A very relaxed start to the day which carried through all day. We slowly got up and tried to fix ourselves some eggs and couldn’t get the cooktop to light. Could smell the gas but got no flame. After a quick note to our host it was easily resolved and soon breakfast was on the table.
We got brave and drove back into the downtown area which was a nightmare to drive through last evening. Not much better this morning. But the hardest part was trying to find parking. No empty street spots (not that I wanted to try to parallel park on the left in traffic) and no open parking lots to be found. I continued to drive around until I finally spotted a parking garage. Oh, my, were the spots small! Had to have Dian get out as there was only about 6 inches of space between her side and the wall. Yikes!
Off we went in search of the cable car that’s been redone to carry one up the hill to the botanical garden, among other things. Along the way we found a cute bakery and coffee shop where we stopped for the requisite cup of coffee. We were amused when into the shop came a pigeon looking for crumbs! Soon one of the young clerks came and shooed it out. We decided it was the perfect spot to purchase a lunch to take for eating in the garden. Onward along the busy downtown sidewalks until we saw the sign for the cable car. We got our tickets and were soon on board. It was a quick, but delightful ride up, through several tunnels lit with flashing colored lights. At the top they had a cable car museum as well as the garden. We sat on a bench overlooking the harbor, eating our lunch, breaking off crumbs for the little birds that came round and saw the ferry we came over on yesterday coming into the harbor.
We wandered around looking at the observatory building, but then finding the most fascinating sun dial. A sun dial of human involvement, called analemmatic. There was a figure eight on the ground that had the months of the year and dates on it. You were meant to stand on the section as close to today’s date, with your back to the sun so your shadow would fall between the stones with the hour numbers on them. It worked! We were intrigued.
We walked back to the cable car to descend. Whilst on board I saw a cruise ship schedule for the month of March posted. Yesterday we saw a large and a small cruise ship leave as we came in. There were some all throughout the month. We were happy none were in port today as it made for far fewer tourists to contend with.
Once back down, with some advice from a local woman, we found the best route down to the harbor’s edge for another vantage point.
We came across the Wellington museum which we heard was worthwhile. And it was free! We went through all four floors in what was an interesting mix of old and new, Maori and European, land and sea history. The part I found most interesting was when we poked our heads into a side room and saw a number of sewing machines and sergers. Made us curious about what they were up to. Turns out that they usually work in another spot but were there for some reason or another, and they had several projects going. Apparently they regularly teach people how to sew functional items mostly using recycled items. But they also had an ongoing project to celebrate 150 years of women’s suffrage here. They had women making these small cloth panels to represent someone, usually a relative, who had signed the original document here. Each panel was entirely unique. A wonderful tribute.
By then we were tiring so we managed to make our way back to the parking garage. Finding the way out of the garage was another matter. We made a few circles around before finally finding the exit. Whew! Can’t say I ever like parking garages.
Back at the house I decided to honor my nephew Ben, who unfortunately has passed, but who came here to work/ learn at Oyster Bay winery. A glass to tip my hat to him was in order while here. Then it was on to laundry chores and packing up for moving on in the morning.