Friday, May 05, 2006

A fabulous weekend in Wellington!!

May 5th - David and I headed off early to Wellington, capital of New Zealand and a mere 5 hours away. Had a great chat on the way down; David is starting work with the NZ Electric Company so i learned alot about the different pylons we passed on the way,and the electricity system here- very interesting stuff, I'm telling you!

Said my farewells and wished David the best of luck in his new job, when we arrived into town! Headed off to explore Wellington, and Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand. Quite proud of myself that i didn't actually get lost - quite unlike me for those of you who know me well! And now its time for a little background on the capital of New Zealand, also known as "windy Welly". A thriving cafe and entertainment scene here, with a population of just over 205,000; Wellington is home to the country's parliament. Surrounded by steep hills, it has spectacular views of the coast and the city itself is squished between two harbours on the southeastern tip of the North Island. And yes, this was where the world premiere of the last LORT was held - "The Return of the King", due in part to the fact Peter Jackson is from Wellington.

Te Papa is an incredible museum; so much to see and tons on the Maori culture which is great as I'm really interested in it! This photo depicts a modern representation of a traditional Maori gateway with each of the elements of fire, water,as well as key deities portrayed here.. (ok, something like that, I think - dont have my museum guide on me right now - so that will have to do!). Having spoken to Lorna, one of Diane's best friends that I was going to be staying with this weekend, we decided we would all return to Te Papa tomorrow to do the LORT exhibition.. Yah - geeky fan is very excited about this!!

There are a ton of museums in Wellington, many of them situated down by the waterfront.. had a great walk around this area - really quite hip and happening, even in the chilly weather!

Lorna, her husband Tony and 2 children Patrick (8) and Kieran (5 1/2) were really great fun and very good to put me up for the weekend! Lorna picked me up with the boys and we headed home; the adults were going out for a curry later that night in the hip, Cuba St. area of town and the boys were ordering in Pizza Hut - the excitement was hilariou!!! I love Kieran's "blistering barnacles" comments!!! Had a great meal with their friends, Niki, Graham and Claire. Then off to Molly Malones for a wee drinkie before heading home. Lorna is fantastic - tons of energy and so bubbly. A great person to show you around - thanks so much Lorna!

May 6th. Everyone up this morning as Patrick had football - so cute to see these wee kids all taking the game very seriously ....well. some of them anyway. Others were a bit more relaxed, actually very relaxed, just looking into space, and then jolted into complete panic when the ball came towards them - great fun! But Patrick was great - ok im a little biased but he was very good! After football, we all headed up to the top of Wellington to get a great view of the city from above. We checked out a massive wind machine? (is that what you call them?) and after a blustery walk, decided it was time to head down to Te Papa and the LOTR exhibition! Without hopefully sounding too geeky, the exhibit really was great! Saw tons of costumes; learned that Cate Blanchett's character was actually Liv Tyler's grannie; found out that over 2,000 Hobbits feet were produced, cos every night after shooting, the ones worn were shredded in case they found their way onto E-bay and hot blackmarket prices!!! Viggo Morteson (ahhhh) loved his horse so much that he bought him after the movie wrapped AND he was such a macho-man, when his tooth was knocked out during shooting, he asked that it be superglued back in so they could continue to film - what a guy eh!!! OK - i know, i am a geek - oh well dont pretend you didnt find that info interesting!!!

Took a lovely walk through the gardens at the back of the museum; watched the boys jump into a massive sand pit with dinosaur remains (hmmn not quite the genuine article i dont think), then headed home where Lorna made an incredible dinner for all of us! She is amazing!! Had a great chilled out time with this wonderful family; im so lucky to have great people dotting my travel path, at least here and in Australia.


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