A road trip, Napier and Labour Day Weekend: Part 2

Sunday morning proved to be another sunny day, though there was the odd cloud on the horizon from time to time.  We started the day with a good breakfast (eggs Benedict with smoked salmon for me and a sausages, bacon, mushrooms and bubble & squeek for Karl) and then headed off to the museum.  The building was just recently re-opened, and houses the museum, a theatre and a gallery, and is known as MTG Hawkes Bay.  It is a mix of an original 1930s building, a 1970s extension, and the new part.  Perhaps the most interesting area was the exhibition about the 1931 earthquake, which completely flattened the city.  The exhibit told the story of that day and how the city was rebuilt, with belongings that survived (such as a beautiful necklace that was lucky enough to have been worn by the owner on the day) and accounts from people who had been there. There was also an interesting exhibition “Architecture of the Heart”, exploring the idea of house and home, with a mix of different art works.

We then took a stroll along Marine Parade, before picking up the car and driving to Hastings and then to Ahuriri, a wee seaside village just outside Napier.  We sat in a cafe there for a while and then headed up to Bluff Hill Lookout, for a view over the port of Napier.IMG_1290

Marine Parade, Napier

IMG_1262The coast at Napier

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Looking the other way..the coast at Napier

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The clouds came in for a few seconds…the view from Bluff Hill

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Flowers at Bluff Hill

In the evening, we headed out for dinner at to Trattoria alla Toscana.  We shared a plate of different crostini topped with smoked salmon, pesto or a rather good pate, and then I had the fish of the day, which happened to be snapper, beautifully cooked with lots of garlic, lemon and rosemary and served with potatoes and some good veges.  It was a lovely end to the day.

We headed back to Wellington on Monday morning, taking a different route via Palmerston North, a town once famously described by John Cleese as the ”suicide capital of New Zealand” because ”if you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick'”.  From there, we headed to Levin and then down the Kapiti Coast to home.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, with good food, sunshine and new places to see and experience.  Oh and if you want to read what Jeremy Clarkson said about Palmerston North, you can do so here.

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