Roam the World with Rose

Rose McIver has teamed up with Emirates Airline for a new partnership ‘Roam the World with Rose‘. Rose unveiled this great opportunity on, August 22, 2017.

Roam the World with Rose‘ will feature weekly posts on her Instagram account about the places she visited while in Europe the last few months, that Emirates flies to. Later in the year, Rose McIver shared a full report on the nzherald site (which you can find below) about all the destinations she visited (Paris, Rome, Prague and Barcelona).

My Holidays: Rose McIver (click to open full post)

Rose McIver is an ambassador for Emirates.

What was your greatest holiday?

Piha. Pretty much every summer growing up — often staying at the Peach family bach. So many wonderful memories.

And the worst? Well it was still a brilliant holiday, but my poor mum broke her shoulder visiting me in Canada last Christmas. That was a little rough.

If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing? Slip, slop, slapping. Eating a Nice Block. Having a swim in the surf, but only ever waist deep — watching out for those rips.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be? God, we are spoilt for choice back home but today I’ll say Hahei.

How about for a dream holiday internationally? I’m very keen to see Morocco. I love the food and the design I’ve seen from there, and would love to meet the people behind them.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done when travelling? I left my passport in the toilets in Dubai when I was 18. I was on the way to Europe. An incredible woman who was cleaning the bathroom saved the day and raced it to the gate just in time for me to board (not in time to prevent my first-time-solo-traveller panic attack).

Aisle seat or window seat? Window. More leaning options.

Complete this sentence: I can’t travel without … Mosquito repellent and sunscreen. I am a heavy doser and really dread the imminent studies coming out showing what all the chemicals do to us.

What’s the best travel tip you’ve ever been given? Don’t bother taking a thousand photos of landmarks. You’ll never look back at them and you’ll miss the moment. And you can google way better pictures of them anyway.

What was the most memorable meal you’ve had while travelling? It’s always the Marmite on Vogel’s I have when I get back to New Zealand after a trip away. Such comfort food for me.

What’s the best thing you’ve brought back from a trip? I bring back hats from pretty much everywhere I go. Winter, summer, whatever the weather, I end up needing one and I now have more than any one person should ever own.

Favourite airport at which to land? Auckland. By far. So smooth! After LAX every second week for the past four years, I have come to adore Auckland Airport like a fond friend.

What’s the next trip you’ve got planned? I’m coming home for two and a half months to do a film called Daffodils. I haven’t spent that long in New Zealand for years and years and it will give me a chance to get to some of the spots further down my to-do list that I’ve always wanted to get to.

Paris: Of pigeons and karaoke (click to open full post)

Remember the post of me flying First Class on Emirates? Now I can introduce Roam the World with Rose. Each week I’ll be posting a pic of me in a European destination that Emirates flies to. Can you guess where in the world I am in this photo? // I was in PARIS! Emirates flies to 39 European destinations and I took a trip down memory lane, letting pigeons land on me out the front of the beautiful Notre-Dame Cathedral. The last time I did this I was just 9 years old!

SourceA visit to the French capital city leaves Rose McIver longing to return

The last time I remember letting a pigeon stand on my head, I was 9. My parents had taken the family to London and we were in Trafalgar Square, marvelling at the size of the city. But here I am, years later, being photographed in front of the Notre Dame with another bird on my head.

A kind Parisian had given me a handful of unpopped popcorn as a lure. Birds flocked to me with an eagerness that was, at first, flattering and soon after, terrifying.

After a few hasty photographs I escaped the avian madness — well the popcorn had run out — grateful none of them had relieved themselves in my hair.

Pigeon-free, I could fully appreciate the impressive scale of Notre Dame. Although I’m not religious, I was taken with a sense of the sacred. The building is considered to be one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture and, unlike some of the other historical architectural marvels, was built by respected and paid artisans, rather than slaves.

The cathedral was one of a collection of buildings I saw that reminded me how young the architecture in New Zealand is, and it’s not just the tourist hot spots that are loaded with history.

You can run an errand as simple as visiting a post office and it will be situated in a building that we would turn into a museum simply because of its age.

It’s strange to think of all that’s transpired since my last pigeon run-in. High school, relationships, jobs, living abroad and, yet, I still get the same buzz when I travel now, in my late-20s. I am blown away by how we can alight a big bird made of metal and whizz across the oceans to see completely new and unfamiliar places. Today I have the opportunity to explore Europe and I have felt the same childlike curiosity that I did all those years ago. That’s the thing about travel, it reminds you how little you know of the big, wide world and what a joy it is to discover it.

