I hate to say this, but it's getting to the ridiculous point. Wellington was renamed "The Middle of Middle Earth" for a week, and they have also renamed Air New Zealand as Air Middle Earth. But on the other hand Wellington is a relatively small capital city (and New Zealand is pretty small too), so it's not very often we get worldwide attention. Thus, while part of me thinks: Oh my goodness, this is getting ridiculous, another part thinks: Wow, there's a world premiere 100 metres from our house - that's pretty cool! I'm sure my 16-year-old self would have almost fainted at the thought of Orlando Bloom being in such close proximity.
So I thought I'd share my Hobbit experience with you, through the medium of photos (of course).
This Hobbit-themed market was set up in Waitangi Park, close to Te Papa, and ran during the days just before the premiere.
The market looked almost like a fairground in bygone days.
The stalls were mostly selling beautiful handmade crafts, which were unfortunately all a bit too expensive for us. The Weta Workshop makeup crew were there doing face painting, which I thought was a fun idea. There were also some more unwelcome sights, such as the Hobbit collectible stamps and coins.
I think these guys were supposed to be gypsy musicians, although the guy on the right is a bit too well-dressed. Perhaps they're Hungarian hobbits.
They were showing the Lord of the Rings movies on an open-air screen near the market. So on Monday evening, we went to see The Two Towers with our friend Alys, who is a massive Tolkien fan.
Cold but enjoying ourselves!
The market looked really beautiful when all the lights were switched on.
And here I am on Wednesday morning. We normally walk to work along Courtenay Place, which is where the red carpet was laid. Much better visiting at 8 o'clock in the morning when nobody but the diehard fans were there!
Check out the giant Gandalf and hobbit hole on the front of the Embassy cinema! They also seem to have attempted to build a miniature Shire in the middle of the road. I hope they keep this after the premiere, though I'm not quite sure where they'd put it.
Another miniature market.
One and a half trolls lumbering around on Tory Street. It was almost like a miniature theme park in the heart of Wellington.
Bet you didn't think I would actually get to be on the red carpet. They were still allowing people to cross it at this time of morning.
And this is what greeted us when we tried to walk back along Courtenay Place at about 5:30 that evening. Probably not as packed as it could have been, but the only way to see any of the action was definitely on the giant screens. Intermittent hysterical yells told us that some famous personage was probably making their way slowly along the walk.
You don't see this every day.
Until next time :)