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City break at the hipsterish Wellington a.k.a Windy Wellington

March 23, 2018

New Zealand’s windiest city – the lovely hipsterish Wellington was where we spent our next 3 days after Christmas. To sum up our short stay in Wellington – hipster vibe all around with all the cafes, craft beer quirky bars, skaters in the streets, beautiful coastline, and extreme winds all the time. We have spent our days in Wellington wandering the streets, dying my hair blue (wanted to do that for a really long time), pub crawling through craft beer venues with travelers we’ve met up with and by some chance ending up with tequila shots at The Establishment (definitely  place not of our choice, but in its own way it was fun and reminded of Erasmus times), exploring some cafes and Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand), driving the coastline as well as hiding in our not so nice (to put it nicely) hostel as being out we were spending way too much and having unlimited wi-fi is a rare thing in this country.

Some interesting facts about hipsterish Wellington

  1. Wellington is actually the third and current capital of New Zealand. It replaced Auckland in 1865. Travel to and from Parliament in Auckland was very difficult and it took the members from far south at least 2 months to get there, so more central capital location was desired and needed to avoid the South Island becoming a separate colony. (By the way, the first capital was Okiato or Old Russel in the Bay of Islands between 1840-41).
  2. Wellington is the southernmost capital in the world.
  3. Legend has it that Wellington’s well-known Parliament building, the Beehive, was actually sketched as a joke. While some say the architect’s paper of choice was a napkin, others claim it was drawn on a cigarette packet.
  4. There are plenty of houses on hilltops of Wellington that do not have road access, therefore, can only be accessed by private cable cars, which can carry up to 2 passengers per journey. If you make any friends from top of the hill, you might even get to enjoy the ride if invited to dinner.
  5. Mount Victoria tunnel is also known as the honking tunnel for it is the only tunnel in New Zealand where drivers can honk their car in celebration of the working week’s end. The first time we went through there we couldn’t understand the reason of honking and though it was due to the lights switched on. Well, how wrong we really were. Apparently, the honking starts already around Wednesday afternoon but the peak of it is Friday 5 PM – on the way home from work.
  6. Wellingtonians love their coffee and with quality cafes at every corner, they take pride in being named as one of top 8 international coffee destinations by CNN.
  7. Wellington is also known as New Zealand’s capital of craft beer and is well known abroad for the variety of interesting brews. With new craft beer microbrewery opening up every week it is a must-visit destination for every craft beer lover. Wellington is also a home to a last year’s SOBA award winner brewery – Garage Project as well as the runner-up – Panhead. If feeling adventures enough, try and complete a self-guided Wellington’s trail exploring plenty of craft beer venues and bars ( So far we’ve managed to try out the Rogue & Vagabond, Little Beer Quarter and Golding’s Free Dive, so still have quite a lot to go.
  8.  Here’s another fun fact – only now writing this post I’ve realized we have been enjoying Wellington so much ourselves, we forgot to take any photos…

Best Ugly Bagels

Speaking of those cafes, let me tell you about the most delicious bagels ever at Best Ugly Bagels (expensive but so much worth it). Well, Best Ugly Bagels is definitely one of those hipster places, where we happened to be during Saturday brunch together with a bunch of people coming in to heal their Friday night’s hangover with good coffee and delicious bagels. Not only the food and coffee are great, but the vibe is amazing as the bagels are freshly baked right in front your eyes by a big crew of guys who just seems to be enjoying themselves and what they do. One thing some like, some hate that definitely gives an extra to the atmosphere is the staff shouting your order out loud. The member taking your order shouts it out loud to which all the staff responds by echoing the shout. I personally loved that aspect, but I guess spending more time at the place, or working there the constant shout outs may get on your nerves.

Sweet Mother’s Kitchen

Oh sweet mother, what an incredible find it is. A true gem in a middle of busy Wellington CBD. It really is a busy little cafe at the end of a Courtney street. At first, we walked in a bit wary since it seems quite too crowded and too busy and we were looking for a place to settle for a few hours enjoying slow brunch and internet for updating the blog and stuff. Lucky for us, we soon found a perfect spot by the bar at the corner even with a power socket to plug in our laptops and dived into the lively yet homy cafe’s atmosphere. Not to mention the breakfast burrito, waffles and coffee were exactly what we needed after a few too many drinks last night. Anyways, if you’re looking for a lovely place to settle for a few hours, Sweet Mother’s Kitchen is just the right spot for perfect meals and coffee. Just be considerate and make sure to settle at the counter instead of occupying a big table, since it really is a very busy place (at least during weekends).

By the way, you realize how mainstream the crypto became when sitting at the counter you hear your waitress chitchatting with one of the regulars about their bitcoin investments. Well, bitcoin is the future they say. 🙂

Wellington coastline drive

Despite all the cafes and city life vibes, in my opinion, the no. 1 must do in Wellington is definitely the coastline drive. Just start anywhere in the city center by the shore and drive all the way following the highway to Petone and the road by the shore until the very end of the road. The road still continues (should continue to the very end point) which can be walked by foot or tackled with a bike, but it was extremely windy that day and we chose to drive back the same route to the city instead (so windy it was hard keeping your eyes open to enjoy the view without crying). On our second visit to Wellington later we found out the coast ride to another side all along Maupuia and Karaka Bays might be even more spectacular, but I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

Still got it stories - travel blog New Zealand

That is how windy Wellington is (on a calm day)

If not the wind, I think Wellington would be my favorite city in New Zealand (well, or maybe even with the wind it still is my favorite city in New Zealand). However beautiful Wellington was, the time had come to an end for our city break as we crossed the Cook Strait for new adventures that the South Island and New Years had been bearing for us. More on that look forward to our next travel blog post!