Having learned French during my first couple of years at high school, I was keen to try my rusty schoolgirl French in Paris. Although I had plenty of missteps and some very confusing exchanges, my lessons served me well and I was able to navigate my way around France ordering coffee with abandon.

I also enjoyed a lovely aperitif at a bar where, like most of the eateries, people spilled on to the footpath, enjoying the start of summer.

Rome: A love affair with all things ancient (click to open full post)


Guess where I am in this photo? Emirates flies daily A380s direct, stopping over in beautiful Dubai. // Thanks for all your guesses! I was in Rome! This city is best experienced on foot where you can bask in all its beauty and visit places like the Trevi Fountain and watch the locals zip around on Vespas.

SourceA schoolgirl love affair with all things ancient becomes the real thing when Rose McIver visits the Eternal City.

Long story, but my love of classics came about when I was at high school.

I’d taken two six-month stretches out of school to work on television shows, such as Rude Awakenings with Danielle Cormack.

It was my final year of high school and I had to take a lot of correspondence papers — one of which was classical studies run my excellent teacher Pat Quirke, a woman who made the concepts of ancient times incredibly accessible.

This passion for classics lay dormant while I lived in Los Angeles for most of my 20s, where my only contact with gladiators were the ones in cheap, plastic armour on Hollywood Blvd, asking for $20 to be photographed in all their glory.

It was reawoken as soon as I arrived in Rome. No offence Pat, but witnessing the Pantheon in person is unbeatable. The name is an adjective that means to honour all gods. The sheer magnitude and perfect proportions of the building serve as a most honourable dedication to the deities in whose honour it was made. The weight and scope of the building is a feat of engineering unlike anything I had ever seen before.

The 12m columns were dragged all the way from Egypt and the enormous concrete dome was a structural revelation. architecture is best enjoyed out of the history books and in the flesh, and I found it very humbling to be in the presence of such a rare and impressive landmark.

The same goes for the Trevi Fountain. I needed sheer determination to get close enough to see the cascading water over the sea of tourist heads. The fountain is one of the oldest water sources in The Eternal City — given how old Rome is, that’s an enormous achievement.

The tradition of throwing coins into the water over their shoulders ensures the thrower will return to Rome. There’s roughly $5000 gathered each day and collected every night to be donated to Caritas, a charity helping with groceries to locals in need of support.

I was tempted to rent a Vespa, as I negotiated my way through the scooter-packed streets downtown, and would have but for my last scooter experience.

I lived in Wellington for a year after high school and, well, suffice to say, on two occasions I was blown off the same scooter in the same wind tunnel outside the same cafe. Coming off a scooter in Rome would be too embarrassing, so I contented myself with watching my step count add up on my Fitbit.

It was all the better for offsetting the effect of one of my most lasting impressions of Rome — the food.

Ahead of time, I’d diligently looked at lists of suggestions for places to eat on food blogger websites. I needn’t have bothered.

Everywhere was jam-packed with trattorias and gelaterias. Recommendations for food here aren’t necessary. I wasn’t let down once by a meal — good solid, hard-earned food after a long day on foot is one of the pleasures of the city.

Rome has left me with an even greater appreciation for carbs. Oh and, of course, classical studies.

Prague: Rose McIver plays it by ear in the Czech capital (click to open full post)

Roam with me again by guessing where I am in this picture! A medieval city showcasing various decades of architecture. // I was in Prague. Flying into Paris and out of Prague on Emirates was a breeze thanks to their flexibility.

SourceA guided tour and a ballet performance were perfect for an unplanned visit, writes Rose McIver.

I knew painfully little about Prague before my arrival in the city. So I decided to take that “when in Rome” adage and run with it in the Czech Republic’s capital.

To get to know the city, its history and culture, I signed up for two events. The first was a guided walking tour through Prague Castle, hoping it wasn’t going to be too academic or dull.

Fortunately, Martina, the guide was a personable local with a gift for storytelling and, because of this, I found the information much easier to absorb. I wished I’d been on more tours of this nature in my travels and highly recommend it, although it’s worth noting there are both good and bad versions, so reading reviews online beforehand will save you from a dreary tour.

One thing you can’t be saved from though, is the weather. We had a great deal of rain while we walked, so everyone in our small group bought souvenir store umbrellas, which flipped inside-out at the first gust of wind. Looking at the rubbish bins stuffed with dodgy umbrellas I was reminded immediately of Wellington, and Cuba St’s own Brolly Graveyard bins. Still, the inclement Prague weather helped set the scene for a moody, medieval history lesson and was actually very refreshing after a morning of hot sun.

