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Travels: more of Wellington, New Zealand

March 9, 2019

We only had half a day in Wellington. It is an amazing city and I could find enough things to do and explore to stay there for a week at least. It would be an urban sketcher’s dream I think. It is also one fo the few placed I’ve visited where I thought, “I would move here.” I love almost everywhere I visit, but never enough to want to leave where I live now.

After our wander through the Gallipoli exhibit at Te Papa we met a bus and toured Weta Workshop. It is one of the most creative and amazing prop making and design companies in the movie industry. Sure, I like the Tolkien movies made by Peter Jackson, but it’s these artists at this workshop that feel like something of a pilgrimage for me.

The tour is for tourists… it’s fun enough. But what I’d love to do is simply be a fly on the wall and watch them work. For days. We can’t take photos on the tour – so you’ll have to go yourself. Or -watch the hundreds of hours of special features on those movies to really see what it’s all about.The tour included seeing the set of “Thunderbirds are a Go” which was a children’s show with amazing models and puppets way back when. They said it was intended for the US market but didn’t do well there. Nobody I know in the states has heard of it but it’s popular on that side of the world.

It’s in production again with a mix of live action shoots of the models and CG. Serously – I wanted to go raid the junk drawers, kitchen, and everyplace I could find to start making models myself after this tour.
They weren’t tiny models. They were amazingly detailed and SO much fun to see. I kind of want to watch a bit of the show now.

After that tour we popped back into Te Papa to see the terra cotta warriors exhibit. There were a LOT of other artifacts on display. There were only 8ish figures on display so I was a little disappointed in that – but they were pretty amazing to see. And to think that there were hundreds of them.That was a lot of people’s lifetime of work. On one hand I think it’s spectacular. On the other, all that productive time and talent to aggrandize an emperor. I guess I’m simply far to proletariat to appreciate the things created for kings and autocratic rulers. I DO appreciate the artistry. It’s just those thoughts in the back of my head the whole time thinking about the lives of the artists.

The next morning I got up early to take another stroll around the harbor area before we had to board another bus. I’m so glad I did.

We watched every day people climb up to the platforms and take a jump into the (COLD!) water. One dad did an extraordinary cannonball from the high platform.
This is an overpass walkway that lets pedestrians move between the harbour and this part of downtown.

Not sure if this is a permanent installation, or one of the many murals that cover almost every construction fence in the country.

We were leaving town the day before a big Kapa Haka festival and competition. I would have dearly loved to have seen it. A huge celebration of Maori traditional performing arts.

Just watching the Waka team row and chant together was amazing…. wish I had a picture of that to show to you.

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