JWG (jwg) wrote,

Wellington and the Museum Hotel

We are staying in the Museum Hotel in Wellington. It gets its name from strange circumstances. It was built in 1987 and a NZ stock market crash in 1990 caused it to go bankrupt. The government bought it to help out the owners and leased it to some new people. Then they decided to build a museum on the site and in a very special project moved the entire building across the street to its current site where it has been expanded.

The museum, the Te Papa, is very interesting. They have lots of exhibits about earthquakes and fault lines (one of which runs right through Wellington) complete with an exhibit where you stand inside a shaking house while watching a video of an earthquake. They have lots of stuff about birds including some interactive ones where you design your own birds choosing beak, wings, legs, etc. and it then names it for you - correctly if you choose a real bird. We watched some kids creating a flying man and each time he crashed the reason would be given - not enough chest muscles, legs too fat...- and you'd get to correct them until you design worked. They had stuffed birds too such as this Fantail - several of which we've seen live.

When we first got to our room it seemed that some of the lights didn't work. The key ring also had a card that you had to insert into a slot by the light switch and then everything was enabled. The room is a mini-apartment complete with stove, washer/dryer, and dishwasher. They continue to work without the card soi you can leave the room before the clothes are done, but the AC shuts off when you take it out. Very odd - I've never seen anything like it. The room had a complex instruction manual to tell you everything about it. The washer/dryer was complex but we did manage to use it to wash a few loads of dirty laundry. Drying takes a long time and you can't open the combo front-loader until the machine decides that the clothes are dry. We haven't cooked but we did buy some breakfast food at the New World Supermarket next door. It's every bit as good as the best Whole Foods except it has even more kinds cuts of lamb than you've every heard of.
Tags: architecture, new zealand

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