Lucette and Paul took me for a drive around the coast and on up to Paekakariki Hill, about an hour outside of Wellington. We took the scenic route via Eastbourne, where we stopped at the Chocolate Dayz Café, drove past Petone and took the old road up to Paekakariki Hill and Poterua and then drove back home again. God the scenery was stunning around Eastbourne, with the aqua blue water, rocks jutting up here and there along the beach and the sun sparkling on the sea beside us.
The view from Paekakariki Hill was great. You could see Kapiti Island from here, the rugged coastline and the beach below. Kapiti Island is a nature reserve and a sanctuary for birds, 5km off the west coast of the southern North Island. It was very windy up on the hill and you could be blown from here to kingdom come, if you weren’t careful! There was a hazy mist over the water, with the sun filtering through the clouds.
On my last day in Wellington, Lucette and I decided to go see the “Unveiled Exhibition” that was on at the Te Papa Museum. The Te Papa Museum is my all time favourite museum and along with their excellent permanent exhibitions, they also have temporary exhibitions going on from time to time. I had been to the museum before and loved it but both Lucette and I wanted to see this exhibition about wedding dresses and the trousseaus from the 1800’s in Europe, up to today.
It was interesting to see the change in styles over the years. The 1800 dresses were all covered up to the neck, with long sleeves and heavier materials. There was a remarkable change in the style in the 1930’s, when the dresses got shorter and then again in the ‘50’s when designers started changing the colour of the dresses from white and cream to much brighter colours. My favourite was a dress designed by Herman Mantell, for Hermione Wills in 1950. It had a v-necked drop collar, in a light, coffee coloured satin, with beads and sequins. There was a pattern which started just under the bust. It split into two, like a railway and went around the back of the dress. God it was stunning. I had a quick look around the Botanical Gardens before I went back to Lucette’s.
It was a great five days and I really enjoyed the time I spent there. Lucette and her family were very good to put me up for the few days and they looked after me very well. I was sad to leave Wellington but I’ll be back very soon! Watch this space.