Rangitoto and Bridge Climb

This past week has been extremely busy. I started classes on Wednesday, had a catch up dinner with my program IFSA-Butler on Thursday and went on a couple adventures over the weekend. My classes seem good so far. The Environmental Philosophy class seems very interesting and I have a feeling that will be my favourite class. My management lecturer seems like he will give some entertaining lectures and the Identity and Culture in New Zealand class will be enlightening. One of my friends in that class went up to talk to the lecturer we ended up getting called out in class for being Americans. She made us raise our hands so that other people would be welcoming to us. Having 100 people stare at you is not a fun experience! But everyone is really nice and it is defiantly true that Kiwi's are nicer than Americans.

For the catch up dinner we went to Monsoon Poon which is an Indian restaurant in downtown Auckland. All the IFSA-Butler events are free and we were treated to a banquet dinner so we got to try pretty much everything. It was all so good and there was tons of food so I was very happy.

On Friday I went to Rangitoto Island with four of my friends. We all didn't have any classes that day so we figured we would go on a trip. Rangitoto is the newest island in the Auckland volcanic field and was formed about 600 years ago. It is now thought to be extinct and is a great spot for some hiking. Most people do an hour and a half trip up to the summit and back but we decided to take the long way and explore the whole island. It took about five hours. We went to see the lighthouse, went to the summit, then explored the lava caves. It was a great day and we went out to dinner afterwards to reward ourselves for the hard work.
The lighthouse
Us at the summit (minus Megan)
Some of the volcanic rock.
On Saturday I went on the Auckland bridge climb with the same people as the day before plus one other friend. We first explored around Auckland and got some great sushi for lunch. Then we made our way to the bridge just in time for the walk. It was a cool experience but I'm not sure it was worth the money. They took us under, over and around the bridge. Lots of people honked to say hello as they were driving under us. After that we went out to dinner once again. I figure we should try all the restaurants just to make sure we don't miss a really good one. The restaurants have all been great so far and they have amazing seafood which is my favourite kind of food.
Us at the top with downtown Auckland in the background.
On Sunday we had a planning day for the rest of the semester. We decided to go on trips to different parts of the the north island every weekend. During spring break we are going to go on a two week road trip around the south island. We already have some pretty sweet excursions lined up and we are sure to book more!

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