Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 19, 2008 - Hawke's Bay

The road from Martinborough to Hawke's Bay passes through "a region uncluttered by places of genuine interest" according to our guidebook. To fortify ourselves for a long day of driving, we stopped at The French Baker in Greytown, for some of the best baked goods we've had since we last raided Suzy and Alena's kitchens. With a bag full of bread and pastries in the back seat we headed north.
The city of Napier is definitely worth the drive. In 1931 a massive earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, hit Napier. The quake and ensuing fire devastated the city. The city rebuilt, embracing the Art Deco style of architecture that was popular at the time. The result is one of the world's greatest collections of Art Deco buildings. What we really liked were the few buildings that encorporated maori motifs rather than just the chevrons, subursts, zig-zags and ziggurats that are typical of Art Deco.
Even the Golden Arches have gone Deco in Hawke's Bay.

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