JWG (jwg) wrote,


In 1931 a 7.8 earthquake demolished Napier. They rebuilt it quite rapidly (it was during the depression) and many of the buildings are in Art Deco style. There has been a preservation movement, but some of it is kind of messed up because of signs on the marquees and buildings, but there is lots of nice detail. It is an interesting city (small with population ~50,000).

This morning we went to the Napier Aquarium which was pretty neat. They had a tunnel through a tank and you could see fish including a good sized shark and a ray swim above you. They also had a dark section and we got to see a couple of Kiwis. They were in the background and since it was pretty dark it was hard to see much detail - especially their distinctive beaks.

For our afternoon's entertainment we went out into nearby wine country for some tastings of the local wine and had a sumptuous lunch at one of the wineries as well.

When we returned to town after walking about a bit and seeing more cars we went to the historical museum. They had a film with interviews of people who had witnessed the earthquake. It was quite interesting to hear these people's accounts of this horrifying event so many years before. The museum also had pictures and other information as well as some modern art and Maori sculptures. This fellow seen on the street yesterday was neither Art Deco nor Maori!
Tags: architecture, new zealand

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