niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

wgtn (Sunday April 17th, 2005 - 20:44)

category: mmhuh?

I’m not sure where to start…

Wellington’s Base Backpackers on the corner of Courtenay Place was nice enough. A tall lofty building with the 5th floor acting as the Sanctuary – a girl’s only floor. I had a bunk in a 6 bed dorm and each night there was atleast a couple of others in there, from Friday to Sunday nights all the beds in the dorm were full. Clean room, clean showers and toilets, comfy duvet and pillow. The bar downstairs seemed to be undergoing renovations so apart from a quick look I didn’t waste any time in there. The reception area had web terminals and plenty of brochures and even a book swap box where you can place old books and take away something else.

The weather managed mostly fine – a few spots of rain on a few evenings, incredibly gusty winds near the harbour a few times threatening to blow me away, but the sun shone mostly and I managed to get myself a little sunburnt three days running (silly Finnish skin).

Food was everywhere and the quality was fantastic. Vegetables fresh and tasty, fish inexpensive and flavoursome, menus had great variety, the only thing I found was that the coffee was only fine.. nowhere did I think “wow!”. My weekly intake of meat must have been up by 500% but it was all so delicious. Some favourite experiences:
Zing cafe – Salmon and white fish with potatoes and lemon hollandaise
Felix cafe – buttermilk pancakes with berries and cream
Istanbul – mixed kokorech
Chicago Sports cafe – Chicago made fishcakes with salad and lime infused aioli
the Loaded Hog – rolled omelette with rocket, gruyere cheese and ham
Zilata cafe – kumara fritters with bacon, avacado on tomatoes with citrus dressing
the Tasting Room – Hungarian beef goulash with crusty bread

And there was a handful of other places I ate fine food and drank coffee like Calzone, Plum on Cuba, Hummingbird, Little India, Rise cafe and Kazu. Istanbul was one of my favourites sat at a central fireplace keeping me warm; the Loaded Hog on Sunday morning having breakfast by an open fireplace.. mm.. and Plum on Cuba was a nice basic cafe where I rested my feet a few times with a pot of peppermint tea.

Music also was everywhere. Quite a few pubs had free bands on to entertain the drinkers so on my first night I watched a jazz band at Hotel Bristol and as soon as they started up a few couples started dancing, one guy sporting a tshirt from a swing dancing school.

At Indigo one night I watched a country singer, and on Saturday afternoon a sign for uncle monkey appeared on the sidewalk outside Kitty O’Shea’s. I saw the band in perhaps 2000 at a small venue on Oxford St in Sydney that I used to frequent on Thursday nights. They amazed me then and I bought their cd and I guess I assumed they no longer existed. That night I went along and to my surprise they were meant to be playing from 10pm-2am which seemed a bit strange… it all became clear when they took to the stage and started playing covers. Hmm.. very good sounding covers mind you, their vocals are still amazing, and they managed to sneak in a few originals like the stunning Another Crush. The hens nights moved in and the place was dancing so I scampered out at midnight, the latest hour I managed to stay on my feet throughout the holiday due to walking everywhere.

Absolutely stunning. From Oriental Parade there’s a path to follow for the Southern Walkway but after only a short distance up the hill I got myself lost. The signage was non existant at key places (ie. forks in the path) so I decided to follow the streets instead and wandered along checking out the cutesy houses. At the bottom of Lookout Street (I think it was called) there’s a bench to sit on with a view of the airport and planes taking off and landing, the runway topped and toed by the ocean. From Mount Victoria Lookout the wind was blowing fiercely but the view of the city was remarkable. On the way down along the Southern Walkway on the other side of the hill I lost the little orange symbols again but had an enjoyable wander through the forest.

The cable car up to the Botanic Gardens showed off another hill top city view, which I followed up by wandering down through the gardens, checking out some of the statues and artworks along the way, a slightly scribbly rose garden (wrong time of year to view it), and the cemetary.

Wandering along the harbour at all times of dawn, day, dusk and evening was fantastic. On the weekend surf skis flew up and down and people had rented kayaks to explore the water.

I finally got myself together and went to a sporting match. I saw the Hurricanes beat the Waratahs at the Westpac Stadium – great looking stadium, good range of food but their coffee queues displayed a significant lack of thought for numbers requiring warming up on cold wintry days.

On my last full day I apparently lived through a couple of quakes, wish I’d have noticed!

3 comments to “wgtn”
Austrian said on April 21st, 2005 at 8:57 pm:

I enjoy visiting your website. Keep up the good work!

Lostmusic said on April 22nd, 2005 at 4:37 am:

off topic?

Riff Random? Any good? Playing London in a weeks time you see.

niina said on April 23rd, 2005 at 2:18 pm:

Riff Random – They’re fine to see if there’s nothing else you particularly want to see that night. Their spindoctor puts them off for me, but the tunes are ok. I’ve only seen them once so it’s a little hard to judge. But give them a go.