Wonderful Windy Wellington

It’s been a long time since I lived in Wellington, New Zealand, but on a recent return I found that there are a couple of things which haven’t changed. One of them is the wind, which roars across the Harbour and skittles around the streets. It is a cold, steady breeze which keeps the city pollution free, and it reminds you through its constant ferocity that you are indeed alive. That is not a complaint, as Welly’s infamous wind is breathtakingly bracing, and the city would be much duller without it.

The other facet which, thankfully, hasn’t changed is the vibrancy of life around the pubs and restaurants of Cuba Mall. This has long been a magnet for Wellingtonians who are out for a good time, and it has got better over time. One particularly popular place is an alley that is full of market stalls and small food stalls which offer a huge variety on interesting dishes. One of these was a cake stack, which was tremendously popular, having a long queue of people waiting to purchase a type of pastry which looked like a stack of donuts.

Wellington is a city that is very much alive, having loads of pubs, bars and cafes in the city centre. Most of its major streets are quite narrow, and traffic is able to move in one direction only. Luckily, walking is one of the best ways to enjoy the city, with its attractive tree-lined avenues, and variety of architectural styles. Driving through the city can be confusing for the casual visitor; it was even confusing for our taxi drivers, two that we used had to carefully plot their route in order to drop us at our hotel door.

Unusually, for cab drivers I have experienced elsewhere, they were both apologetic and offered me a discount due to their confusion, which I refused because of their agreeable manner and friendliness.

In fact, it is that friendliness and helpfulness that is another chief reason for visiting Wellington. We’ve found the people to be unerringly polite and helpful, and quite cheery as well. It seems that most of the locals are up for a chat, and possess a confident pride in their city.

Wellington is a city that has atmosphere, possibly because it is not a huge megapolis, but a small city, in terms of population. It is a great small city, having the facilities, culture and confidence you’d expect in a large city combined with the air of friendliness and community spirit you’d expect to find in a moderate sized town.

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