Day 2 of the Shumpty on Tour tour of Southern New Zealand began with a sleep in and a coffee on the balcony under the bluest of blue skies. Have I mentioned how much I love the weather here?
When I finally got motivated to head into the city centre of Dunedin my preferred mode of transport was my own two feet. This is a great place to walk around and it is ridiculously easy to find where you need to go. After a 15 minute down hill stroll I made it to the Octagon which is the central hub of the city. Whilst it was only 11am the Irish were out and about in abundance celebrating St Patricks Day. I hope all of my Irish friends celebrated with appropriate vigour.
Whenever I travel to a city I like to check out the architecture and particularly the churches. Not because I am particularly religious but because I am fascinated by the structures. I was particularly enamoured with the St Peters Anglican cathedral today which is just off the hub.
After wandering around for a while it was time to head to the Speight’s brewery for the main game of the day. For those of you who don’t know the Speight’s story, Speight’s beer has been brewed in Dunedin for nearly 125 years and is brewed in a brewery that sits in the middle of town. Simply, Speight’s is to South Islanders what XXXX is to Queenslanders.
The tour was brilliant: our tour guide was the great grandson of one of the founders of the brewery. Needless to say he knew his topic. The tour was broken up with 30 minutes about the history of beer, 30 minutes walking around the brewery and a 30 minute tasting season. My favourite story of the trip was how until the 1950s it was encouraged that the workers had a drink during the day. Each of the 8 floors of the brewery had a bar on them. The only catch was that you could not get drunk!!! Imagine working there in those times: would have been immense.
During the tasting session I had a yarn with our guide: an interesting chap in his own right who had worked around the world as an engineer and returned to Dunedin to retire. Great bloke and it was great to have a beer with him. For the record my favourite beer during the tasting was the Speight’s Summit!
After the tour, it was time for lunch in the Speight’s Ale house where, as I have found everywhere this trip, the service was excellent and the food very good. After the tasting and the feed I could not face the return walk up the hill to the apartment so hitched a ride with a friendly cabbie.
Suitably refreshed after an afternoon nap, I am now just watching the end of the Hurricanes v Highlanders game which, at the time of writing looks a cracking contest that will go down to the wire.
Tomorrow it is time to move on for this great place and drive down to Invercargill. Will be sad to leave but looking forward to forward to getting down there an looking around.
All in all: another great day on holiday. Till tomorrow.