Girdlers Day

Another fun day here in Wellington. I started by having breakfast in the lovely hotel dining room. They have it on the fifth floor so that there is a panoramic view of the city. I took a couple of pictures of the sun rise. The strange lines are a reflection of the restaurant’s lights behind me. I am sure KB would know how to eradicate such things. My way is to take the picture and then say to you: ignore that bit!

As the sun came up behind the clouds in the second one it was beautiful, but almost impossible to capture without the lines of reflection. They look like some sort of bizarre UFO/flight trail. The aliens have landed, but only in NZ so most of you are OK!

I then did a little research about buses, to avoid another taxi fare. It turns out that there is a bus going just where I needed to go for just $CD2, or about £1. Great stuff!

You will have noticed along the way that there is a certain ‘little boy’ thing going on with the trains and boats and planes. Well today we also have buses and a cable car! I really did go on the bus. Here is the proof!

Yes,,, its the knee photo again, this time showing vital omnibus infrastructure as proof of travel. Sorry folks. I will try to get to grips with the iPhone camera at some stage.

I next stopped at the famous Wellington cable car. The bottom terminal is just off one of the main shopping streets.

The tunnels go through the cliffs up to a high hill above. On the way there are three tunnels. The first simply gets you out of the town centre. Then there are two more, which they have illuminated with LED lights. (There is a bit of a reflection problem again, but this gives you an idea).

My video makes it look like fireworks, and it is indeed impressive, but it is simply LED lights on the concave roof of the tunnel.

At the top there are panoramic views across the city. and harbour and a wonderful museum of the cable car’s history.

Talking of reflections, you will see a picture of me in the next pic. This is as close as you will get to a selfie. I have resolutely resisted buying one of those moronic selfie sticks, which in my experience are even more dangerous to fellow travellers than the ubiquitous Japanese’s tour guide leader in London waving a madly coloured umbrella on a perfectly dry day! I have some standards to keep to, as a gentleman of the City of London, and refraining from selfie sticks is on my list of anathemas. So let’s revert to the reflection theme of today’s blog.

Here is the view from the top.

Next, to the main purpose of today, and the title of this blog. I went on to meet the selection committee of the Girdlers Scholarship. This Livery Company brings undergraduate scholars from New Zealand to Cambridge, and the selection process is run here in NZ. I met the Chairman, Peter, together with two Johns, and an Emma.

Emma was the scholar when I first arrived at SLJ.

John and Peter had fixed for me to have a private tour of the ‘Old St. Paul’s’, the church which had acted as the Cathedral from the mid 1800s until the first section of the new Cathedral (see yesterday’s blog) was opened in 1964. You will recall the Cathedral was not finished until 1998, but they were able to start worshipping there much earlier in the bits that were finished first. The old place is a classic NZ wood built mirror image of a classic Neo-gothic Victorian UK church. All rather odd but the volunteer guide who gave us a private your was lovely, and clearly slightly threatened by me, the vicar from London. Am I that scary? (Don’t answer that).

Then to lunch at a lovely Italian restaurant. We talked about Girdlers and the process for choosing scholars and a whole load of other things. It was a wonderful lunch.

And so I struggled back to my hotel.

Tomorrow: Parliament! Wait and see what that means.

Meanwhile here is the building which the civil servants work in, next to the Parliament building itself (the sort of Whitehall of NZ), known as the Beehive.

One thought on “Girdlers Day

  1. I like the Cable Car although technically it should be called a Funicular or Cable/Inclined Railway – as the cable pulls the carriage along tracks up a steep slope.
    Cable Car conjures up images of a cabin dangling from a wire 100s of feet above a gaping chasm, snowy mountains or even the river Thames…

    I guess it’s just another example of foreign English language confusion…..!!!!


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