay as we wended our way home over the twisty road. Lovely day altogether.



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