We wandered around the sleepy town of Christchurch, still in recovery mode from the major earthquakes that struck the city in 2010 and 2011, killing 185 people and causing a huge amount of damage to some major buildings. Quite a few buildings were demolished afterwards but the rebuilding process has been slow, so the city gives off a fairly empty feel. With it being Stephen’s Day, I’m sure I caught it at a particularly eerie time! The buildings that we did see, and the layout of the place were very English, making it feel like I wasn’t so far from home; that is until I heard the Kiwi accent from the locals!
Keen to learn more about the history of the earthquakes, we visited Quake City, a brilliant museum dedicated entirely to them. We learned about the timeline of events and their impacts before listening to some interviews which were quite emotional, with some really devastating stories. We then checked out a section on the rebuild efforts and plans for the future which involved some innovative short-term approaches to keep the city alive whilst long-term plans are implemented.
After more wandering, we came upon Cathedral Square, the iconic church in the centre of the city which was badly damaged in the earthquakes and sits in ruin as the city waits for a decision to be made on its future (📸 #1 &2). The site is fenced off preventing you from going in and checking it out, which is fair enough as it didn’t seem like the most stable of buildings!
We ventured to the ‘185 Empty White Chairs’ (📸 #3 ), a memorial for each person who died in the 2011 earthquake, with each chair uniquely representing the different personalities of each person; from stools to wheelchairs to even a baby’s high chair; making it quite a moving piece to behold. Next was the Cardboard Cathedral (📸 #5 ), another temporary structure, worth a quick look as it's built using 96 reinforced cardboard tubes with a roof made from poly-carbon giving it nice lighting. Finally we visited the memorial bridge, where there's a boardwalk with plaques for the EQ victims.
i listen to #chillout music when i am driving (to prevents road rage) but it's a damn whole new dimensional prospect when driving in #southisland#newzealand (you take a pause - no rushing - just chill)
Green lipped mussels + Marlborough Sauv 🐚🥂 Absolute dream of a day cruising through Pelorus Sound when our capital pulled over to show us how the mussel farms work- and hauled in a few, cleaned them while we were on our hike, and steamed them right on the boat. SO fresh and delicious - and it didn’t hurt that we had a bottle of local wine in our bag to share. (Reason #72 to always carry wine in your bag)