Sometimes it does us a power of good to remind ourselves that we live on two volcanic rocks where two tectonic plates meet, in a somewhat lonely stretch of windswept ocean just above the Roaring Forties. If you want drama – you’ve come to the right place.
~ Sir Geoffrey Palmer
Oh Napier, you charming, strong place.
This is a city rebuilt (you can read about the 1931 earthquake here) – when I eventually read about the quake on my second short trip there last year, I began to understand what I loved so much about this city when I first met it, even without knowing its people, streets or history.
After I read the story, walked more around the city and gazed at its buildings – it all made sense and the beauty of the place became more pronounced. I am attracted to things/stories, I find, of redemption and ‘building back better’ (like I am often attracted to people with a rough background and have made a decision to conquer it). There’s something inspiring about this, something beautiful about scars, determination and courage. Napier oozed strength and community in a way I had sensed even before knowing its history…
I have lovely memories of Art Deco Festival last year too, where we ate Rush Munro’s ice cream, danced barefoot to live jazz, marvelled at everyone’s costumes, took in the sight of the majestic art deco buildings and cars…
I flew there again yesterday morning – by myself this time, for the weekend. This time, there were no crowds, no car parade, no live jazz – of course, Art Deco doesn’t take place year round.
This time, I listened to the waves at Marine Parade, gazed at fantails, checked out the museum, and walked around without a map (I did meet up today with a super couple I met last year, aunt and uncle to my friend Jono, and we went on nature walks). I also bought a bottle of Hawke’s Bay syrah which shall make an appearance at an appropriate event sometime…
I ate pears and the best yoghurt I’ve ever eaten in my life to date for dinner last night, and went to bed at 6pm.
First day at my new job tomorrow… wish me luck!
And to you, have a wonderful Monday.
PS. I don’t want to put other cities down, but Wellington really has the best cafes in New Zealand. For the coffee alone, I am SO delighted to be back!