The capital city of New Zealand is Wellington, sitting at the very bottom of the North Island, and it is the world’s southernmost world capital. We visited here 13 years ago, and since we have photos from back then, today we found that some of the same shops are still there! Our first stop was the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, filled with indigenous art. Some of the artifacts we photographed 13 years ago now had signs forbidding photography out of respect for the Maori culture. But the first three photos show a few of the treasures. The second photo is a wall installation of everyday objects dipped in red wax, transforming them into something more than what they are. The third photo is a gateway carved for the 1906 New Zealand Exhibition, and is still in pristine condition. The three photos following those are from a special exhibition on the World War I battle of Gallipoli. There were several gigantic figures of men, and we are including one with a woman in the background to give you an idea of their size, probably 12 feet high or so. He is eating canned corned beef, and you can see that his trousers have been made into shorts….it was so hot fighting in Turkey, they shortened their pants, their long-sleeved shirts, and at times even fought shirtless. The two photos following the gigantic soldier were telling…the troops’ struggles with lice and fleas, and their danger and dismay when relieving themselves!
As we walked through downtown, we saw pastries again (see photo). They cost only about $8US, for as exquisite as they are. The one that looks like a candy apple was labeled as “cherry,” but each one was about five times larger than a normal cherry, so we are guessing inside it was either cake or filled with custard. The rest of the photos are from around town, including a lawn filled with beanbag chairs for anyone to lounge on. The last two photos are fun….first, a model of the heart of a blue whale….check out how huge it is! And the last is a very non-PC sign on a downtown building, which is said sarcastically and tongue-in-cheek, of course!