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Published: January 30th 2011
Yes it is the capital - not Auckland- and it is said also to be the windy city - but I was lucky enough to see the harbour looking like glass on my first drive round tour. The family where I am staying have lovely kids ( 2 of them 17 and 19yrs)- and they are happy to be my tour guides while mum and dad are working and it doesnt look like they have been coerced or bribed to do it (young people can be sooo lovely ) - so Jac took me for a grand day out. Up and up and up we went to Mount Victoria to the lookout - a city on water is always fabulous and back by these very steep mountainous hills Wellington is quite stunning. The main part of the city is also quite compact so its great to be able to walk around all the sights. From above I could see 360 degrees - the city, the harbour, out to the Cook Strait where the ferries go to the South Island, the airport and the Rugby Stadium Westpac. There were signs up about the winds here and how wind chill factor is worked
out but I was on a lucky streak that day. Down and down we went and then on a fabulous drive on a road hugging the coast past lots of coves and little sandy bays and small villages... when I got back and looked at where we had been in my guide book - it was said to be one of the most picturesque ocean roads in NZ - I agree. To get back to the wind - I also saw the site where some years ago in a very bad storm the Interislander Ferry was driven into the rocks with 58 lives lost.
Jac showed me her favourite tiny sandy beach and we did a bit of paddling there...then time for lunch and another really lovely seafood chowder with green lipped mussels and smokey bacon...yum. Heading back to the city we then parked and walked to the cable car which we took uphill to the Botanical Gdns and then a very pretty walk back down hill - more lovely bush, trees and flowers. Our grand tour wasnt finished yet - off we went to NZ's famous museum Te Papa - a lovely building on the waterfront- and we had
tickets to see an art exhibition "European Masters" a collection from Frankfurt... lovely - we saw some Monet, Degas, Rodin, Klee Kandinsky, Picasso and lots of Beckman - many of the German artists I didn't know but some great paintings and sculpture...and now I know what Goethe looked like!!! By that time I think we were exhausted so we headed back to the ranch for a bit of R+R. And this is a lovely home to relax in - built in wood with several levels and Brigit has given me middle level to live in ( Middle Earth??)- so it's like my own litlle apartment- and Ben doesnt seem to mind that I have chucked him out of his bed...he says he liked staying in my house last year cos he had the computer in his bedroom and then could lie on the sofabed in the other bedroom and watch movies. It is lovely to sit and read on one of the decks outside and if it gets windy then there is always the quiet corner to sit on the sofa by the kitchen and watch the foodie activty going on. Kiwis seem to really enjoy their coffee and are
quite serious about it ...so much so that Peter actually carried his coffee machine around europe with him- how is that for dedication!! Well I have to say he does make a great cup of coffee and I am very happy about that.
I have been so lucky to be staying with people who like food and have been enjoying some great home cooking. (Suzanne- today Brigit has used your mango to make a salsa.) This morning Brigit, Peter and I went off to a fabulous market down at the harbour next to Te Papa...lots and lots of stalls doing veg and fruit, local producers of honey, jams, meats, a fish van and also a boat docked at the harbour wall with its fresh catch - fisherman filleting the fish etc as peole bought it. Great stuff to see. A bit windy down there today- I didnt get blown away but almost!! We bought some specialist sausages beef in guinness and french sausages- so Peter is chef tonight on the bbq.
Yesterday we went for a drive over the mountains ( another very winding road up and up and down and down - 15 km of it) and into Wiarapa-
valley which is where there is a big wine growing area- visited a couple of lovey little towns Greymouth and Martinborough...cute little houses, antique shops, cafes, clothes shops , lovely home and kitchen shops- very nice for looking around. (Christine, you would have loved those shops!!) I even started to think about having to buy a dress for me for Chris and Anabel's wedding in June - and looked at shoes too...these nice shops gave me some ideas.
Suzanne is now doing her own thing in the South Island and from her texts it sounds as if all is going well.
So I thinkI am now up to date again - plans for this next week include Ben and I going to Zealandia tomorrow ( not quite sure what that is but I will find out), going to see a NZ movie with Tim the older son - this movie stars Brigit's nephew who is an up and coming star, and going to the theatre to se Brigit's brother in a play - he also starts in TV adverts- so maybe some of this fame will rub off onto me!!!
Hope you like my Wellington fotos.
Lv Lynne xx
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