Auckland: Self-guided Walking Tour

After a busy morning we went to Parnell Road to find a place to have lunch.

Parnell. It is an area with a great gastronomic offer (from hamburgers to Indian or Thai food) that develops right around Parnell Road. Tired and hungry (this was what motivated us most to move forward) we walked to the street in question. After walking a couple of blocks we identified “Holy Trinity Cathedral”, the main Anglican church in the city.

Majestic, of great size and with a quite modern design (its construction was finished in 1973), it imposes itself taking all the glances in the corner of Parnell and St Stephen Street; right in this point the “gastronomic center” begins according to the travel guides. Beyond the restaurants and cafes, there are just a couple of antique shops, some very pro handicrafts/souvenirs, a bookstore and some boutiques.

Guided by some criticisms that we had previously seen in TripAdvisor and what we wanted to eat at that time we ended up in “Burger Fuel”, a chain of hamburgers more gourmet. Among all the interesting menu options we chose a “CN Cheese” (they cleverly named it to make it sound like “CNG” or “Compressed Natural Gas” which makes some sense if you consider the name of the place), a delicious sandwich with beef burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, melted cheddar and grilled parmesan. My “Bacon Backfire” was not left behind with a generous filet of grilled chicken breast with bacon and melted brie cheese. It makes my mouth water just to remember it… Of course there was a portion of French fries!

New market. Where Parnell becomes Broadway Street we found this commercial area with bazaars, furniture stores, clothing and decoration stores, and several very tempting coffees. We couldn’t help but get into a furniture store and some bazaars with the excuse of looking for ideas to furnish our house. We fell in love with several Scandinavian style chairs, desks and tables; if we hadn’t been so far away and they were such bulky products we would have already furnished the apartment.

At mid-afternoon we made a stop for a cup of coffee! We needed a shot of energy before going ahead. We chose for the occasion a place of “Altezano Brothers” that we thought was nice, with a very Palermitano style. We spent some time writing and evaluating activities for the next day until we noticed that the employees were accommodating everything with the intention of closing the place. It was confirmed that the local custom is to have coffee in the morning or at the most after dinner, and that around 16 hours everything is closed…

Mount Eden. It is another of the volcanoes in Auckland, being with its 196 meters the highest in the area. We took a path that was at the end of Clive Road, but there are others depending on where you walk from.
Although we were tired we climbed slowly and non-stop along a path (mix of stairs and sloping terrain) bordered by high pastures, something that contrasted sharply with the carefully mowed lawn of the morning parks.

When we started to see the top, we noticed with enough disappointment a lot of people taking pictures… Having both a pedestrian access and a vehicle was full of representatives of the “lobster tourism” advancing, with their jackets and pink chewing gum caps (them), and jogging pants with belt and shirt or dress pants with sneakers (them), screaming and wearing everything!! All the feeling of being surrounded by nature disappeared in the blink of an eye.

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