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Ruta & Algirdas

We're Ruta & Algirdas - storytellers, world travelers, photography and filmmaking enthusiasts. Our best days are spent admiring planet Earth - exploring, tasting, breathing in all it has to offer. Now, after a year spent living van life in New Zealand, we're enjoying the hustle and bustle of Vietnam. Packing bags and embarking on an adventure is easier than it may seem - just have the courage.

  • Wandering those beautiful ancient streets of Hoi An, I couldn't take my eyes away from the beautiful old ladies selling water lanterns. So many stories they could tell, so many people they've met, so many troubles they've endured and yet they greet you with a wide smile from ear to ear offering to buy a wish in a form of a river lantern costing just a few cents. No matter what, every night you'll find them in their usual spot - day after day, year after year just trying to make a living. It amazes me how after all their troubles and worries, and all the rude passers by  encountered, they still manage to smile at you with all their kindness offering to buy that one lantern for a wish which eventually will help their family wishes come true, or at least will let them put a meal on a table. Even if you don't buy, don't forget to treat one another with a kindness and a smile.
  • So this one finalize my series of the camping shots I took back while doing the Tongariro Northern Circuit. 
Funny story: while I spent the night outside shooting stars, a guy came out of a nearby tent. I silently said "isn't the sky just incredible?" He got startled as appearantly didn't notice me before. Then he took a look up and said 'yeah, it really is'. After a few minutes just staring at the sky he went to the outhouse toilet and back to sleep. 
Only in the morning I heard him telling a story to his friends how he woke in the middle of the night wishing to quickly take a piss just outside the tent as was too lazy to go to the toilet. But it was when a girl out of nowhere interrupted him and made him look up at the stars. Eventually he ended up having to go to the toilet in the middle of the night but if it wasn't for me, he said he may have never seen the beauty of that incredible sky.
  • Another throwback to the Tongariro Northern Circuit. This was the last night at Magatepopo campsite. After the day of hiking we were pretty beat and just headed to the tent to lay down and read our books. It was right around the sunset when we saw crowds gathering around our tent taking photos of it. It felt kind of weird but I guessed that it must have looked nice in the sunset colours. As lazy and tired as I was, I finally managed to take a peak outside after had persuaded me that I had to see it. Once I did, I couldn't stay inside any longer and had to get out with my tripod and camera trying to capture the incredible sight which was fading into the darkness right in front of my eyes. It was an amazing combination: due to the clear sky in the distance the peak of Taranaki could be seen in all its' glory and the clouds above Tongariro were creating these magnificent colour layers. I can't believe I almost missed witnessing this just because of being too tired, too lazy and wishing to stay in my comfort zone. So when you feel too tired, too lazy for something, remember this, battle those thoughts and push yourself one more time to get out there and do it, as what you find might surpass your wildest expectations! You'll never know what's out there if you don't go.
  • Let me take you back to the glorious New Zealand and the time we hiked the Northern Tongariro Circuit! We went to sleep super tired and with a cloudy sky. But waking up at 2 am, I battled the coldness and just had to take a peak outside. I was blown away by the increbly clear sky full of stars and spent the reminder of the night outside trying to catch at least a tiny piece of that beauty with my camera. So here is the first picture showcasing startrails over the Mount Ngauruhoe. Where was the most spectacular night sky you have ever witnessed?
  • So yesterday I turned 30 and caught myself trying to figure out how did I get to be so lucky - having such an incredible bunch of amazing people in my life who cares and loves me so much? And I can only wish the same to all of you - having amazing people who honestly cares for you to share happiness and sorrows with, people who surprises you and are always there for you no matter how close or far away you may be apart! In any case, with turning 30, I only feel like getting younger as ironic as it sounds, especially in my ambitions and dreams. I feel like in past year I've rediscovered that child-like myself again who believes in herself and in those dreams that I had given up on - thinking they were impossible. Thanks for those reminding me "I don't need to grow up and start acting serious and according to my age" as the only thing I needed to start was being true to myself! Thus I am starting this new decade with a whole bunch of new dreams, visions and ambitions filled with only positive vibes. 🤗 Greetings from a lovely Vietnam where we're currently taking a night train to SaPa. By the way, I can't help but in a way feel like taking a Hogwarts' express in one of the Harry Potter movies (maybe because of red and gold colours of our cabin here but let's call it another dream come true). #turning30 #30thbirthday #thisis30 #birthdaygirl #newdecade #lifeofadventures #nevergrowup #neverstopdreaming #neverstopexploring #friendsarebestpresent #traveladdicted #dreamcometrue #exploretocreate #dalat #vietnam #travelcouples #traveldiaries #traveldiary #iamtb #travelgirls #mylifemyadventure #keliones #lithuanianblogger #stillgotitstories
  • Yesterday we celebrated 30th birthday and decided to share our second video from New Zealand stories on this occasion! So here it goes, our beloved Northland story is up on YouTube and you can watch it through link in my bio! Hope you enjoy it and look forward to your feedback either here, either on youtube! P.s. that's just me chiklin on the rooftop of our van at 90 miles beach!

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