Wellington Airport terminal in top 4 in world

Wellington Airport wins yet another award as ‘one of the worlds top terminals’

“Travel Guide Frommers.com has listed its best and worst airport terminals around the world.

Wellington’s Airport’s ‘The Rock’ terminal comes in fourth best – ahead of the likes of JFK Airport’s terminal 5 in New York, and Changi International Airport in Singapore.”

…and I fly out of The Rock today – then watch for photos from my Viking river cruise, sailing  from Amsterdam to Budapest for two weeks – then a few days in Prague before returning home to write stories about my travels (and of course continuing with my Northland, Christchurch, Canterbury tales)

Thanks to Wellington Airport for these photos

Buddhist Sand Mandala

One of my favourite travel books is Lonely Planet’s Happy: Secrets to Happiness from the Cultures of the World – and I have just quoted from it again in a  blog about Taiamai Tours … a Maori cultural tourism activity that enables travellers to learn how to be part of a waka tau (war canoe) commemoration of New Zealand’s’ national day  – Waitangi Day 6th February.

Here is another quote from the book


Secret: Accept and celebrate the transience of life

Tradition: Buddhist sand mandalas

Date: Any time

Celebrated in: Tibet

I took these mandala  photos at WOMAD – New Plymouth NZ

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“No matter what we do, no matter what we leave behind, time sweeps on: one day we’ll all be dust.

Tibetan Buddhists illustrate this inescapable truism in a particularly lovely way, by making incredibly intricate, brightly glowing mandalas from grains of sand.

Yet when the mandala is finished, the whole fabulous creation is swept into an urn. Half of the sand is distributed among the audience, to disperse its healing through the room; the other half is fed to the nearest river, to carry its healing throughout the world.

Celebrating transience is strangely comforting. Spend an afternoon drawing chalk pictures on your front path, then watch them be worn away by time or rain. Lie on the grass with a friend making outlandish creatures from the clouds, observing as they change from dragons into ducks. Make a sand castle. Accept the inevitable truth that nothing lasts – and savour the peace that comes with it.”

These are edited extracts from Happy: Secrets to Happiness from the Cultures of the World © Lonely Planet 2011. RRP: $25. lonelyplanet.com.