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I’m back from the South Island. The weather in Dunedin was a bit chilly for spring, but I pretended like I was still in Cleveland, and I was just fine. The city is absolutely gorgeous!!! Oh my goodness, I’m in love! The architecture, the views – it was all breathtaking. The city if full of lots of cute little boutiques (that I didn’t go into b/c I don’t think I could have afforded to look, let alone buy anything), coffeehouses, and had the most vegan/vegetarian spots I’ve seen since arriving in In Zed.

Side note:I got tricked at one of these places. I ordered a falafel wrap thinking I was going to get a falafel wrap. Instead, I got cornbread, salsa, broccoli, and bok choy on a tortilla w/ pesto. Don’t try to imagine what that tasted like. It was friggin’ weird. Good, but weird.

I stayed at Hogwartz. Having never stayed in a hostel before, all I can say of the experience was that it was a lot like being back at summer camp – shared shower, people going to bed at strange hours, etc. But the facilities were gorgeous, and I would definitely stay there again, and recommend it to anyone planning a trip to Dunedin. Price for a shared room was $28 per night, and would have been even less if I had registered w/ Backpackers – a network that links travellers to affordable hostel accommodation in different towns and cities throughout Aotearoa. Private rooms go for $45-60 per night, depending on the season.

University of Otago campus was gorgeous – an absolutely stunning mix of Victorian and contemporary architecture. English Dept. seems relatively small, and all the staff and students I saw seemed… cheerful.

After my interview, I stopped by two local bookshops: Scribe’s Secondhand Books, where I purchased a copy of The Selected Prose and Poems of Samuel Johnson; and University Book Shop, where I basically drooled over everything on offer.
Both shops are on Great King St. and are only a block or two apart. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Checked out Ruth Watson’s map installation at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and caught the All(most) Blacks Parade. Good stuff.

I wanted to give a HUGE shout-out to the guys over at Chucky’s Coffee House on Stuart St. These dudes were freakin’ awesome! I spent a lovely, lazy afternoon chatting with Chucky and his neighbors about the history of Dunedin, the States, and traffic cops. The chess game was an added bonus, and the flat whites were fantastic. If you’re ever in Dunedin, please check ’em out.
And Happy Birthday to the wonderful host/owner this weekend!

I ended my trip w/ a visit to Tonic, on Princes Street. This place was recommended by the guys at the coffeehouse as being one of the best beer bars in the city. I sampled a nice local beer – Three Boys IPA – and ended the evening with a bottle of the most expensive Chimay Blue I’ve ever had in my life. But it’s good to know that a few of the old standbys are available here.

pictures coming soon!