Wellington, Day Three

14 10 2007

**Note- Remember that these are taken straight out of my journal… dates and such are bound to get confusing**

Yesterday was another lovely day. We began our morning downstairs in the kitchen. The hostel was hosting a free bagel breakfast. I’d forgotten how much I love toasted bagel with cream cheese.

It was raining hard (again) so we figured our best bet was the Te Papa museum. It’s right down the street, it’s big and it’s free. The three bold adventureres tramped out into the deluge (wearing their new Glasson’s clothes) and bound for the greatest museum in NZ. 

We’ve become experts at J-walking over the past few days. We got their in no time and with only minimal pant-soakage and hair-flattenage.

Dropping our coats off at coat check we started off to see all six levels of the museum.

There is a section for games and rides on Level 2 (the main level). One of the games was, I kid you not, electric sheep shearing. There was a stuffed sheep covered all over by bar-code stickers. You had to aim and ‘hit’ all of the stickers in record time. I just about busted a gut laughing. My dad would have loved it.

Also on the first level is a section on plate tectonics, and one on indigenous plant and animal life. My favorite part was an ancient chinese contraption to measure the direction of siesmic waves. There was also an entire HUGE case filled with marine skeletons. The lighting in that particular display was dim and gave the illusion that the beasties were still alive. Not a pleasant thing when the skeletons averaged out at 20 feet long. It was entirely fantastic!

On the second level we aked one of the museum employess to take a picture of us. Turns out that he was from Alaska. He recomended that we start on the terrace level (6th floor) and work our way down, paying special attention to the Toi Te Papa, an art gallery.

This we did. There was a big display of beautiful silver work on the top floor. Also a piece of modern art made up of a bright turquoise VW van, a teardrop camper and a dozen fake trees, all painted the same shade.

Toi Te Papa was my favorite part of the museum. Two pieces, maybe three, really stood out: Achilles Mourns, done in the classical style, Practical Religion; the resurrection of Lazarus showing Mt Martha a modern piece done by Colin McCahon (Look him up, he’s super cool) and a piece of sculpture called Girl with a Ponytail.

We spent most of our time in Toi Te Papa and were pretty tired by the end. The other really notable exhibit was an enormous mock Maori meeting house. It was like a church, we even had to take off our shoes to go inside.

We made a tour of the gift shop, and found lots of beautiful stuff. Expensive beautiful stuff.

After Te Papa we got lunch at Burger Fuel. Kumara chips rock, the burgers come with special cardboard burger holders and NZ’s idea of a milkshake is frothy flavoured milk. Not deadly, but not great. Side note- Gotta love a country that has a “Brie Burger”. Fantastic!

Then back to the hostel for a nap.

After naps we went out to dinner with our two new Scottish friends from the hostel. Amy and ‘Toria. We went to the Dubliner. Good food, crap service. I got chicken with roast vegetables and brie (they put brie on everything down here!). It was really, really fun to talk to girls near our age from another country. We sat there for two hours and talked about everything from school to families to religion. They couldn’t believe that all the houses are made of wood. In Aberdeen everything is made of sparkly granite.

Good times.

By the time we were finished it was too late to go to the movies so we headed back to the hostel. We stopped by the TV/Video lounge to see if maybe it was free. Wonder of wonders there were already people in there and they were watching Return of the King. Alana and Becca were less than un-interested. I, on the other hand, couldn’t get back down there fast enough. I changed, grabbed my moleskine and raced down all six flights of stairs. (Which, now that I think about it, was not the nicest thing to do to all those poor sleeping people….)

Pulling up a beanbag I proceeded to watch my favorite movie in my favorite city in my favorite country in the world. I could have (and did, if truth be told) cry at the end. The Shire is where I live! That’s nuts!

Then I slunk back up to bed, hideously late at night, and fell asleep with a big grin on my face.

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