Well, a 24-hour-trip later, here we are in Wellington. First impressions- small city, no skyscrapers or dwarfing architecture. Everything is walkable, everything is manageable. Our flat is on Cuba street, as hipster as New Zealand gets apparently. Surrounded by ethnic food, kitschy shops, bars and “coffee culture”, getting bored here seems unlikely.
The first thing that stands out is how genuinely nice the people are. Whether it’s the complete stranger that bumps you and apologizes before you can even notice, or the salesman at Vodafone that gave us a discount and a free month just because he felt like it, people seem genuine and just plain nice; it’s been incredibly refreshing (city of “brotherly love”, I’m looking at you).
Paul took us to what has become the customary “welcome to Wellington” brunch spot, right on Lyall bay, the Maranui Surf Life Saving Cafe. It was absolutely great, and not just because we were famished. Poached eggs are apparently a thing here, and they were perfect. We also learned about a new spice mix, dukkah, which they used generously to great effect. The cafe has amazing views (a few snaps from right outside of it attached) and a cool interior made up of old oars and other seafaring equipment. Our first foray into New Zealand cuisine hasn’t disappointed, although we’ve been spoiled by Philly, so we’ll see.
So far, so good! Day 1 success.