A Walk Along Lower Stuart Street
Nothing is more comfortable than sleeping in your own bed. After being away for a few nights, I awoke feeling refreshed. I’d survived my Walk In The Snow, my Walk In The Badlands and A Walk In The Bush. Now, I had the day free to myself. With no plans and not having to be relatively useful to anyone, I decided a walk in town would be just the ticket. Besides, there was a Colin McCahon Exhibition showing at the Art Gallery which I very much wanted to see. With the day still young, I headed for Dunedin’s Lower Stuart Street.
I was lucky to get there at all! At the very moment I was going to execute a textbook left turn into a street car park, some moron driving a Kia Sportage decided that this nanosecond would be a good time to have a brain explosion and forget how to drive! I showed my admiration at his lack of driving skills with a loud blast of the horn. This, he clearly appreciated as he cheerfully thanked me with a wave of one finger. Abandoning my car, I quickly tracked down the nearest coffee establishment.
I had heard the Cafe Morning Magpie had ridiculously good coffee and that they were a must for those that love a good cup of joe. This was clearly going to be the place I needed to start my day.
I instantly adored the place. It’s hard to not love a cafe that has upside down lampshades and ladders hanging from the ceiling, a deer’s head on the wall and kitchen staff that happily sing Daft Punk. I finished my coffee while taking in the art work of Josh Tyler Stent and Josh Kennedy on the walls before continuing up Lower Stuart Street.
With 20 minutes to kill before the Art Gallery opened, I decided to wander past the Street Art of Bath Street and Moray Place before taking in Historic First Church. I’ve visited Dunedin’s First Church many times. I think it’s the links to Dunedin’s founding Scottish settlers I enjoy the most. I explored and admired the Gothic architecture, the stained glass windows and the tapestry for a while. It was then that I discovered that the Heritage Centre was closed. Slightly disappointed, I wandered around the grounds, suddenly noticing that the Art Gallery would be open.
Taking one last look from the corner of the grounds, it’s hard to believe that the hill was lowered by nearly 12 meters with pick and shovel to create a raised platform with cliff faces on three sides for the church to sit on. Whoever convinced the newly settled citizens of Dùn Èideann (Dunedin) that such manual labour was a necessity must have been a hell of a motivator. With that thought, I left as it was time for Colin McCahon.