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May 13th 2009
Published: May 13th 2009
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Saturday 25th April (ANZAC Day) - Tuesday 28th April 2009

I was attending the "Fast Tracking National Infrastructure" conference in Wellington for work so decided to extend the work jolly into the weekend before and to actually see the Capital city of New Zealand properly...

I had been twice before but my sightseeing had consisted of something like: Airport - office - airport. It looked like a cool city - worth exploring some more...........

So as you all know its the capital city but only about 400,000 people live here compared to about 1,400,000 in Auckland!! Its NZ's windy city but when I flew in to the Wellington Harbour at the very very Southern tip of the North Island it wasn't windy at all - all was calm and I had a great view of the surrounding hills coming in to land.

It was Anzac Day so everything was shut but I had a great wander around the waterfront to an ANZAC memorial and on to the parliament area to see the old parliament building (nice) and the new parliament building - "The Beehive" (Not so nice).

I had dinner and a few drinks at the famous Back Bencher pub where all the MPs drink which was great fun with all caricature puppets of the current MPs on the walls. I liked the PM and Deputy PM's Batman and Robin figures. The menu was great too - each dish being named after an MP - I had met 3 of the dishes (so to speak) through work and opted for the Rodney Hide Calamari as he was the first I met and a real character having been on Dancing with the Stars NZ and telling me tales of his days thieving at the ship yards in Glasgow!! Was quite chuffed. Went home that night via a few good city bars and decided I really like the city.....

Sunday 26th Aprl 2009

Well the weather I was woken to was almost enough to change my mind about liking the city so enthusiastically. It didn't stop raining for the next 3 days as if to make up for the calm I was treated to the day before!! Just as well I had a day of shopping and museum visiting planned anyway.

I went to Te Papa the famous Museum of New Zealand. Like anything in NZ - world famous in NZ! Anyway its a great interactive big modern museum and the Scots in New Zealand exhibition was good. What was funny was they actually had on a display board stating that the Scots were considered ideal settlers because we were, and I quote, "educated, hardworking, SOBER and reliable....... hmmm what happened??

Cuba Street and Courtenay Place offered some good shopping and a nice brunch of french toast and bacon and maple syrup (they do brunch so well over this end of the world) and I spent my hard earned wages happily but got absolutely soaked in the process and after getting the cable car (tram) up to the top of a hill to see a non existant spectacular view due to rain clouds I was VERY happy to get back to my lovely hotel room and promptly turned the heating up ordered room service..bliss.....

Monday and Tuesday

Had a good time at the conference meeting lots of peole and talking lots about the weather and Scotland (I find that happens alot). Monday night was a curry then cocktails till the early hours...I left my senior colleagues at 1am downing tequilla or something and funnilly enough didn't see them at the conference the next day - they wouldn't make ideal settlers at all.........

Was VERY happy to leave and get back to the comparitive warmth of Auckland......now I see why 1 million more people choose to live here in Auckland over wet and windy welly (bit I still love it)!!!

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