I know you are not reading here to get updates on Guylty’s travels, but just to say that we have left the North Island and are now at the tip of the South Island, still enjoying fantastic weather and seeing the most amazing sights. I have splashed out on Wifi tonight, so I am taking the opportunity to write up the Wellington RA sightseeing I did. I’ll start off with the Weta Cave Tour.
Ok, can it get any more embarrassing than following the thin trail of some actor while you are on holiday? Rhetorical question
because I know you will tell me that it is not embarrassing *at all* 😉. After the café exploration on Thursday I went in search of the sites that are connected to RA’s work in Wellington – or Wellywood, as it is occasionally and lovingly known. And as a Hobbit nerd – a rather new experience for me for which I entirely credit Mr A – I decided to splash out and go on the “There and back again”-tour – a tour to the Weta Cave. Not entirely cheap; it cost me NZD 65 (which is about €42), but hell, I am only in Wellington once in my life, I suspect, so I might as well treat myself to this. Luckily, the ETC decided that she is not interested in any Hobbit stuff at all. (In fact, ETC has told me in no uncertain terms that I can *shut up* about any Hobbit related stuff. She has not seen the film. She does not want to know. Um. Ok…) So that meant that I could go and quietly fangirl without being observed. *phew*
I went on the 12 pm tour. Being the good German that I am, I was at the pick-up stop by the
eye-sore i-site well in advance. You never know. A number of small busses were waiting there, but I couldn’t make out which one was mine. Eventually, a guy in a funky shirt and hat approached me. “Are you S___?” I nodded. “Great, I am taking you to the Weta Cave. There’s only 3 of you. Take a seat in the bus!” I took the opportunity to ask “Well, where is the best place to sit in the bus?” And he said – “Sit at the front. You can be my co-pilot.” And that’s what I did – I took the passenger seat which meant I had a panoramic view through which I could take picture (that turned out pretty crap nonetheless), and I was able to chat with the nice guide whose name was Sorren. He drove us from Wellington City Centre to Miramar, past the Roxy and Park Road Post Production to Weta Cave.
At Weta Cave, a “Red Carpet Tours” group arrived at the same time, and the small shop was overcrowded with people. I took a few pics with my automatic. Then me and my two fellow tourists were brought in to see a short behind the scenes film about the history of Weta and their work. Some funny old pics of Richard Taylor/Tania Rodgers and lots of info. After the film we were met by a Weta staff member called Daisy who was going to give us a tour. Unfortunately there was strictly no photography, so I cannot show you what I saw. Suffice to say it was really interesting to look behind the scenes – we got to play with a few plastic guns and saw plenty of weapons and props from various films. Of course the most interesting bit was whenever Daisy talked about the Hobbit. For instance, she stopped beside a “life-size” sculpture of Thorin (which I had trouble taking my eyes off) and said something like “This is a life-size Thorin. Well, dwarf-size actually. Of course Richard Armitage is quite a tall man. Really tall, actually. He’s very nice. I got two kisses on the cheeks from him, so I had my moment with him. *sighs*” – I can tell you, ladies, you have no idea how hard it was for me *not* to immediately jump on Daisy and badger her with lots of Richardean questions. “Whydidhekissyou?Didhesmile?Didhesmellnice?Washeincostume?Isheaniceman?Whatdidyouthinkofhim?” I just nodded knowingly and smiled to myself *ggg*.
It got quite interesting when we were shown some of the costume that was made for LotR and TH. Weta developed a plastic version of chain mail that practically looks and sounds the same as real metal chain mail but is a fraction of the weight. But what was more interesting was a piece of arm prosthetic that the dwarves would have worn. We were allowed to try it on and I can tell you it was not only instantly sticky-sweaty (despite some sort of material lining inside) but *heavy*!!! My respect for the dwarf actors rose exponentially, I can tell you!!!
Anyway, the Weta tour was great – we got to look into the workshop, and I bought some nice little souvenirs in the shop. Recommended if you should ever find yourself in Wellington! The only drawback – as mentioned above – was the fact that no photography was allowed, so apart from the few bits in the shop I cannot give you any further insights.
Mind you, Pop Thorin enjoyed his trip back “home” and he posed in front of the Trolls that stand guard outside Weta Cave…
I explored Armitagean Wellington a bit further but I’ll write about that in a separate post. To be posted, soon.