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February 26, 2020
Wellington, New Zealand: Street Art (Gail)

Gail writes…

“What did you do today?”

It is a question we all ask each other every evening when we are all back from excursions. There are often four to six different tours, possibly twice a day. For us today in Wellington, our excursion was not until 12:25 pm.

I had gotten up super-early at about 4:30 and stayed up to watch the sunrise. It was cold out on the balcony, but I bundled up in my robe and slippers and waited. I was finally rewarded with not only a lovely coloring of the sky but the last stars in the morning sky. The only problem was that I was tired again at 7 and climbed back into our warm bed and fell asleep. I did not see our arrival in Wellington other than the welcoming dolphins and the pilot boat arriving at our side.

When I woke again it was close to 9. Passengers had been cleared to leave the ship. However, since we arrived at a working port, the only way out is by shuttle bus. I went up for breakfast while Russell worked on his PC. We decided we would take the next 2.5 hours and do the bus ride into town. We would leave our backpacks behind and get them when we returned. I was worried that we would not have enough time and would miss our 12:25 excursion. Russell assured me we would be fine.

So off we went on the 15-minute ride into town. Along the way we decided to get off at the first stop and walk the 20 minutes to the second. Sounded reasonable.

I am so glad we went out. I love public city art. I take pictures of every piece I can find and look for the signs. The first piece we spotted was a broken column that had “broken and fallen” across the sidewalk. There was no sign, so we went inside the building to see if they could tell us more.

Downtown Wellington is very urban, but also very clean and inviting

A column broken and fallen in three pieces across the sidewalk

And, oh my, could they. The man behind the counter was Hayden, a Māori man, who had – at hand – copies of the story of the piece. The sculpture is called “Ruaumoko,” the Māori God of Earthquakes. According to the story, “The public is left to ponder the creative potential of language and also the way history has used it for both good and bad ends.”

Hayden then told us of two more pieces down the street. He called one “the Large Metal Woman,” and indeed she was. She was the Woman of Words. Her dress seems to be made up of passages from books.

The Woman of Words

Another sculpture about language – this one looks like Braille

John Plimmer (a Wellington developer) with his dog Fritz

Even the manhole covers were sculpted!

Wellington has some great street art and I was enjoying taking all the photos I could. Earlier Russell had mentioned a streetlight that had a Maori warrior as the crosswalk signal, but he didn’t think we would find it. Well, getting lost sometimes helps. He ran across a street and I waited for the signal. And suddenly there it was! It didn’t last long but we got photos of the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” icons. Suddenly we realized that we had better get to the shuttle bus stop, but got a bit turned around. There was so much more art to see, but our excursion waited.

While getting lost, we stumbled upon Frank Kitts Park, which we just loved

The Wellington Museum


More sculptures

We managed to get to the shuttle bus stop just a few minutes before it arrived. It was the latest one we could catch and still get back on time. We arrived back at the ship with just five minutes to get inside, through security, to our cabin at the far end of the ship, use the restroom, grab our back packs and get back out through security and on to the tour bus.

We made it! Time for another adventure!!!

“Don’t Walk”


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