|Harbor front of Wellington|
On Christmas Day we drove south to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington.
We visited the excellent Te Papa museum, which was just about the only place open on Christmas Day. The museum was excellent, and made more than up for the shortcomings of Auckland’s War Memorial museum. We finally learned what we wanted to know about immigration to New Zealand starting with the Maori in 1280 CE (much later than I had thought) and the different waves of immigration from Europe and Asia in recent centuries. Chance would have it that Te Papa also housed a special feature exhibition about DreamWorks Animation. Cora and Julian were positively delighted.
Almost all restaurants were closed on Christmas Day and the only one that we found to be open was a sub-par restaurant at a 1970s hotel that had since missed out on all renovations. The food on offer was a traditional English Christmas dinner with turkey or ham, accompanied by soft-boiled vegetables and mashed potatoes with floury gravy. Christmas crackers and colorful paper crowns inclusive. It wasn’t exactly what we had in mind but it was nonetheless interesting to see how old traditions fondly survive.
An evening stroll along the marvelous waterfront with the sun setting beneath the mountains at our back and a full moon rising out at sea put us quickly back into holiday mood.
|"Thy Lips Full of Moon" (can be sung to the melody of "A Heart Full of Love" from Les Mis)|
|A full moon rose over Wellington Harbor as the sun set behind the hills at our back|