Wellington

The trip from Nelson to Wellington was rather nice, with a few hours in the cute harbour town Picton, where the ferry across the Cook strait left from. The ferry trip, lasting almost 4 hours, was very much like the ones we have from Helsinki to Tallinn, the only differences being that on this route the water was distractingly clear blue, there was no drunk people and no tax free. Winner winner! We arrived in the capital city of NZ, population 204,000 just in time for the night market. Shuttle bus from the ferry to the train station, another bus to the hostel, and I was hungry for some street food.

Cruisin' to the North.
Cruisin’ to the North.

I read somewhere that Wellington is like the Melbourne of New Zealand, and I did see some similarities: loads of culture, events, street art, hip cool cafes, trendy restaurants. I enjoyed the night market vibes and a waterfront walk before heading to bed in another noisy snoring dorm.

Laneway with hip Soda shop and artisanal chocolate factory. Melbourne vibes!
Laneway with hip Soda shop and artisanal chocolate factory. Melbourne vibes!
Kids skipping.
Kids skipping.

Good thing about cool cities on the weekends is the markets. In the morning I ventured to 2, walking pretty much across town on this quest. Not really knowing what to do, I decided to invest in Weta Workshop tour, giving me more insight in the movie industry and the opportunity to see how the hell they made Lord of the Rings. The tour was very inspiring and interesting, and the temptation to take pictures was almost unbearable! I learned a lot about behind the scenes in such a short time, and seeing Sauron’s costume and weapon, as well as the other weaponry right there in front of me was pretty incredible. The old fangirl in me woke up instantly.

Trolls greeting at the door of Weta Cave.
Trolls greeting at the door of Weta Cave.
King Theodore's armour.
King Theodore’s armour.

After the tour and driving around Miramar and the lovely bay (and stalking Peter Jackson’s house by the sea), I decided to go to the Museum of New Zealand. 4 floors of exhibitions, I was exhausted and overfilled with information afterwards. There was another night market on, and the Chinese New Year fireworks and celebrations. I desperately
needed to charge all my electronics. Next morning, off to Rotorua.

Wellingwood, the heart of New Zealand's movie productions.
Wellingwood, the heart of New Zealand’s movie productions.
Advertisements

Yokohama humahuta

The title of this post will probably seem odd to all non-Finns, sorry about that. (The title is from a bad joke that involves a Japanese name, that’s actually all I can remember about it)

What's a city without a ferris wheel? Minato Mirai
What’s a city without a ferris wheel? Minato Mirai

Yokohama is the 3rd largest city in Japan with the population of 3 million people. It is conveniently located within half an hours train ride from Tokyo, and definitely interesting location to visit.

Skating rink by the red brick houses
Skating rink by the red brick houses

Yokohama is located next to the sea, and it was the first port to be opened to the outer world in the end of the Edo period in the late 1800’s. Originally, the city was divided for foreigners and the Japanese, and in between the Chinese built their own habitation.

A bit of China in Japan
A bit of China in Japan

Nowadays Yokohama is an interesting mix of the Western, Japanese and Chinese style with an area of contemporary and futuristic architecture. In one day you can go from the colonial infrastructure to China and see many interesting high rise buildings as well.

Cool as steel
Cool as steel

One can find various shopping, the tallest building in Japan (296m), Pokemon center, cup noodles museum (was all booked for the day I visited, boo), ramen museum, amusement park and God knows what else! (At least a museum for modern literature) in Yokohama. I also found The Little Mermaid!

Miniature version of the Little Mermaid
Miniature version of the Little Mermaid

I also found glass jars with Finnish words “sokeri” and “suola”, as well as the staple Moomin-stuff.

Sunset in Yokohama
Sunset in Yokohama

For something different than Tokio, or anything else in Japan, you should definitely spend a day in Yokohama.

New York, New York

I am home, again. By home, I mean Finland. It feels weird, and I think my dog has either forgotten me or then she’s hurt that I left her for so long.

New York will be hard to forget. And by forget, I mean get used to the fact that you have to come up with activities all by yourself, since there is not much to choose from. And now I will have to make my own food – I haven’t even touched a pan in 2 months. Soon it will be sushi time, but before that there are still many New York stories I haven’t told, and roughly about 957 pictures that I could show.

THE GREATNESS OF THE BIG APPLE.

The love for New York can be expressed in many ways

Possibilities to do whatever you want, at any time.

Eating pancakes at 12 am, no big deal. And you can order another side of butter, even though there is butter in the table already

You never know what’s around the corner.

Art takes new forms

Multiculturalism.

When in Rome…blend cultures!

Shopping.

Something for every style

Rooftops.

If there’s a garden, even better. Or a club.

Landscapes.

It is not hard to find beautiful buildings or other sights for the sore eye

Museums.

Graphic design museum in Governor’s Island, 5 min. ferry ride away from the city. Highly recommended!

Food.

Crispy rice roll at Momoya Sushi. Yum.

Open mind.

So gay so what?

All of the above and above all, I will miss the people I met in the Big Apple.

PS1

PS one not meaning Playstation.

Spin-off of the Museum of Modern Art

Moma ps1 is located in Long Island city (not IN Long Island, though). This summer, every Saturday they have Moma Ps1 warmup events with dj’s, beer tents and partying. So, for the price of the admission (15$) you get to see the modern art exhibition, and chill, dance, eat and drink (for extra price) in a cool, artsy environment.

This is art.

No pictures allowed, of course I took some. It’s a habit!

More art.

The building is apparently and old school. To me, it looked more like a mental institution.

This is not art, really.

The party was not wild at 3 pm, but I heard that around 8 the dance floor was packed.

Dance dance revolution.

Mad about MAD

The Museum of Arts and Design, located in Columbus Circle, is definitely worth a visit.

Mural made of dust and dirt

My favorite of the current exhibitions was “Swept Away”, which included different artworks made with dust, dirt, soil etc.

Spirit of the bottle, smoke art on the inside
More smoke art

I participated in a guided tour, which went through all the different floors and exhibitions. In addition to the dirt, two floors were dedicated to the art of Native Americans. One floor featured different kinds of jewelry.

Mohawks helped building the most famous buildings in New York

The admission to MAD is 12 dollars for a student. For that price you get a guided tour, and access to 5 floors of, well, art and design.