Although I was expecting one enormous building; the castle is in fact a collection of buildings.

Chapels, cathedrals, banquet halls and guard’s quarters were among the huge collection of structures that made up the castle.

Martina told us a couple of tragic tales about the martyrs and saints recognised in Prague, but I will spare you the gruesome details.

The architecture of the castle represents almost every era of the last millennium, having
been built over a very long period of time. It includes Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles.

The second thing I did was go to a ballet, because I knew it would be a good opportunity to be entertained without having to deal with the language barrier. It was a wonderful reminder of the power of the body to communicate when words can’t. I danced as a child, and whenever I see dancers perform, I immediately light up and feel like a little girl again, wowed by the grace, discipline and sensitivity to music.

This production was a selection of dances from Swan Lake, and it was a nice, packed theatre. The principal dancers were extraordinary, both as athletes and artists.

And while the language barrier didn’t dissipate, learning how to say “hello”, “please” and “thank you” in Czech did make the journey immeasurably more pleasant.

Locals appreciate it, even if you run into a dead-end as soon as someone takes the conversation further. Thank goodness for phone apps, such as Duolingo.

I’ve been fortunate to try out my newly learned Czech phrases and have the opportunity to explore Europe and highly recommend finding the time in your busy lives to make the easy journey and investigate it for yourselves.

As New Zealanders, I feel like we have an eagerness to celebrate different cultures, art, history and the way the world influences us.

Travel helps us to develop empathy and understanding of others, and it provides education and incredible memories to bring home and share.

Barcelona: Gaudi inspires by way of Piha (click to open full post)


The last week to play Roam the World with Rose! Can you figure out where in the world I am in this pic?HINT: The artist of the building I’m standing in once said “originality consists of going back to the origins.” // I was in Barcelona! Here I am out front of Casa Battlo, designed by beloved architect, Antoni Gaudi. Thanks for playing.

SourceWest Auckland memories find their way into Barcelona for actress Rose McIver.

I can’t help but see the world through a New Zealander’s eyes. There I was in Barcelona, the Spanish city known for the spectacular, organically shaped buildings of Antoni Gaudi and I was having flashbacks of my childhood summers at Piha.

It was at Gaudi’s Casa Battllo that my formative West Auckland years came rushing back.

It is one of the architect’s most celebrated buildings; the exterior looks like it’s made of skulls and bones, functioning as balconies and support pillars. Such organic form and function.

I was completely charmed by the way Gaudi evoked a sense of the sea in the design. The wave-like shapes of the walls and the dappled light that poured through the extensive skylight had a familiar aesthetic that took me all the way back to Piha. It’s lovely to think of such pleasures being universal.

Casa Battllo is a museum, which gives a rich history of the designer,
illustrating how his work influenced rationalist architecture, which followed some years after the erection of Casa Battllo.

There are clever 3D viewing devices to show how the building would have looked furnished with his specially designed furniture.

So, to the sea itself. As I wandered towards La Barceloneta, a beachside neighbourhood, it became apparent the sea is a huge part of the physical lives of Barceloneses just as it is for many New Zealanders. Beach towels hung from every second balcony and people strolled around eateries and chiringuitos (beach bars) in bikinis and board shorts. I immediately felt at home.

The beachfront was packed. Gorgeous locals sunbathed topless alongside a group of ruddy-faced football fans from England who sang pub songs while they steadily burned off the top layer of their skin. All part of the charm, and I enjoyed taking it all in, wrapped up in a sarong and hat and absolutely drenched in sunscreen. The bright pink boys were a cautionary tale that, without Mediterranean skin, I was not destined for the glowing tan I may have imagined.

By day I strolled around the narrow streets — a happy accident that I couldn’t find a taxi.

It’s the perfect city in which to wander and people-watch. It made me realise how differently we engage with our surroundings when we aren’t following maps on our phones, eyes downcast.

In the evenings, I ate tapas in alleyways surrounded by the hubbub of the main street La Rambla as locals and tourists alike promenaded. It was easy to enjoy local musicians and buzzing city streets. In Auckland, my only memory of busking was myself at the Kelston mall, playing a fairly horrendous rendition of Silent Night on the recorder. Watching the street performers in Barcelona, I realised that here busking is a very serious business.

One of the most remarkable examples I saw was a tower of men, flipping from great heights on to concrete. Safe to say I was ashamed to have only a couple of euros in change to give them.

I’d really like to take my mum and dad to Barcelona. They are both artists and would be so enthralled with this bohemian city that celebrates the alternative. I promise not to pack my recorder.