Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The worst day at the beach is better than the best day at work

Today I got on a bus in Auckland for the four hour journey up north to Paihia, to stay at a BnB run by relatives, look out over the ocean and read.

It was sort of unclear how we're related, until we sat down with some charts of our various families that they had compiled and had filled in by my parents when they visited a few months ago, and figured it out. The common denominator is two generations back from my grandfather, with the Dybecks. Back in the 1800s our common forefather Richard Dybeck wrote the Swedish national anthem, our family's only claim to fame.

The trip up here was cool. Winding roads up and down steep heavily forested hills, interspersed with vast green fields with sheep happily munching away. Like something out of Lord of the Rings. Oh, wait...

I wonder what this country looked like before the Maori (though they weren't Maori then, only becoming so after coming to NZ) and Cook came here, when it was all covered by bush. Dotted throughout the forest landscape along the road were ferns, some over 6 meters in height. Like something out of Jurassic Park. This must all have been very wild and untamed wilderness back then, seeing as how a lot of the country still is.

So now I'm at Allegra House bed and breakfast, a very modern building on a hill overlooking Paihia and the Bay of Islands. The view is spectacular. Too bad its pouring down. With a bit of sunshine it would be breath-taking.

Tomorrow a slow day, reading, writing, just kickin' back. Maybe a walk down to Paihia and look around. My brother is coming up on Friday, and we'll probably do some kind of tour on Saturday. On Sunday I'm leaving for Kuala Lumpur, and a completely different cultural experience.


ege said...

Is the Swedish National Anthem the one that involved slapping each other with dead fish?

beardonaut said...

No, that's the song we use to declare war against the Danish and the Norwegians. They slap us around with tiny fish and then we retaliate with a twelve pound trout.

The national anthem is the one about spam.