It’s a sweltering morning. Sunlight spewed throughout Auckland City. A howling wind wraps around me, offering a slight respite from the scorching heat. The paving sets made a pretty pattern of curves under my feet. I strolled along the curvy design. In hand, a chocolate bar served as my companion on this urban journey. Inseparable, mingled voices enveloped me. I walked across the city through the buildings towering over me. Suddenly, an endless view from the corner of the city captivated me.
It was a bright and extensive space. Numerous shops are along the side. Benches were standing. The sea blew chilly air to cool off the sun’s relentless heat. The joyful, bustling faces enchanted me. Families made precious memories in front of the beautiful facade. A lovely couple shared a romantic kiss like two intimate lovebirds.
Eventually, a massive shadow by the side caught my attention, drawing my gaze to the right. My eyes opened wide and froze. An impressive piece of Victorian architecture stood before me. It’s as enormous as the palace of a British emperor! The glamorous, whitish-bisque coloured walls spread widely before me.
‘Is this the previous Britomart Station?’ The question arose like a whisper from the depths of my memories. A glimpse of 2018 flashed before my mind. The ordinary building, bounded by narrow roads, blended well into the complex cityscape. The silver coloured outlook and dark marble floor tiles that absorb the very essence of light are clogged with people and blanketed with gloom. Every single one of my memories was a jumble of mismatched pieces, leaving me with more questions than answers.
I came back to my senses. Curiosity pushed me towards its entrance. I saw tiny letters on top proudly spelling out ‘Britomart.’ The novelty invited me inside. It was astonishing! ‘Wow!’ I said. The station concourse amazed me. My eyes relaxed under the shelter of its pure white walls. Natural light cascades dressed up the entire floor in light. A symphony of colours and textures from a gorgeous flower shop captured everyone’s attention. Amidst the symphony, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from Starbucks mingled with the pastries of a pastry shop and filled the air with a mouth-watering scent.
At this moment, I find myself lost in the enchantment of the old and the new. The past and the present converged in a beautiful dance. The old Britomart station has transformed, becoming a living testament to the city’s vibrant spirit.
It invited all who passed through its doors to embark on a journey that intertwined history, modernity, and the endless wonder of Auckland’s heart.
By Surani Mahagodage – Napier