It’s been almost 2 weeks since I landed in windy Wellington so I’m still trying to process and take in all the sights and sensations I’ve experienced in this surprisingly fascinating place. What I expected to be a fast-paced cosmopolitan lifestyle turned out to be a very relaxed and ‘really take our sweet time’ moments to re-bond with my brother and his family.
The 2 nephews we practically saw grow up before they moved and lived here 3 years ago while the niece shoot up overnight within that period, easily adapting to the new environs, taking in a new Kiwi accent while still shifting easily to the native tongue when needed.
While I’ve sworn to continue with my running here (3x on weekdays and a long run on Sundays), the sloping terrains had been a major obstacle.
Add to that the cold morning weathers coupled with gusty breeze and one would rather opt to stay home and enjoy the ‘bed weather’. After a few attempts, I was finally able to take off – having adjusted to the cool climate and winds and electing to wear ‘flexible’ running outfits. Yep, running can get tricky here when inside, you’re sweating and heating up while the outer shell is constantly battered by cold winds. So while I’m wearing my long-sleeved running shirt, a sweater is wrapped around my waist – ready for use once the temperature drops and the cool sea breeze suddenly swoops from nowhere.
Wellington is a haven for runners, walkers and all forms of nature lovers – trails, sidewalks, bike lanes are everywhere. The routes are clean, well-lit and safe and the views – oh the views. Endless green mountains, hills and hillocks everywhere you look. Even in a middle class community of my brother, decades old trees abound. While houses are precariously perched on rolling terrains, most of the original pine forests are left intact on the surrounding peaks.
Less than 30 minutes away is the city center where shops, galleries, museums and restaurants abound. One would never run out of options whether combing the retro shops, eating a Turkish falafel, strolling the many open public spaces or enjoying the views of the seaside Queen’s wharf. As described by Lonely Planet (which recently chose Wellington among the top 10 destinations for 2011), the place is compact but brimming with art, merchandise and everything a traveler would love to sink his teeth on.
I’ve spent many days around Lambton Quay and Cuba St. combing stores and shops for books, magazines, CDs, furnitures, artworks, prints, running shoes & socks and a lot more for some retail therapy.
Other days are spent just getting lost in the many alleys and streets. Many of the old buildings have been properly restored and are being utilized commercially while standing side by side with 21st century metal & glass structures. It’s in these areas where Wellington really shines – a modern city with an old world charm. Do enjoy the images, mate…
New Zealand is not a small country but a large community – Peter Jackson