Thursday, August 2, 2007

Quick post

I walked through Mount Victoria tunnel today. All I could think about as I walked what felt like 1km (it was really 623m) was my mother. She is very claustrophobic and the small walkway would have her in a right fright. The sides of the tunnel curve very close to the top of your head as you walk the pedestrian ramp and the further you walk through it the further away the other side seems. All you hear is the whooshing sound of cars as they drive by and all you feel is the heat generated by the engines of the car. The walk way is grimy to say the least and the walls littered with pieces of graffiti. I chuckled to myself as I walked through it again at this one thought : if we got hit by a sudden earthquake all of us in that tunnel would probably die but I think I'd die happy. I turned up my i-pod and quickened my step, although I'd die happy, I'd rather today not be that day.

TRIVIA about the tunnel:
During World War II, the government planned to use the tunnel as an air raid shelter if Wellington were attacked. However, the plan was scrapped as the tunnel was thought to be too vulnerable to assault from either side by hostile troops.

A well-known local story revolves around a murder that occurred during the construction of the Mount Victoria Tunnel. A young woman named Phylis Simons was murdered by her lover, who buried her alive in the fill from the tunnel. It is suspected that the girl was pregnant to her lover and the story was later covered in the Wellington newspapers. Upon learning of the murder, police ordered workers to excavate the tunnel's fill in order to find the victim's body.

The tunnel is well known in Wellington as being the location of "the beeping game", in which motorists sound their horns as they go through the tunnel, often in response to the tooting of other drivers. This is particularly popular after 5pm on Friday nights. SOURCE:

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