Wellington, 2nd - 6th August 2010
We were only planning on spending a couple of nights in Wellington before heading back up the North island but that all changed on the bus when we moved heaven and earth to make the All Black's Tri Nation's game in Christchurch against the Aussies. We ended up spending 4 nights in Wellington and we didn't really find much to do here, so most of our time was spent chillaxing, therefore if you're after an interesting read I'd stop now. :)
When we first got to Wellington our Magic bus driver gave us a city tour and showed us the Beehive (NZ Parliament), places to drink, took us up to Mount Victoria to see the stunning views over the city.
On our first night we had a night in with Niamh, Ajay, Jenny & Kati who we'd met on the Magic Bus and who are also going to see the Rugby. We all sat around chatting and trying to drink our hot chocolate through Yim Yams which are a bit like Penguins. You have to bite a corner off the top and then the corner diagonally opposite and try and drink your drink through it. Mine landed spectacularly in my drink which I had to fish out with my fingers before it all sank to the bottom - so attractive! Pmsl. We're all travelling to the south island over the coming days and we're all booked into the same hostel in Christchurch so can meet up on Friday night or a cheeky drink or two. :)
Selena use to work with a Kiwi girl called Fran a few years back who eventually moved back to New Zealand with her husband. They invited us round for some home cooked food, and we had such a good evening.We met Charlotte their 1 year old daughter who is absolutely gorgeous and she has already mastered the 'puss in boots' look which can get her out of trouble in an instant. Fran cooked us a Kiwi feast and we had Kiwi Brie and crackers, Chicken with loads of local veggies (including pumpkin, sweet potato and baby yams), New Zealand Hokey Pokey ice cream for pud (it's really creamy and has honeycomb pieces in it) and of course some Kiwi wine. :)
There's really not a lot to write on this.We went to the Te Papa Museum which is home to a giant Squid which looked like something more attune to the set of Independence Day than a Museum. They also had a really cool interactive map of New Zealand on the floor of the museum that was lit up and looked pretty cool, but other than that - not a lot.
A girl's night out
We had met a lot of girls on the coach and in the hostel and decided to get everyone together and have a long overdue girl's night out.
We started with drinks in the bar next to the hostel. This hostel also supplied free dinner so thought we'd all get involved before we went out. Every meal we had there had the same mix of carrot, peas and sweet corn thrown in somehow. The Nachos meal consisted of tortilla chips, tomato sauce and the veg mix (yuck!) Spaghetti Bolognaise was spaghetti, tomato sauce and the veg mix (can you see any similarities here?) and chicken curry was rice, a creamy sauce, the veg mix and one chuck of chicken- I kid you not! I even took a picture just to show everyone as I'd never believe a chicken curry coming out with one chunk of chicken, but everyone's was the same. This was the delightful meal we had to line our stomachs on our night out so as I'm sure you can imagine we got pretty wasted. :)
So after a few bevvies in the hostel's bar, we headed over to a wine bar Kati had read about in her Lonely Planet guide.Now this place looked quite normal when we sat down but when you went out the back it looked like a swingers bar (well what I imagine a swingers bar to look like, I've never actually been to one). There were thick red curtains everywhere, dark corridors and spotlights shining on some of the curtains. As we couldn't find the dungeon we decided to go order a few bottles of wine, planned how we were going to arrange for Kati to meet Daniel Carter after the rugby match on Saturday (whereby he would instantly propose and we could all go the engagement party - I suppose you had to be there really to find this funny - copious amounts of wine would probably help too!) One plan involved streaking which in German (Kati & Anya being German) said it was called Flitzing, so we named it filth - f***.it.let's.flitz. We then left there and headed to a sports bar for a few drinks, then got the beer muchies and ate McDonalds - yes I know it's dirty but that's just what happens when the beer monster takes hold. :)
A bit of Culture
And on our last day we thought we should try to see a bit more of the city other than a museum and a load of coffee shops, so we met up with a couple of girls we'd met on the Magic Bus & in the hostel and headed off to the Cable Car. This is one of Wellington's must see attractions and maybe I'm becoming a bit blaze after everything we've seen but I've been on better ones at Alton Towers. It was only $3 (about £1.50), but how it's a top attraction I have no idea. It took maybe 4 minutes to get to the top and offered an OK view of Wellington, but the view from Victoria Point was much better. We walked back down to the city through the Botanical gardens which was really pretty. It amazes me how the wildlife and the plants can be so similar but have so many differences. Some parts are exactly as you'd expect to see in a typical English wood and then you come to a bed bursting full of different species of cactus. There were some massive ferns which is the National emblem of New Zealand and even a Magnolia tree in full bloom. Never seen that in August!Can you tell I'm a Gardener's daughter?! lol.
We thought we'd catch a bit of culture and not only went to see the main Political building called the Beehive due to its unusual shape, but we also did a tour.Big mistake - so boring! Neither of are motivated, intrigued or even interested in how laws or parliamentary proceedings, so I have no idea what made us think this was a good idea.
I was so bored and the guide was so annoying that I thought I'd see if I could antagonise her during the tour. She was very passionately telling the hallway we were standing in was destroyed due to fire, but they managed to restore it by contacting all the suppliers individually including the floor tiling company in Stoke-on-trent, who still had the original pattern. Yippy, dippy, doh dah. Seriously, do they honestly think anyone would give a f*ck about replacing floor tiles in a hallway?! Anyway, I waited until the questions section and then asked if they considered that area a restoration or a replica? Hahahaha - you should have seen her face! Selena just laughed and it proper threw the woman who didn't know what to say. She said it was definitely a restoration and I was so bored I asked her to explain how they could consider it a restoration when virtually everything was destroyed. By the time we'd been in there half an hour, Selena and I were ready to slit our wrists and we just lagged behind at the back like naughty school kids. If I could take any positive from it, it would be that it cemented just how much I hate the red tape and ridiculous procedures they have that surround Parliament. We finally managed to escape after an hour, and we were all starving by this point so headed off for some food.
Italian was our choice and it took over an hour to try and find one. Considering this is a city that's main attraction is food they really weren't doing very well! The first one was closed, the second one had run out of pasta but the third one was absolutely gorgeous. We then headed back to the hostel and had bit of a chilled afternoon.