The other day I learned that Christchurch is the only airport that planes leave out of to go to Antarctica. There is a museum of sorts here called the Antarctic Centre, which raises awareness of Antarctica and the animals and research done there. It’s been pretty rainy this week here in Christchurch, so on Saturday, some friends and I went to there to check it out. I think the pricing is a little absurd, but we used bookme (a discount website) and got $20 off, so it was more reasonable. Its a regular museum, but also has some extra things that are pretty cool.
When we first got there, we walked around the museum for a bit and then went to go on a Haglund ride. They are the vehicles that are used to move around in the Antarctic. They drove us around on a course with some big hills and even drove through a lake so we were almost fully submerged.
After that, we went back inside to check out the penguin exhibit. The penguins were adorable… we got to watch them get fed as they swam around to catch the fish the keeper was throwing into the pool.
After the penguins, we went and saw a 4D movie which was pretty cool. Our chairs moved simulating being on a ship in the antarctic and they sprayed us with air and bubbles. The movie was pretty interesting… it showed an antarctic cruise and we got to experience it without being freezing cold.
On the topic of being freezing cold, after the movie we went in an antarctic storm simulator. It’s basically a room that’s really cold and has snow, an igloo, and an ice slide. We played around for awhile while we waited for the “storm” to hit. The temperature slowly dropped and the wind picked up until we were absolutely freezing. It was kind of like being back home in New York! It reminded me how much I love the mild weather here in Christchurch.
It was a fun day. I don’t think it was worth the price to go, but it was something fun to do on a rainy day.
Our first term is coming to an end and starting tomorrow we have a 3 week break to travel! I love that we have so long and am planning on making the most of the time. I wish I didn’t have so many essays due at the end because I’m not going to have a lot of time to work on them. Classes are starting to be my least favorite part of being here. I love my rock climbing and kayaking classes, but evolution and music history are less fun and require more work. I know technically the whole point of study abroad is to “study” in another country, but I love spending my time exploring. I’m really looking forward to this break and then 5 more weeks of classes before I’m done! I can’t believe time is going so fast!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Katie Steike and I'm a junior at the University of Rochester, studying molecular genetics and music. I love reading, playing soccer, and going on hikes and adventures! I'm going to be studying in Christchurch New Zealand for spring 2014 and I'm excited to become immersed in the Kiwi culture and explore the beautiful country!</span></p>