Impressive Students’ Toilets
As you might know, I am amazed that in New Zealand you find public toilets anywhere, even in the middle of nowhere. To a certain extent this includes the state of those toilets.
Those, as you can only recognise on photo 3, are the men’s toilet at the students hall of Otago University in Cumberland Street. Although I dare to use men’s toilets in urgent cases I did not cross the limit there. But hubby was so impressed that he photographed them, so I could have an indirect look at them :-)
On photo 3 you will realise that if the guys only want to pee and stand at the pissoirs, they have to do it in front of a shark with its mouth wide open and displaying its mighty teeth.
I think they have fantasies about this, as the fish graffiti on photo 4 might prove ;-) I also think that some of the primitive scribblings and tags on the doors and walls of the single cubicles might have been executed by young students who spend the first year of their studies in Dunedin in a state of drunkeness ;-)
Farm stay - the farm
As part of the organised trip, an overnight stay at a farm is included.
Their house is fabulous, with lots of angles and different "wings", all set on a hillside with beautiful views across a small valley to cows garzing the other side.
Old world food in an old building
Dining in Dunedin is a delight, as - probably thanks to the high student population - there is such a big range of affordable restaurants. "Etrusco" is not cheap but it offers great value for money, the house wine is good, the food excellent and authentic Italian, and the surroundings are just bombastic. The latter is the reason why we have a meal there every time we are in Dunedin.
The restaurant is on the first floor of the historical Savoy Building, with majestic pillars, an old fireplace, chandeliers, a great stucco ceiling and a huge bar in the middle of the room. But the atmosphere is not just elegant and cool, it also has a warm feeling as the wooden floor is light-coloured and the bar is made of pine. So you feel cosy although the room is really big.
Of course, we would not go there to just enjoy the interior decoration if the food was not as good as it is. the name of the host is Federico Gianone, and the food is truly Italian, from the thin crust pizza to the nice pasta dishes, the pizza-bread, the antipasti, the desserts like tiramisu or gelato, and, last but not least, the great Italian Schnaps like Grappa. Just perfect - in perfect atmosphere.
I should also mention that the wine is much more affordable than in other restaurants. For example, half a litre of house wine costs NZ$ 9. A glass of Italian Prosecco costs NZ$ 5 or 6. And also most other wines are relatively cheap. I think, I had the pasta with cured Italian ham, smoked sausage slices and a lot of garlic at least four times. Now I have started to test the menu a little bit more thoroughly... ;-) But we always share a pizza-bread with the starters. The grappa after the meal is a delight.
Update Feb. 2008
On our last visit the food was still good - but I would not recommend the vegetarian pasta as an outstanding dish. Most vegetables were part of a precooked sauce, and only the mushrooms seemed to be really fresh. They call it a vegetarian masterpiece. I would say this is definitely not the case. For such praise it was too bland. But with a good amount of parmesan it was ok. It is always easier to create great flavours with meat and oil... Hubby, however, was totally delighted with his pizza - with ham (and artichokes)...
Update July 2008
This time I had a highly recommendable dish, totally different to pasta meals that you normally get in Italian restaurants. It was pasta with wild boar in a tomatoey-chilly sauce, a Tuscan speciality that is not always available. It is slowly cooked in a big pot - and reminded me a bit of Hungarian Pörkölt. Hubby had the same pizza as last time...
Go to Otago Peninsula
Drive to Otago Peninsula where you can see the wildlife at their habitat. We took a tour with Elm Wildlife as they have a conserved beach so we are guaranteed to see the penguins, sea lions and seals.
It was a nice experience. The guide is knowledgeable.
I'm not sure we can see those wildlife closer if we drove there ourselves
William Larnach, landowner, Minister of the Crown banker financier and merchant Baron built the Castle for his beloved first wife, Eliza Jane Guise. Construction began in 1871, and 200 workmen laboured for five years before the family moved in. Gifted European craftsmen worked for eleven more years to embellish the interiors with the finest materials from around the world.