Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Windy Wellington

[Kyle]When we woke up from our post-arrival nap, it was howling! We needed more lines and more fenders and spent the rest of the day just trying to hold on.

The next day, we took the funicular to the top of the big hill overlooking the town and had a leisurely walk down through all of the beautiful gardens along the way. Once we reached the city, we took a guided tour of Parliament. It was cool to be inside the actual Beehive and all that, but the best part of our tour was our tour guide. She WAS the Fat Fighters lady from the TV Comedy Little Britain. It was SO hard to keep a straight face through the tour. Maryanne and I kept having to elbow each other to stop the impersonations.

New Zealand's Parliament Buildings

We managed to find time to stop at the Te Papa Museum and have a look at their exhibits. They do a great job, but the thing that really impressed me was a little side display they had of a Blue Whale’s heart. I had heard how big they were, but had never seen it. I could crawl through the aorta! It blew my mind!

We actually did a lot in Wellington – we even squeezed in a trip to the local cinema to both watch a movie and enjoy the teashop and bar there…
Next, Maryanne booked us two tours at Weta, a place that does special effects for film and television, Their most notable thing is ALL of the special effects for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was pretty cool to see so many of the original set pieces for those movies.

Fun tour of the Weta Digital - the company that did the special effects for Avitar, The Lord of the Rings, etc AND that make the 'new' Thunderbirds Are Go.

We walked the long way home from there, which inspired us to take the long walk to the top of Mt. Victoria and back the next day. What a great space! Wellington seems like such a nice place.

Except that it’s not. It’s a great city, but the winds are crazy! One of the signboards at the top of Mt Victoria said that Wellington gets 173 days per year of winds above 32 knots – gale force! That signboard was surely attached by long bolts into the bedrock, because it was blowing like hell up there.

We loved Wellington (just not the wind so much!)

Our next day was scary. Maryanne made a heroic trip to the store for provisions, while I tried my best to watch over Begonia and not freak out. The winds picked up and were actually frightening us a little. She arrived home from the store and it was a real ordeal just to get everything aboard without having our cart blow away in the wind. It was scary to think that we would be leaving in only a few hours.

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