Dunedin (done-eden), NZ

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Dunedin is named after the Scottish town. The town has about 160,000 residents. The terrain is steep and hilly like SF. There are some more boxy contemporary buildings but the majority are of the pre 1940’s era. The churches and govt. buildings are all 1800’s. Residences tend to be Victorian. A beautiful mix. Bottom line, they haven’t had their 8.0 earthquake yet. Christchurch lost most of their 1800 buildings about 6 years ago. We only had one full day in Dunedin but it was great. Walked the town for hours.

Most of our contacts are with restaurant staff. There is no tipping in NZ. They team work. They are paid well, around $15-17 USD per hour. They are as kind and friendly as can be and their service is on par with the US where they work for tips. Literally every restaurant in NZ we have dined in has music in the background. Whether 5 star or 2 star, whether small town or big town hotels restaurants the music is the same type. Contemporary top 40 or the contemporary versions of 1920-30 band music. No soft mood music. Lots of white haired diners listening to rap. They like it. A sign of an unstressed society. No wonder Ruth Nader Ginsburg said she was moving here if Trump won.

The Kiwis have a beautiful country and they are aware of it and fiercely proud. Many have commented that they appreciate that we have taken 2 weeks to really see it. The country is also amazingly clean. In Picton, we parked the car and walked a block to have lunch. As we started walking, we were with a 16-17 yr. old guy carrying an armful of freshly laundered tablecloths. We enquired about the linens and he said they were for his parent’s restaurant. He walked further ahead of us. I watched as he bent over and picked up a paper cup on the sidewalk and deposited it into a street garbage can on the corner. That would NEVER happen at home.

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The city funds a graffiti arts project where international artists paint murals on the sides of buildings. There are now over 40. The tourist brochures show the walking route to view the art. We covered the route and were impressed by their urban canvases. One is shown below. I put a few on my business Instagram.

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Tomorrow we are off to Mt. Cook and Lake Tekapo where we will sleep.

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