Windy Welly

Once I basked in the glory of the hotel/apartment stay in Wellington for a while I headed out the play in the city a bit. My first stop was the botanical gardens. I know what you are thinking, I just spent two weeks in the bush why on earth am I going straight to the botanical gardens. I'm not exactly sure why but it just called to me and was probably a bit of a refuge from the shock of being around people and city type stuff again. I retreated back into the woods.

 I took the cable car up the nice big hill all the way to the top. The botanical gardens are right off the track from the cable car. For being in the middle of the city the botanical gardens are pretty big. There are a number of tracks you can take down, a rough one, the downhill city one etc. From all of the major roads down you can can take any number of side paths that show up along the way. No matter which way you go it is lovely and really makes you feel as though you are away from the city. There are a few views of the hillside from the gardens and then you can see all of the houses on the side of the hill and then you remember where you are. I took my time and kind of meandered down the city route. There was an Australian garden, a catcus garden, a rose garden and a tree house on my way down. It was lovely. I came out by the parliament building which in a downtown of a lot of not very attractive high rises was actually pretty attractive. The building next door to it however was horrible. Most of the high rises look like they were built during an architectural dark age, possibly the 70s in NZ. There is just no reason to look at them. Maybe I am biased coming from the ridiculously beautiful natural land scape of the south and then looking at those buildings.

I walked "The Terrace" which is a street that sort of half circles the lower city exactly like a terrace. The problem with the terrace is that it is really hard to get down. I tried a few times and ended up in peoples yards. Luckily it was the middle of the day and no one cared too much. I finally made it down and wandered again back by the shore taking in the view of the port. The port was beautiful on one side and ugly on the other, like most ports. The industrial is all to the same side and the fancy houses on the side of the hills are on the other. Which now that I think of it can't mean they have a very good view.

I wandered into a bar looking place on the warf because I had yet to eat. Not that surprisingly I could only eat fries and beer, which I did and thoroughly enjoyed. A serious storm had rolled in and thankfully I was right next to my next desired location, the Te Papa Museum. I ducked into Te Papa and literally five minutes later it was pouring and gale force winds. The rain died down by the time I got out of the museum, but the gale force winds continued long into the night. It was actually concerning because I was on the fourth floor and it sounded like the roof was going to come off. It sounded like a person shrieking, not the best soundtrack for bed. It was some of the worst wind I have experienced not actually being in a hurricane. Intense.

Te Papa is massive. It looks big from the outside but once you get in it is gigantic. Soaring ceilings and an open column in the middle that makes it almost cathedral like. It is also crazy overwhemling. There is so much information in there. It is a history of New Zealand but mostly the Maori. The Marae (meeting house) built in the museum is quite modern and spectacularly colorful. It springs to life before your eyes. While a lot of the stuff in the museum is great, there were also some really weird things like a tourist T-shirt from 1999. I'm not kidding, it was in a case. I was so confused.On the whole the museum is lovely but you have to be super in the mood for it. I stayed until almost close which was close to two hours and decided I would come back in the morning. It is a free museum but they have donation bins all around. The funding comes from the government and contributors.

I stopped at the New World on the way back to the hotel which was just a block away from Te Papa. It had to be the busiest grocery store I have ever been in, traffic jams in the aisles. There were also a lot of people in there with super dark hair and light eyes like me. It was like seeing my peeps, but not, haha. I picked up some provisions to cook that night in the studio hotel and called it a night.

I cooked and did laundry. See laundry fiasco post below. It was the best nights sleep I had had in four nights. It was amazing. ( The wind slowed enough by the time I went to bed.)


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