Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wellington NZ - Day 4

I've failed to mention that this trip was with my family - no husbands or children - just Mum, Dad, Alicia, Charlotte and me! It was great to spend quality time together and not have children and husbands to look after. We missed Felicity tho. :(

Day 4 began with a walk away from the harbour, through what I guess you'd call the legal precinct - Parliament, High Court, Ministry of Justice (why does that remind me of the book 1984?). There were some beautiful old buildings, and some newer ones, like the Beehive (the newer Parliament building).

Alicia found a friendly lion.

Wellington Cathedral is an interesting building. I've never been in a modern cathedral before. It was built in three stages between 1955 and 1998. And it is MASSIVE! Like the TARDIS. From the street it doesn't look like much but inside it just goes on and on forever! I loved how the prayer book had both Maori and English text - with the same page number on both sides of the opening. I've never seen page numbering like that before! Bummer - I didn't get that in the photo.

We headed back into the social part of town for coffee at Hummingbird. It was in an old building reinforced after earthquake damage. We saw lots of building reinforcements from earthquake damage, and this sign on the outside of some buildings.

Then we were off to Te Papa Museum, NZ's National Museum.

We saw a fantastic exhibition of old Maori cloaks, made mostly from grasses and feathers. You weren't allowed to take photos in the exhibition but at the end was a room of clothing made recently using ancient techniques, and some ladies demonstrating the techniques. I asked if we could take photos in that section and was stoked that it was OK. Later, another visitor told me to stop taking photos because it wasn't allowed, and one of the demonstrators said it was OK in this section. So there! {Sticking out tongue}

I had a chat with this lady who was creating a replica of a Maori cloak in an English Museum. She is creating it as a major work for her uni degree.

Check out this lady's chin tattoo.

We were hoping to go to Zealandia Kiwi Park the next morning but found out Kiwi's are nocturnal, so we decided not to go. I was happy that we got to see this stuffed one. Kiwi's are pretty big!

And there was this enormous squid, actually called THE COLOSSAL SQUID. It was caught 5 years ago by a fishing boat. It's the largest, most intact squid ever found and weighs almost 500kg. It has the largest eye of any animal. It's preserved in formalin. Mmmmmm pickled squid. Who's hungry? It was pretty gross, but fascinating!

I loved this Maori boat, decorated with shells. Consequently - I found out the correct way to say Maori isn't to rhyme it with Cowry (the shell) but it's MAH-ori. A long "ahhhh" sound and really short "o" sound.

We headed back to the apartment, Dad and I went via Butler's Chocolates to get some chockies we had bought online using a local discount voucher. They were so good!

It was Charlotte's last night with us and she had booked us into a fantastic restaurant for her last night. Logan Brown was in an old New Zealand Bank building - so beautifully renovated and turned into a restaurant. And we had the most DIVINE food! Possibly the best three course meal I've ever had. Everything was perfect. What an awesome menu. All this for $45 if you have the 5:30-7:30 sitting.

Here's what I had...
Sourdough bread and cranberry bread (I think - it wasn't on the menu)
Entree - Maple smoked salmon with potato gnocchi, fennel salad and basil oil
Main - Roasted monkfish with turmeric potatoes & coconut vichyssoise
Dessert - Chocolate & apricot tart with double chocolate brownie ice cream

Oh, I'm wearing my new necklace from the markets! It's so beautiful.

It was a long weekend and we ended up having great views of the fireworks from our apartment! That was a nice surprise!

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