Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wellington - another mini windy city.

Wellington is on the Cook Strait at the very southern bit of the North Island of New Zealand. Everyone who goes to the South Island by boat has to pass through here. The shoreline is dominated by huge industrial buildings. It's also the capital of NZ, home to parliment and all sorts of interesting cultural things that go along with being the capital city of a country.

One place I checked out this morning was the Basin Reserve. It was a lake when Wellington was first settled, but an earthquake filled it in and the people set it aside to be used for recreation. They built the cricket field in the 1860's and proclaimed that this area would be used for the noble sport for 'all of eternity' or something like that. When you first enter the basin, you aren't really that impressed if you don't know what's going on. Once you start talking to the old guys who run the place, it's much easier to get caught up in the history of the sport. This is NZ's oldest cricket stadium.

Today the Wellington professional team was playing Auckland. These boys are under 6 month contracts. A lot of them go up to Europe to play professional cricket during the Northern Hemisphere's summer. They make about $35,000 a season. Nothing compared to the NHL players. I watched the first half of the first day of a four-day-long match. Only two players from one team had been up to bat. They scored 150 runs in that time. One guy got out, then it was lunch break.

These four men showed me around the musuem and explained the game to me. They thought I caught on quickly and really loved chatting with me. I might stop by tomorrow to see a bit of day two and visit with them some more.

I bought this mini cricket ball from them as a souvenier. They thought I was funny. They don't know how I can't resist mini things.

I spent the afternoon at Te Papa, which means Our Place, in English. It's the national museum and it is the most incredible, amazing, fantastic, beautiful, wonderful museum I have ever been to. And it's free. It has six floors and every exhibit is equally incredible. I only got to see 4 of the six floors, so I need to go back. Maybe tomorrow, but I want to see cricket and the botanical gardens too, so maybe on my way back north. I just know that I really can't miss it. I did a horrible job of photographing the place, so I'll try to do a better job of that as well.

This is the Treat of Waitangi exhibit. That was the treaty signed between the Maori people and the Brits when they first came here. There's a lot of controversy and interesting political problems around the treaty and it's all too difficult to explain tonight.

I found all the most interesting things to take pictures of. This is a silver wool scale.

This is a lace machine.

This is a huge poster of the Beatles visiting NZ and wearing the largest, most obnoxious tiki necklaces ever.

Beautiful woven purses.

A reproduction of the poorly treated Treaty of Waitangi. It was almost burned, then it was shut into a drawer, flooded, eaten by rats, and almost forgotten.

No comments:

Post a Comment