Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Enjoying Wellington

I got up at a reasonable time for once : 0715. A glance through a gap in the curtains revealed that it was a very promising day. I quickly got organised and had a very nice breakfast of scrambled eggs & smoked salmon in the hotel's restaurant. I was out and about by just after 0900 - a good early start to the day.

I walked the short distance from the hotel to the Kelburn cable car and rode it to the summit. I wondered why the name 'cable car' was used for something that was clearly a funicular. I found out at the top, in the small (but free!) cable car museum. It turns out that it was a genuine, San Francisco-style cable car system, with unpowered, wooden cars gripping a moving cable, until the seventies. The system was modernised in 1979 and re-emerged as a Swiss-built funicular. The view of the city from Kelburn was well worth seeing.

I strolled back to the city through the Botanical Gardens - much easier to do it this way round, I thought to myself! I spent much of the rest of the morning strolling around the Waterfront area. My guidebook had led me to expect a modernised, 'docklands' type development, but in truth, while there are elements of this, Wellington's waterfront still has some way to go. Much of the area is still a rather unattractive, working docks area. Yet there were a lot of tourists, joggers, etc going about. Maybe we were all anticipating things to come.

By this stage I felt that I had probably completed my exploration of the city centre. I had a choice : either explore a bit wider, or just relax in the sun. I decided that I had done enough sight-seeing and would enjoy some time just relaxing in the late summer sunshine, for a change. I bought some sandwiches, crisps, yoghurt and a drink and found a bench near the Parliament building that proved to be a sun-trap. (They didn't all fall into this category - my first choice was far too windy!) I ate my al fresco lunch and spent a good couple of hours reading the Inspector Morse book that I had remembered to put in my back-pack. I finished off the afternoon by returning to the waterfront area to have a nice cool beer while sitting outside in the sun. Although it was only the 15th of March, I found myself ordering a pint of Guinness

Suitably refreshed, I returned to the hotel, thinking that I could hardly do better than have my evening meal in the hotel's excellent in-house restaurant.

Monday 15 Mar

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