I arrived in Wellington on a Sunday, and the next day Clare and I headed into Wellington to check out some of the more well-known sights. We walked downtown and headed to the waterfront after a quick stop at the bank on campus and Kaffe Eis for some excellent gelato- I got lemon and amaretto. Yum! We walked down Cuba St. and ended up passing the Embassy Theatre, where the premier for Lord of the Rings was held, and Clare pointed out different theatres and restaurants as we went along. We sat on the waterfront eating for a bit until we got too chilly, and then we headed back in the direction of downtown.
After our jaunt to the waterfront, we ended up popping into Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, and eating in a cafe on Cuba St. called Fidel’s, which I found incredibly ironic. Te Papa was filled with exhibits on the Maori people, who are very similar to our Native Americans. It was interesting, but a bit much, so we wandered for a while before heading to the cafe where we got something to eat before heading back up the arduous hill. Clare got a savory muffin- did you know people make muffins with things other than fruit? It had some combination of peppers and other veggies in it.
When I told my mom about the walk up the hill, she said something like, “So it’s like living on the third floor apartment.” It is NOTHING like living on the third floor apartment! (Love you mom!) I used to climb the stairs daily to my fifth-floor dorm, and this is nothing like that. So to give you an idea, here are some photos from the climb back up, because as I told Clare, “No one will believe me if I don’t take pictures!”
So what you see above is the first part of the climb back… the very steep hill (ie I could never walk it in heels, and if you stop, you won’t start again), and the first staircase. From here, you continue on an uphill grade and weave around to the rugby field on campus, and then climb a staircase twice as long/ steep/ tall and then continue uphill a bit to the dorm door. Let me just tell you– it’s quite a workout! We discovered later that you can take the next street over and then cut over for a less steep first hill climb, and that seems to help.
So that was my first real day in New Zealand! Wellington is really just like any other city- walking around, restaurants, cafes, clubs, and the like. Other than the hills, it’s very similar to living in D.C. Remember that I love you all very much, and I will be home before you know it! Until then, continue to check back in here– I should be caught up to present day quite soon!