Christchurch, New Zealand

We arrived at 05:30 in Christchurch on Wednesday 4 January. It was a beautiful sunny morning. The car rental office didn't open until 7:30 and we didn't get our car until about 9am or so. We drove into the city and it started to rain. Pouring. Couldn't believe how wet it was. We checked into our hotel at noon and went to bed for the afternoon. It poured all day and cheered up towards sunset. Nice bright day on Thursday 5 January with the temperature a pleasant 18°C.

We drove to the seaside and had lunch in an Indian Restaurant. We had a walk on the pier at Brighton Beach. Gosh, the water looked very cold indeed. This is the Southern Ocean, the coldest and stormiest ocean on the planet. A few enthusiastic folks with wet suits were having fun surfing. The surfing conditions looked perfect.

Then we drove into Christchurch and had a walk around town. Canterbury was devastated by earthquakes in 2011. Many buildings have been demolished and rebuilding is in progress. I have no doubt that Christchurch was a delightful and charming city in days gone by. A lovely little river meanders through gardens and folks punt on the river. When reconstruction is complete, the city will be a "must visit". Cathedral Square will be incredibly beautiful. The Kiwis will rebuild a beautiful city from debris of the earthquake. The population is about 350k.

I am little surprised by the suburbs of Christchurch. It almost feels like Largs in 1965, or Melbourne in 1971 to me. The weather-board houses and quarter acre plots seem so quaint and twentieth century. However it's charming and unusual. I'm sure it's an illusion that time has passed by. The greatest export of NZ, like Scotland, is its smart and well educated people. The population is 70% European and 15% Maori. Almost all streets names are English. The national game is Rugby and they are current World Champions.

The location of New Zealand is remote. It's almost on the date line at 172°E. Christchurch is 43°S. Much further south than the places we visited in Australia. Sunset is 9:15pm in Early January about the same as England in early July. The time change to San Jose, CA is only 3 hours due to day-light saving. It's 13 hour time-change to England. New Zealand is the end of the world.

Alison and I are totally delighted to be here. I think NZ is country number 27 for me and 24 for Alison.

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Flag at Airport

Brighton Beach

Surfers

Nice View

Ship

Coastal Path

Flag

Brighton Pier

Kite

War Memorial

Anzac Memorial

Pier

Funfare

Tree

Closed

About the pier

On the pier

Surfing

He's Up

Surf from pier

Bird

 

Fish

 

Fishermen

 

Wheeee

 

 

Library from Pier

 

For Sale

Nice House

Typical Road

Near Downtown

 

Rebuilding

Cathedral

Rebuilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arts Centre

Christ's College

Tram

Arts Centre

 

 

 

 

Tram

City Hall

 

 

Punt

Cathedral

 

 

It's be amazing

 

 

 

Tours

City Hall and H S B C H Q

 

 

 

Cathedral

 

Hotel

Vintage Car

Theatre

 

City Tour

Cathedral Junction

Shalai

Tram

Cathedral

Cathedral Interior

Coffee Shop Street

Gorilla

Architecture at its best

 

The Piano

 

Queen Victoria

New Hotel

Crowne Plaza

Tram at Stop

James Cook

Captain Cook

Impressive

Flag Pole

Flag

About the Willows

Willow

Willow and River

About the bridge

Bridge and Tracks

Restoring Town Hall

Victorian Bridge

 

Floral Clock

College maybe

Christ College


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