Sunday, January 27, 2013

windy wellington

so off we go on the first morning with a half day tour of the city- our first stop... the Weta Cave - home of the film makers of the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and many other films or special effects for films- we watch a movie and then go to the gift shop- no tours - just a place to buy stuff- not on my list of worthy stops for NZ-

oh- maybe I should back track and give the TB view of our final days:

12/17:  Bkfst @ Travelodge Wellington.  Visit Weta Cave; film about Middle Earth & such.  Cable car ride to & short exploration of Wellington botanic gardens; tour old St. Paul’s Church (+).  TB split off for afternoon of riding on Wellington’s Tranz Metro commuter trains:  Wellington – Meller r/t and Wellington Waikanae r/t (+).  Dinner at leisure w/ Tor & PF at Shed 5. 
12/18:  Bkfst @ Travelodge Wellington.  TB java @ Sbux for internet access.  Group tour of Te Papa museum (++).  Lunch at leisure in museum cafĂ©.  Group tour of Parliament buildings.  Final group dinner (w/ party crowns) @ the General Practitioner in Wellington.  Happy hour at the GP features $10 litres of beer; whew!  Farewell cocktails at Travelodge Wellington w/ Tor, PF, Mike. 
12/19:  OAT tour ends today, but TB is long gone to airport for WLG – CHC – ZQN flights.  Tor & PF leave later for wine country on thy South Island.

So back to the touring- after we do the Weta Cave we head to the scenic overlook place above the Wellington Harbor and get our photos- and a group photo- a quick stop at the war memorial and then off to the tram/cable car thing to the botanical gardens and cable car museum-  where we have a whopping twenty minutes to explore (we spend most of our time finding WCs on this kind of stop which seems to be designed more for the gift shops than any actual touring- I'm just sayin...)

so some photos :

then Mt Victoria- including a shot of the runway and the control tower (in yellow highlighting) that sits in a neighborhood of houses-


the airport runway and the control tower-

then the war memorial:

cable car and botanical gardens:

old St Paul's Church:

the embroidery on the vestments was magnificent:

then we split off and went to the railroad station where we left Tom to take a few went off for lunch- on the way seeing some frightening signs on the local McDonald's.  Then due to the crummy weather, we went back to the room later in the afternoon.  We met Tom for dinner together at Shed 5 (good choice.)

I took this one because the law school name is translated into Maori on the sign which I thought was pretty cool...

we knew where to turn in because our man and his happy pup were there as our landmarks!

Tomorrow on the schedule is the National Museum and free time and then our farewell dinner!

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