View of Wellington harbor from the top of Mount Victoria
Over the past couple of weeks, I've gone on little trips with the help of Tim, a friend from work. He's taken me to the places that are not easily reached by foot. He's become my unofficial guide, showing me some cool places.
Below: a 360 degree look of Wellington from Mount Victoria
On the same afternoon, we drove out along the Miramar coast and stopped along the way to see William Massey's Romanesque monument. He was a Prime Minister of New Zealand once upon a time and one of the universities in Wellington is named after him.
Last weekend Tim and I went out again for another day of sightseeing. It was fun! We first went to the War Memorial.
Below: Video of the War Memorial with commentary from Tim (sorry it's sideways, I forgot again!)
One of the many plaques inside the memorial; I thought it was beautiful
I love the carvings here
Entrance to the War Memorial
After the memorial, we headed off to Old St. Paul's church. It's really quite small and quaint.
Old St. Paul's
I love the inside...it's so organic and cozy with all the wooden beams. It reminded me of European architecture with the flying buttresses (hope I got that right!).
Inside Old St. Paul's
What an eyesore, eh? Just a big block of concrete painted in that awful salmon.
Close-up of the stone...gorgeous.
Below: video of the Parliamentary grounds
On the grounds, we found some Pohutukawa trees.
Below: Tim gives us a lesson on the flora of New Zealand
Pohutukawa in bloom; rare at this time of year. They usually bloom in December, which is why they are often referred to as the Christmas tree here in New Zealand.
After the Parliament, we decided to go to the Botanical Gardens, which is one of Wellington's crowning jewels. To be honest, I didn't understand the hype. It's not so much a cultivated garden as a kind of park where there are many native plants and trees scattered upon a mountain overlooking Wellington. It's a great place to go to for a picnic or a peaceful walk, but not really that special otherwise. There is an observatory and a planetarium there but they were closed when we went. There is also a rose garden where a cafe is located, but since it's now winter, most of the roses were not in bloom and we arrived too late to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. Everything closes early in New Zealand in winter. The cafe closed at 4:00p.m.
But we did discover a cool and strange plant. Tim didn't know what it was either.
Strange bulbous flower
Strange bulbous flower on the plant. The color, that purple (though it looks blue in this picture) reminded me of Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Kinda cool, really.
Random shot of a neighborhood seen from behind the Planetarium. I love that row of houses, each one a different color. Like smiling jack-o-lanterns.
Gorgeous sunset with sculpture by English sculptor Henry Moore
Me and sculpture; as you walked around it, it took on different shapes. Quite interesting.
Below: a silent film of Kiwi clouds. Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, means Land of the Long White Cloud. I've always loved clouds, their ability to transform and show you images beyond our expectations. I've never been in a country where the clouds move as fast as they do in New Zealand, I guess because of the thinness of New Zealand, wind can cross the island very quickly and the clouds respond accordingly. Below, the clouds are moving at regular speed, but the colors are so magnificent that I wanted to share them with you. Perhaps one of you could write a Haiku in honor of this Kiwi dusk.