Drive to Wellington
We woke up to another beautiful sunny day in Napier, we were joining a walking tour after breakfast to look at the architecture then we had an hour to ourselves before getting back on the bus to drive to Wellington.
The walking tour was really interesting (a shame I couldn’t take many photos as my battery was exhausted and I didn’t have a spare one with me at the time. We were in the city just a couple of days after the annual Art Deco festival where there are lots of Art Deco picnic, concerts, car rallies, tea dances and all sorts of related events. Most of the city of Napier was destroyed by an earthquake and fire in 1931 and was rebuilt using the most appropriate style of the time which in this case was dominated by Art Deco and although some of the style has been obliterated there is now a conscious effort to ensure the style is preserved rather than being replaced.
I certainly would have like more time in Napier.
By the end of the morning we got back on the bus to continue on our way on a fairly long drive into Wellington. The scenery on the way was still very pretty and still reminded us such a lot of the scenery we get in Scotland except that the vegetation was different (especially the tree ferns).
The approach into Wellington was down a long valley where the road seems to suddenly turn into a motorway, and there is a train line running alongside it. We arrived at the end of the afternoon so the motorway was busy with cars trying to escape the city at the end of the day. Linden took us a quick tour round the main Wellington sites before dropping us off at the Ibis hotel right in the centre of Wellington where Jill was waiting for us.
Sadly we had to say goodbye to our North Island driver Linden who had been really good to us along the way, telling us all bout New Zealand from history, politics and people to topical subjects in the news. He also had his own notebook in which he wrote down quotes from famous New Zealand people or from other famous people talking about New Zealand. He would give us a few quotes on an almost daily basis. They were both interesting and amusing at times.
Jill had come straight from work and she whisked us away on a bus up to Mount Victoria where we had some magnificent views of the city and its surrounds. It was slightly cooler in Wellington and living up to its reputation of being persistently windy. Land for houses is at a premium so they seemed to have built houses hanging from the hillsides, many of them on platforms which seemed to be built out precariously from the side of the hill. After the views from Mount Victoria we walked down the hill to Jill’s new apartment which is close to the shore and has fantastic views. Jill’s boyfriend Errol was also staying with her on a six week break from the UK. We went for supper at a beautiful restaurant just round the corner from the flat. It was fantastic to meet up with Jill and Errol and arranged to meet them again the following evening in Wellington centre for dinner.