Christchurch, New Zealand
July 18, 2012
After leaving Timaru we headed to Christchurch… this was a place we were both a little apprehensive of getting to due to the devastating earthquakes the city has suffered over the past few years since my Husbands last visit.
My first impression was of a big city, probably the biggest one we visited in New Zealand, and since our hostel was a little out of the centre, quite industrial.
But then once we had unloaded we walked into the centre through an amazing park, huge wide open green space and lots of big trees with basket balls courts and rivers running through.
This war memorial bridge was closed because it was unsafe, the first sight of earthquake damage we saw. Quite poignant.
One you’re in the centre the damage is clear to see with huge roads and whole areas closed off because they are unsafe.
I cannot even imagine how it must feel to have your city carved up like this, and all the people who have suffered through losing their home and/or workplace.
I really didn’t want to go into this area but Adam was insistent.
It was very eerie walking around here. We even walked under one building’s scaffolding that seemed to be holding the whole thing up.
In the centre most of the big shopping areas are unsafe and closed, but we found this amazing improvised area that has been set up which huge shipping crates being used for shops and cafes, the whole area is so different from the roads we just saw, alive and bustling, and landscaped. There was also tons of information about events happening and festivals of art, poetry etc. It seems Christchurch is just getting on. It’s inspiring.
We sat in one little cafe and ate cake and drank yet more ginger beer.
We had to share our cake with these guys though, they were so cheeky coming right up to us for crumbs. Never seen anything like it.
We stayed at the Jail hostel, I thought Adam would get a kick out of staying in a prison.
It’s a pretty good hostel they haven’t messed with the basic layout at all, the old walls are still outside as well, what they have done is made it comfortable and clean. It’s a great hostel actually, one of the best we stayed in.
They have even kept a couple of cells as they were, with beds, toilets and drawings on the wall.
It’s difficult visiting a city that has been hit so hard, but I am glad we passed through, there is still plenty to do and see here so I wouldn’t stay away if you visit New Zealand it’s a beautiful place, I can imagine how amazing it was before and the city is working hard to get everything back to normal.