We Just Blew In To the Windy City

Greetings from windy Wellington! We knew we wanted to come here, but were pretty much completely aimless when it came to any actual plans. Last night though, Sim noticed an interesting poster, so our first stop was a Ticketek office to book some VERY SPECIAL Kiwi entertainment (more tomorrow night!).

We kind of just wandered off after that; we went to the tourist information centre and were the youngest people there by about 40 years; not a good sign. Luckily, about a block and a half further along we came across the City Gallery, Wellington. The main exhibition was a retrospective of Fiona Pardington, a NZ photographer who is interested (from what I saw) in formally-composed and -lit still lifes (lives?) and portraits, both with a morbid streak, and also in photographing pieces from museum collections – there were several death and life masks, for example. The gallery also had a great architecture exhibition that included a huge cityscape made out of white lego, which guests were invited to add to, modify, and deconstruct.

Walking around some more, with a little consultation of some of the thousands of booklets we had amassed, we managed to find an office building with a ground-floor display of Maori village artefacts that were unearthed during construction about 10 years ago. SUCH a day of culture.

Sim’s one checklist item while in Wellington was a visit to the Weta Cave – ie the studio that (inter alia) made the props for the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films. I was sceptical but willing. I have to say though, it was pretty amazing to see all the weapons and things on the walls; even close up, I couldn’t tell the difference between the ones made from steel, from aluminium, and from plastic. While out at Miramar, we took some advice from the friendly lady at the Ticketek office and had a milkshake (or, in my case, affogato) break at a beautiful spot called Scorching Bay, right on the edge of the water in a spot that, I suspect, has a view that has not yet been entirely exploited by real estate agents. One of the houses did have an actual turret though, so. Sometimes residents can ruin the neighbourhood all on their own.

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