Wellington – City of surprises
Wellington should be just a stopover for us. We had to apply for our visa for Vietnam and wanted to take the ferry to the South Island. Unfortunately the day after we had arrived, we realized that it was a public holiday and we were standing in front of closed doors at the Vietnam Embassy. Slightly frustrated we walked through downtown Wellington without really getting started with us. All the shops were obviously closed, and we had not previously learned much about what to do in the capital of New Zealand.
„It’s mine, my own, my precious!“
– Bilbo Beutlin –
Our mood changed abruptly when we accidentally turned into the jewelers‘ street, happily realizing that these stores were open. A good opportunity to look for Tina’s engagement ring in the Land of the Rings. Amazingly she found the perfect ring pretty fast, or should we say the ring found her. Since this purchase decision should not be taken lightly, we wanted to talk at lunch all for and against once again. We found a cute cafe and made ourselves comfortable at the window. Out of nowhere we looked into the face of Johan-Gustav, the son of Annerose and Robert. The three had taken us from Tongariro Basecamp to Hamilton and were now looking for food and accommodation. We were able to help them with both. After the happy reunion we had lunch together and were able to convince the three of our beautiful AirBnB. After a short phone call it was clear that the second bedroom was still available and we would spend the next 2 days together. A short time later the three made their way to the AirBnB and we went back to the jeweler to order the ring. This should be ready for pickup the following day.
Itchy Feet Insider: The AirBnB by Howard and Joan is absolutely 5 stars and is one of the best places to stay on our trip.
In the evening we wanted to make ourselves comfortable in the house with a bottle of wine and a good piece of meat. For this we guys went to the next supermarket to shop. On the sloping parking garage entrance we remembered too late that the reverse of Robert’s bus had recently given up and that the parking garage was not built high enough for our vehicle. Now we stood there, it was neither forward nor back and behind us a long series of cars lined up. Imagine that would happen in Germany. How would most Germans react to our faux pas? Probably the attempt to ask for understanding would go down in the honking concert of cars. Not so in New Zealand, almost all motorists understood and even thanked me for telling them so they could drive around the block to the second entrance.
Fortunately a young Maori had recognized our plight and did not even ask if he could help us on the sloping parking garage entrance. He drove over the 30cm high curb with his raised truck and placed behind our bus. Shortly he tapped on the gas and pulled us back on the road. After shopping, we fired the grill at home and had a relaxing evening.
Since the three had to find a workshop to repair the broken gear, we went off alone. We first applied for the visa for Vietnam and because it does not go so fast, we left our passports there. After everything was done, the passports would be sent to Queenstown. We were curious if that works.
After Tina held the finished engagement ring in her hands with a smile on her face, we took the rest of the day and visited the National Museum „Te Papa“ in the harbor. This is free for all visitors and absolutely recommended. It tells the story of New Zealand, gives a deep insight into the past and the way of life of the Maori and represented at the time of our visit the involvement of the New Zealanders in the 2nd World War. The extremely realistic representations gave an impressive picture of the living conditions of the soldiers at the front. An absolute must for all New Zealand visitors. After a short farewell drink with Johann-Gustav, Annerose and Robert we went to bed. The next morning we had to get up early to get on our ferry to the South Island.
Salute from here and now,
Tina and Andi from Itchy Feet