Tuesday, May 1, 2007

South Island Picture Time- Part I (Wellington-Nelson)

This post roughly corresponds to the topics discussed in this post, for all interested parties. So basically, it's the ferry ride from Wellington, the town of Picton where we spent a night, and Nelson where we spent the next night.
This is, honest to God, what Wellington looks like for the most part- it's the capital of an entire country, but looks rather like someone threw a few houses onto some mountaintops where they don't belong and called it a day. I wasn't really in Wellington much, please realize, so perhaps there's more to the city than that, but that's what it certainly looked like.
Some people making use of the good weather in the bay right outside Wellington. I was jealous.
Two lighthouses where the tip of the North Island runs into the Cook Straight. This entire part of the coast is dotted with lighthouses, I must have seen five of them just from the ferry...
The entrance to Marlborough Sound, which is essentially a valley that got filled with water so you have wonderfully tall, impressive mountains completely surrounding you. Just gorgeous! It reminded me a bit of the Lakes Region in New Hampshire, to be honest, except the mountains here rise very starkly out of the water.
Picton from the ferry. Most people go straight through, but if you have our luck and your bus breaks down in the middle of the night on the way to Wellington you spend the night here and move on the next day. It's not that bad though, there's a cool Irish bar and the hostel gave us free breakfast...
This is the harborside in Picton, where we hung out for an hour or two waiting for our bus to show up since it was morning on Easter Sunday and everything was closed. To continue on the Lakes Region theme, this part of the shore reminded me an awful lot of Center Harbor, New Hampshire, from the mountains surrounding it to the freezing cold water.
The view of Marlborough Sound from Picton. You know, this really reminds me of... well, you get the idea by now... moving along...
This is Nelson, the cute little Victorian style town which would have been a lot more fun if everything wasn't closed thanks to the holiday. (Did you know in New Zealand they actually fine you if your store is open on a statutory holiday? They usually turn a blind eye to a few places so the tourists can eat and such, but even these close early and we heard some people in our group had trouble finding a place to eat after 7pm.)
The Christ Cathedral. Looks ok enough from this side, but if you look at the view from the main entrance...
The most perplexing thing about this building is they tore down a perfectly lovely, pretty church to build something made with little style and completely out of concrete in the most prominent spot in town. It's kind of weird, and a pity for the town that their focal point got so messed up like this.