Friday, April 10, 2009

Cable Car Day

On Sunday it was pouring with rain again, like when we arrived, so we decided to try and do indoorsy things. We took the cable car up the hill to the Cable Car Museum to learn about how cable cars work and their history. The Cable Car Museum is quite cool because it's where the cable cars are actually run from, so it's really noisy and you can see the big wheels turning the cables that make the cars go up and down the hills. It's also where the cable cars go to sleep at night.

The Cable Cars' heyday was from the 1870s to the 1890s, but after the 1906 earthquake and fire they were decimated. In fact, in the 1940s the council decided to get rid of cable cars to save money. But a very determined lady started a campaign to save them, and in the end three of the lines were saved and are still used today (although mainly by tourists).

The Cable Car Museum has one corner on an intersection where the three lines cross each other, and you can go down and look under the road to see the cables running past each other into the museum. It's quite impressive thinking that those cables and the cable car drivers are what keeps you from ending up on a runaway tram speeding down a hill.

After that we decided it was time to get some dessert, so we headed to Ghirardelli Square to get a sundae. We got the Cable Car sundae (there was a theme to this day), and afterwards Stuart felt sick, although Leah was fine. In the cafe you could see the machines they used to make their chocolate, and even though we were pretty sure it was fake chocolate getting mixed up it still looked good.

We then headed to the Boudin Bakery but unfortunately the tours weren't going. However, the bakery shop was pretty impressive, with a bread basket carousel going around the ceiling. They also seem to have some artistic bakers, as there were lots of different shaped loaves, like turtles, alligators, and crabs.

The Aquarium of the Bay was our next stop, but we were a bit disappointed with it, especially after seeing the one at the Academy of Sciences. It wasn't even as good as Kelly Tarlton's, although it had copied their shark tunnel. We did get to touch some baby leopard sharks, as well as starfish and skates though.

After that we went to the Musee Mecanique which was a shed full of coin-operated games and machines. There were a few musical ones, like mechanical one-man-bands, as well as peep shows, fortune tellers, strength tests, and dioramas. We tried out a mechanical horse skeleton that showed how a horse runs, and Stuart tried a peep show, and said you couldn't see anything. Apparently it was a picture of a woman in a lake. There were also a few ones that seemed a bit weird and morbid, like one of an opium den, and a few of condemned men being hanged... We didn't try those ones.

That night Stuart decided to try out real American Burger King, so he had a Whopper burger with a medium-sized coke, which turned out to be massive and took him a while to finish. I don't think the photo does it justice.

After dinner we decided we needed to do some washing, so we headed down a main street to look for a laundromat. We eventually found one, and when we went in we must have looked like noobs because a very friendly man started to help us. He chose the machine for us, gave us free washing powder, and even went and got some softener so our clothes would smell nice! He was most helpful. He had been to Auckland once before the Sky Tower was built, and said that kiwis were very friendly people.

1 comment:

  1. Leah, Stu!

    I have to say that I've been enjoying reading your blogs! They are quite interesting. Keep up the good work!