Friday, April 02, 2010

Hamilton Gardens and the Chopper

After a super exciting few hours in Paeroa we headed to Hamilton to check out the gardens. It's not a huge secret that I really like flowers. I have regularly bought flowers since sometime back in New York and I even bought a small travel vase in Buenos Aires so Gemma and I could enjoy a breath of fresh flowers every now and then while on the road.

The Hamilton gardens are enourmous and full guessed it, flowers. It was a beautiful park and green space with water flowing through it in the forms of a lake and a nearby river. We arrived late in the afternoon so we decided to break it up over two days. Not being on a tight travel schedule allows us to take some time to stop and smell the roses, literally.

They had different sections showcasing gardens from around the world which was particularly interesting. There was a Chinese Scholar's Garden, a Japanese Garden of Contemplation, an Indian Char Bagh Garden, an Italian Renaissance Garden, an English Flower Garden and last but not least an American Modernist Garden.

Here are some pics of each. First the Italian Renaissance Garden.

The American Modernist Garden looked pretty much like someone's backyard in Arizona.

The Indian Char Bagh Garden was beautiful.

Here is the Japanese Garden of Contemplation.

After walking through all of those we needed to leave and find a place to park for the night. We struggled to find one of our usual sweet spots near public bathrooms and near a beach (Hamilton is landlocked and we couldn't find anywhere near the river). Unfortunately we settled for the parking lot of the Hamilton Cosmopolitan Club. It was dark already by the time we parked and we figured parking in the back of the huge parking lot near the fence would be good enough.

In the middle of the night I woke up and heard a helicopter landing on our van. Thats what it sounded like anyway. I really thought there must be a massive chopper landing in the parking lot. Then I realized that on the other side of the fence was a railroad track. Great. We listnend to trains RUMBLING and ROARING past us all night. Not the best spot we've ever parked.

The next morning we went back to the gardens and went running along the river. We took our books with us into the gardens and read in the Rose Garden. It was really relaxing and there were a ton of different roses to stop and smell. Here are some of my favorites.

These roses were taller than me!

And as you can see from this great shot, much much taller than Gemma!

This is the oddest looking duck I've ever seen.

Next we are off to the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga.


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