Hanmer Springs is a resort village with some geothermal pools and heaps of mountains about 2 hours' drive from Christchurch. One of the international interns at the lab had a bright idea to hint Katy, HITLab's own Wonder Woman, that he would like to see the place before leaving NZ, and five minutes later: house, you got rented. (a 4-bedroom house with a modern kitchen, separate fireplace room, pool table fitted garage and excellent view all around costs little more than 100 euros per day, everything included, and even less for longer-term lease.)
It's a pretty place for sure.
Me, Greg and a brisk walk up a hill to see some views.
Even cheap beer tastes nice outside.
Stayed there for one night, spent the evening soaking ourselves in 40-degree pools that smelled of rotten eggs. Couldn't bring my camera into all that steam, but this should give an idea of what the place is like (okay, so sans the snow other than on the mountain tops). All and all, I quite liked the village and things it offered. The place is like Queenstown without the brutally numerous tourists, and even though they offer plenty to do to the adrenaline junkies, it's quite possible to enjoy a few days' of calm, as well. Plus it's not quite as ridiculously expensive a place.
It's Monday. On Saturday I'll fly over to Australia. My time here is really getting short...
Went to see the new Harry Potter last week. Still not interested in the series. The whole movie was like a 2.5-hour collection of fan service (not that kind of fan service), the characters doing this and that, but the story not really going anywhere. If your dreams at night frequently involve any of the HP characters, you'll probably like it. Otherwise, very meh. (**)
Tonight I'll go see Drag Me to Hell, as it finally came to theaters over here. This is probably the first movie after Watchmen this year that I have any kind of expectations for, since people are calling it Sam Raimi's return to form after all those crappy Spiderman flicks. Lessee.