Local Heart, Global Soul

November 25, 2018

The TranzAlpine Rolls Through Downtown..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst we are on the subject of quirky, Greymouth also has another interesting feature to it’s name.

This is that, the train line runs very close to the town centre, so you are literally just off the main street and on quite a large intersection, suddenly the barrier arms come down and a train goes though.

On the occasion that we waited for the train to go past, it was not just “any” train either, but the world famous “TranzAlpine Express”  that takes the scenic tour though the Arthurs Pass from Christchurch to Greymouth.

On the way it passes through the Otira tunnel, (prounounced” Oh Tear rah”) …a very special piece of engineering, built by hand with pick axes, and I could hardly better the Wikipedia Otira Tunnel text so I’ll just quote just a small section of the article here;

“…tunnel runs under the Southern Alps from Arthur’s Pass to Otira – a length of over 8.5 kilometres (5.3 mi). The gradient is mainly 1 in 33, and the Otira end of the tunnel is over 250 m (820 ft) lower than the Arthur’s Pass end. Construction commenced in 1907 and a “breakthrough” celebration was held on 21 August 1918 by the Minister of Public Works Sir William Fraser. When the tunnel opened on 4 August 1923, it was the seventh longest tunnel in the world and the longest in the British Empire.”

I remember from school trips that despite the large height difference at each end of the tunnel, the engineers were so through with their calculations that they were only 1 meter (3 feet) “off” from the exact center of the tunnel when tunnellers from both ends met.

In addition to the large non-reflective glass windows in the carriages, there are also special glass panels along the roof edges of the train so that passengers seated indoors can make the most of the panoramic views and an observation car, part of which is open-air (except when inside the Otira tunnel section) for the most breath-taking views of all. We see some tourists waving to us as the train passes over the crossing, they are going on one of the world’s most spectacular journeys.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 24, 2018

Come On, Surely Someone Else Sees It Too?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers will know that I have a weird sense of humour.

Today’s post demonstrates this. Maybe it’s because Himself and I had already seen a few quirky and fun sights around Greymouth, New Zealand and my brain was in a quirky mood.

I don’t know. you know the feeling when you see something, associate something completely different with it and then can’t “unsee” it?

Well it was like this for me when I saw this fountain.

It’s just an ordinary fountain right? Not for me.

What I immediately saw was the bottom half of a caricature fat person, think “The Fat Controller” in the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s books or the Monopoly board game “Banker“.

I kept looking for the top half, that must have surely toppled off these “legs”? Once I got that thought inside my head it was all I could do not to giggle like an idiot every time I saw it. (We drove past it quite a few times as we checked out the town). Yes, I do get some strange looks from my husband and eye rolls from my kids. I don’t care, better a weird sense of humour than none at all. On second thoughts don’t ask my family to confirm that statement, they probably have different ideas.

November 23, 2018

Advertising Cycling Around The World…

I’m still on the quirky theme in Greymouth New Zealand. We visited in January 2018 and just a few meters across the car park from the tent on top of the car of yesterday’s post, I see the adventure shop that must obviously lets camping tourists use their space to camp out for the night. We have good friends here in the Hague who travelled and blogged some 37. 500 kms around the world on their bikes, including New Zealand. Therefore whenever I see something to do with bicycles on my travels: unusual bikes, sculptures, signs etc, I make a post for them. the “TravellingTwo“, here is another one for you! This time it’s a huge bicycle sign: they would approve!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 22, 2018

Sleeping On the Road: A Whole New Meaning!

Filed under: ART,GREYMOUTH,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,Quirky Vehicles — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

During a drive around the West Coast town of Greymouth, Himself and I spot an unusual sight. Parked off the street was car, with a tent perched on the top of it! There were people inside the tent, a lady leaned out just as I took the photograph. We laughed at the sight, but hey, I guess if it works, it works! It’s another quirky sight to add to the list that I have seen during all of my travels.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 14, 2018

“Offspring In The Firm Grasp…”

Just feeing in a silly mood. I saw this and immediately I thought of this commentary and the necessity to read it in the voice of Sir David Attenborough:
Here emerging from the lush fields of New Zealand’s West Coast, is the common hay bale. Wrapped in their distinctive green coverings, the adult hay bales are neatly aligned on the back of the trailer. However one unruly offspring has been collected in the gentle but firm grip of the tractor for it’s own safety as they cross the road. Destined to rest in an adjoining paddock, here they will stay until the onset of winter, when the possibilities of low level snows will bring them out of hibernation…”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 13, 2018

Glass Half Full… A Jucy Slogan!

Passing back through the small township of Franz Joseph, I get a photograph of one of New Zealand’s many rental camper vans. “Jucy” is a well known rental company, to my knowledge all of their campers are a brilliant shade of Granny Smith apple green and they have delightful slogans and sayings on the side. I think (but am not certain) that no two of the sayings are the same. I love theie sense of humour and so capturing this photo was a delight…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 8, 2018

Not Connecting These Four Today…

It wasn’t just the ” Rudolf” of yesterday’s posts that we saw when we arrived in the car park by “Saints” restaurant, café and bar in Hanmer Springs. There was also a giant version of the “Connect Four” game, complete with red and black disks to put down the slot. I eyed it up for a game but the temperature was 29C  (84.2F) and we were hungry so everyone was more interested in shade and food. Regular readers will know that I love this kind of thing, fun and quirky, What’s not to like?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 7, 2018

An Unusual Welcome Awaits Guests…

The Saints restaurant, café and bar in Hanmer Springs has an unusual welcome for Christmas time guests. We are greeted by our very own Rudolf the Red nosed Reindeer, albeit a fake one made of wood. I think he’s delightful and an excellent way to be welcomed to their establishment.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 15, 2018

Hopefully Not Hung Out To Dry…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On our trip north to Wellington we stopped for lunch at the“Beach House Café”, located on the main road that goes through Kaikoura.

By chance I found a charming little business right next door, called “The Little Laundrymat”.

Kaikoura is a tourist magnet because whales come in very close to the shore, seeking out the plankton rich area created by the Hikurangi Trench.

The town is a popular stop with backpackers, campers, long distance cyclists, as well as other New Zealanders passing through on their way to, or from Picton.

Travelling on the budget, and for longer periods of time it is always nice to find somewhere where you can do your laundry.

This little laundry mat is the perfect solution and is clearly a response to a need.
A an official lover of quirky sights, I love use of the old washing machine as their street-side signpost and the wringer guide as their letter box. (It’s for this reason that I have also added this post to my quirky letterbox collection on this blog). I’m sure that this will be a very handy business to have in the town, so I hope that they lather up an excellent success and do not get hung out to dry.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 25, 2018

Let’s Put A …WHAT? On The Roof!

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Visiting Wellington New Zealand in the summer rain is not the easiest of sight-seeing tours. (“Just more buildings Mam?”) Luckily we are having a small run of fun and whimsical sights to relieve the kid’s boredom. This one is a golden hippopotamus on the roof of the ground floor verandah. As you do.
I think it’s fun… and I’m adding it to my list of quirky, whimsical sights that brighten up my day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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