A combination of the Labour Day weekend and a new member of the family to meet (see Monday’s post), saw us pack our bags and head on south to Christchurch. I had visited the city twice before (March 2014 and January 2016), so it was the perfect opportunity to go again and see how much had changed since our last visit. In case you don’t know, the city was devastated by an earthquake in February 2011. The 6.3 earthquake caused widespread damage across the city, killing 185 people. The central city and eastern suburbs were badly affected, with damage to buildings and infrastructure already weakened by the magnitude 7.1 of September 2010. I’ll come back to this in a later post.
Anyway, we set off in good time for the airport, and just as we were heading for the lounge for a second breakfast and cup of tea, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building. Luckily, it was a lovely sunny day, but we had to stand outside and just wait until it was all clear (it later turned out to be an electrical fault causing a small fire). This resulted in our flight being around 50 minutes late, but at least we took off and had wonderful views leaving Wellington and landing in Christchurch.
Just to add further delays, it took ages to pick up the hire car, so by the time we got to the hotel, we were ravenously hungry. We popped along to a nearby cafe for some fish and chips and a glass of wine. It was much needed!
After spending some time with my nephew and his ‘new baked’ family, we headed out for a walk, ending up at Riverside Market, an indoor market selling local produce, baked goods, coffee and so on. It sits within the Riverside Lanes, an area of the city with lots of little shops and cafes. Whilst walking around, it was interesting to see how much of the inner city had been rebuilt since we were last here. We also happened across one of the hotels hosting those newly arrived to New Zealand who have to stay in quarantine. It was, shall we say, a little odd to hear people walking around a yard as if it was a prison rather than a nice inner city hotel.
We stopped for a beer in the market, then headed back towards the hotel (Sudima in the city, room came complete with a yoga mat as well as the usual things you would expect) and for some Thai food at a nearby restaurant, before retiring to watch a movie and get some sleep. And that was Friday…
The featured image at the top of the post is the Victoria Clock Tower/Jubilee Clock. The upper part of the structure was designed by Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort, who designed many buildings in the city.
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