After Auckland, I spent some time in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. In terms of population, it’s the second largest, but it’s only one fourth of Auckland.
My first impression was really pleasant, as I arrived on a sunny day, by train. I have the feeling that entering a city by train gives me a very idyllic view of the area, as I had the same impression of Auckland even though I didn’t end up liking it much. Maybe it’s only the novelty.
After walking a bit in the city, I realized it suffered from the same flaws as Auckland in terms of city planning: some intersections only have 3 pedestrian crossings!
That said, I have now spent three weeks here, and I realize I’ve learnt to like Wellington, its seafront, its steep hills and its general quietness, far from Auckland’s bustle. Each day, I worked for the RELEX Customer Support (we’re hiring!) from 15 to 20, which is the busiest moment of the day for us. While I usually emerged drained from work, the mornings were very relaxed, and I visited Zealandia a number of times for bird photography (more on that later).
As I explained in my latest diary entry, my first evening in Welly was absolutely crazy, and the atmosphere on the seafront, with these dramatic clouds, added up to it.
In the following days, I explored a bit further, climbing to Mount Victoria to have a good view over the city or visiting Te Papa, the national museum. Wellington is built in an interesting location, in a sheltered bay protected from the ocean by a couple of peninsulas which both have their hill range.
Humans have colonized the adjacent slopes along winding roads, and a cable car has operated a service from the center to the Kelburn neighbourhood since 1902. Several houses have their own private cable cars!
Wellington is said to be the windiest city in the world; indeed, there’s always a breeze, and sometimes it was truly howling. It was not cold, however, and I often enjoyed walking in t-shirts.
In the harbour, I saw a fur seal one day, and a Little penguin (Eudyptula minor) another day. Just hints at what was to come…
To be continued 😉
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