Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wellington, NZ

When we woke up this morning, we were arriving in the harbor which brought us in to Wellington.  This city is located on the south end of the north island.  After breakfast, we were able to walk off the ship and do our own tour of the city.

It was cold and windy, so were were bundled up as much as possible.  I have to admit, I was more prepared for summer weather than for spring rains and winds!  But it was nice to walk along the waterfront in Wellington.  The boardwalk was inviting, and I imagine it would be bustling with people enjoying the water and outdoor restaurants on warmer days.  We shopped a bit in some interesting boutiques as we made our way to the Te Pa Pa Museum.

Along the waterfront...

The museum had 6 floors, but the top two were mainly observation decks.  The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors had the best displays.  These featured the Maori culture and history.  A long boat on display was very impressive, both in length and craftsmanship.

The port at Wellington; see our ship docked there?
Next we walked into the busy city center to find the Cable Car, which we rode to the top of the hill. What a nice view of the bay.   From there, one can walk back down to the city center by way of the Botanic Gardens.  It was a great way to enjoy the green space in the city; I was impressed by the variety of trees, ferns and plants. 

I believe we walked 10 miles today!  I was very ready to get back on the ship, out of the wind, put my feet up, and relax.  Before we boarded the ship, the crew was there to offer us a half cup of hot chocolate! Yum. 
Walking down through the Botanical Gardens.

This sundial that was very accurate, making adjustments for each month of the year.
As we walked back through the city toward the ship, we passed Wellington's Parliament building.

Their Parliament building is called The Beehive.

I liked these stone sculptures on the grounds behind The Beehive.

After a brief rest, it was time to get dressed for another fabulous dinner.  The evening's entertainment in the theater was violinist, Jane Cho, on an electric violin.  Amazing!  After her show, the crew hosted another fun show they called "Dancing with the Stripes."  (This was a take-off on "Dancing With the Stars")  Passengers could sign up to be paired with one of the chip's crew members.  It was very entertaining....

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