Monday, 27 June 2011

Wellington - It's a capital city!

I love Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.  Yes, sure, it has terrible weather, is built on an earthquake fault line, and is full of bureaucrats and politicians.  And, yes, flying in or out over the wind swept ocean and between mountain ranges can be hair raising, to say the least, but it is a stunning little city in so many ways.

 I love that it is compact and so easy to get around.
Much admired, and often painted, houses
 overlooking Wellington Harbour
 I love the brilliant waterfront walk studded with art works and poetry quotations carved into stone.  I love Kircaldie and Staines, the grand old department store, an essential port of call for my every visit to the city.  I love the fact that because it is so windy nobody owns an umbrella yet everyone owns a full length rain coat.  I love the wonderful supermarket in the railway station.  I love the (relatively!) efficient public transport systems.  I love the bizarre place names like Scorching Bay and Worser Bay and Stout Street which conjur up visions of a burning beach, a horrible beach and a fat street waddling along. I love Days Bay's quaint tearooms and old world atmosphere.. I love Old St Pauls church, a glorious example of colonial wooden architecture.  I love the wealth of art galleries and museums.  Goodness, I even love Wellington's self proclaimed but inaccurate boast of being the cultural capital of New Zealand.  I love its insecurity when it eyes big brother, Auckland and its "look at me, look at me," little brother attitude. I love the cable car and the stunning views of the city and harbour from the top. I love the light traffic flow on the streets during the day. I love the cafes, my favourite - Smith the Grocer in the sublime Old Bank Arcade.
I love the scruffy, funky bohemian feel of Cuba St with its much loved by some and and hated by others, but nevertheless mesmerising, bucket fountain. I love the artificial nikau palm pillars at the city library. I love its vast number of old but character filled houses. .....And I especially love that several members of my family live there so I can visit often.   Please don't change Wellington, you are lovely as you are.
Artificial nikau palms
Cuba St bucket fountain
Poetry on the waterfront walk