Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Auckland Christmas 2011

It is that time of the year again. It is Christmas. We don't get white christmas in this part of the world. We get a warm summer instead, well....if the rain clouds stay away anyway.  The weather on Christmas day has been good this year. Not overly warm but enough sun to keep everyone happy.

I was "lucky" enough to be on call for my department over the christmas weekend. Bummer!  I could not leave town.  I had to stay close to the hospital at all time, in case my on call phone goes off.

There was really not much happening in Auckland. Half the Auckland population left town to join their family elsewhere.  The shops were close. The only restaurants that were open were Asian restaurants.  The streets were exceptionally quiet.  I had a fairly quiet Christmas this year.  As for my on call duty, I only got called once over the weekend for something really trivial, easily sorted.  Lucky.

On Christmas eve, I took a walk down Auckland's famous Franklin road in the trendy suburb of Ponsonby.  Every year the houses and shops on that road will put up all sorts of fancy christmas lights to transform Franklin road into Ponsonby's very own Disneyland.  The few nights leading up to Christmas, Franklin road will be packed with cars trying to get a glimpse at the magical lights.  Me and my friend  Luke decided to go on foot rather than getting stuck in traffic.  Besides, holding a DSLR in one hand while driving won't go down too well anyway. I liked what they have done with the street. The lights were not overdone. They were simple but nice.

Apart from the lack of snow on the street and the absence of Mr Snowman at our doors on Christmas day, there is a sight that is unique to New Zealand....our very own NZ Xmas tree. We call it Pohutukawa tree.  Pohutukawas are hardy coastal plant, shrub-like when young but can grow up to 15 meters tall with time.  Every December when the weather warms up, the tree blooms with crimson red crown shaped flowers. It is quite a magnificent sight.

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