Sweeping down Highway 2 into Wellington gives you your first impression of the city center of Wellington and the hills that protect it. Tall buildings are surrounded by hills dotted with houses with steep green space behind them. On the waterfront you see ships being loaded and, further out, there are sailboats. The vista might remind you a bit of San Francisco or Seattle.
When the highway ended, we were dumped immediately onto busy city streets. Nearby we found our central city address Airbnb stay and unloaded our rental car. It needed to be returned the next day to Omega. Our little Nissan Tilda had served us well during our stay on the north island..
It was time to stretch our legs and walk. A block over we strolled along Cuba Street and did some window shopping. There was rain approaching so we ate dinner in an Indian restaurant and watched the student life mingle. The downpour came and gutters overflowed. The diners in the back of our restaurant were government types and, having finished eating and making speeches, were making a dash back to their cars.
After dinner, doing laundry, and making plans for the next day, we made an early night of it.
It was much cooler the next day, but typical for this moderate climate the sun came out and warmed us up. We returned the car by 10 AM, and our Airbnb hostess Angela drove us up to the summit of Mt. Victoria to get a view of the city and surroundings. The Hobbit was filmed in this country and its director Peter Jackson has set up his special effects studio here in Wellington. So I guess I wasn’t too surprised to learn that the suburb near the airport became known as Peter Jackson Village.
Back in the city Dave and I strolled around the waterfront then I returned to our aptment while he continued to explore. Angela and I had made plans to have lunch and see Still Alice at a boutiquey, tiny, loungy movie theater close by.
One of many lovely things about staying with a local is the inside scoop about restaurants, shops, and sights. Angela and I ate at a little off the beaten path café called Havana. A delicious starter in this country is often olives. Then we had flat bread with watercress butter and potatoes and salad. We followed that with a small fish entry and a tiny truffle to end. It certainly was not your typical fish and chips or curry.
Dave and I had another wonderful culinary experience that night at the corner of our street. You can tell that, with only one full day to spend here, we got a good sampling of food. While I’m away from the gym but close to knife and fork, I’m going to indulge guilt free. Let the dieting begin in Ohio.