I have, for quite a few years, been intensely jealous of my brother and sister who live in Brighton. For anyone who doesn't know this city its lively, trendy and quite beautiful in places and located on the south coast of England. Its surrounded by the stunning Sussex countryside but still has all the culture and facilities that you would expect from a big city whilst only being moderately sized. Needless to say we have never been able to find jobs that would allow us to live in the area so I have had to put up with being envious from afar.
However having moved to the other side of the world I think I have finally found an area that has that magic combination of good access to the countryside and open spaces, but still contains all the best things that urban areas have to offer. Wellington is the kind of city that I think you can fall in love with. The approach to the city along the highway from the north is stunning on a sunny day with amazing views across the bay. The city itself, although not very big (Wellingtons population is only approximately 179'000 which makes it about the same size as Bournemouth in the UK) has all the facilities that you need and all are fairly easy to reach.
We took a walk around the centre of Wellington City this weekend and explored Cuba Street. This area has a very trendy, bohemian feel to it and is full of very interesting looking book shops, trendy clothing boutiques, coffee shops and odd stores filled with objet d'art. We would love to have spent a few hours investigating some of these stores but having two young children with us meant this was simply not a wise idea and we had to do a speedy review of the area instead.
Cuba street reminded me of a cross between the 1960's city centres of Swansea, Eastbourne and parts of Slough in the UK. I must admit the $2 shop doesn't have a very bohemian feel to it and this area in the photo below could be a street in Bracknell! I don't think my photos really do this area justice and I was unable to really take appropriate photos in this area as I was accompanied by two very tired and apparently starving individuals who moaned almost continually.
Traffic in the city is fairly bad particularly at peak hours - but that's the same in any country.
A Floating Orb!
Looking towards the harbour.
Climbing around on the waterfront.
Towards the container port.
The view from the waterfront.
Not another photo Mummy!