Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Showing Off My City

On day 1 of the 2 days left at our disposal, Wellington put on an absolute stunner. The decision as to what to do was pretty much made for us so we caught a bus to the CBD and set off on a cable car adventure.

The iconic Wellington cable car is a must see for anyone with a bit of spare time in the city and it leads to another one of the city's must see sites, the Botanical Gardens. I hadn't taken the cable car for a good few years so it was a novel experience for me as well as Beckett.

We bought our tickets from the old school ticketing booth, proceeded through the gates into the dingy tunnel at the bottom of the track and waited for one of the cars to make its way down. I imagine the novelty of the experience wears off for those that take the cable car often from the top of hill down to work around Lambton Quay area but I feel like it'd be awesome to commute via cable car on a daily basis.

Unfortunately we picked a time and day to make the trip that lined up with the time and day that a local high school had decided to take a French class on an outing so we were stuck in an enclosed space with about 30 teenage girls giggling and speaking in broken French. We were pretty glad to not have to listen to that racket any more when we hit the top.

At the top we wandered around the gardens for a bit, although I am not particularly interested in any form of Botany it's still nice to wander around nature for a bit when the weather is good. We weren't there particularly long before we decided we'd had enough of strolling amongst the trees and decided to head back towards town.

On the ride back down there were also quite a few people joining us so the car was quite loud but at least it was loud English, the girls earlier had given me a headache. There were hardly any seats free and the one Beckett was on was not particularly wide. At the start of our trip a small child (Beckett's least favourite form of human) sat right next to him and was half on his lap the entire trip. Half way through the trip, the kid re - adjusted and actually did end up on Beckett's lap which I found hilarious. I think he was somewhere between yelling at the top of his lungs and throwing the kid out of the window judging by his expression at the time.

When we did make it down to the bottom I figured we were on this side of town so might as well visit parliament. Beckett didn't seem too keen but I managed to talk him into it and we arrived just in time for one of their free guided tours. I hadn't had a tour of parliament since I was 14, when Helen Clarke was Prime Minister of New Zealand and we visited with my Social Studies class to watch question time.

Beckett seemed to gain interest as the tour went on and in the end I think we both enjoyed the experience quite a bit. As they take you around the various rooms and areas of parliament they talk a bit about how New Zealand politics works and where certain offices are, where foreign dignitaries are received and things of the like which fascinates me.

After the tour, it was heading into late afternoon and the weather was still holding up so I decided that a nice way to cap off the day might be to go for a quick walk around the waterfront area. We walked pretty much end to end along the wharf area, starting down near the events centre end. Personally I think the waterfront area is the most beautiful spot in the whole city so I wasn't going to pass up the chance to show that off.

We spent a beautiful Wellington day exploring some of the most Wellington - esque Wellington things you can do on a fine day. In hindsight I can't think of a better way to have spent the day.

In the next post here I'll cover the last day we had in Wellington and what we got up to during that, including how I justified skipping out on one of the most iconic visitor spots in the city.

Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash

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