Travel Notes: Christchurch

Since I already posted about Christchurch I’ll keep these travel notes brief. It’s true that due to the earthquakes Christchurch is a lot quieter and with fewer people, many having relocated to other parts of New Zealand and to Australia.

I stayed at the YMCA hostel for my first night, but having failed to reserve my bed for the second night I found myself out of luck going back after my first Gap Fillers project. After 8:00 PM and mildly panicked that I would be sleeping in the park that night, I booked the first hostel room that I found available, to find out afterwards it was about a 20-minute drive away. Hmmm.

Photo Gallery

Long story short this brought me and hour later via city bus to the coastal suburb of New Brighton and a the Point Break Backpackers hostel. This was a fun experience meeting guys from Sweden, Scotland, Ireland and Italy, and waking up the next morning only steps away from a beach-side strip and pier. Michael, a friend from Chicagoland I met the day before came out and met me there, where we walked down the pier, around town, and shared a jug of beer watching the rugby sevens at a sports bar.

Gap Fillers Photo Gallery

Canterbury Museum

Found this museum to be slightly less impressive than Auckland but still interesting. The highlight for me was the entire Antarctic floor displaying the historic accounts of Antarctic expeditions by James Cook, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shakleton, among other important names. The famous last diary entries of Scott:

“We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.

For God’s sake look after our people.”

R. Scott

Also enjoyed the dioramas depicting early Maori life and culture.

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Classical Sparks

This turned out to be awesome. The City of Christchurch organizes this annual activity where hundreds if not a couple of thousand people come out to the massive Hagley Park with blankets, picnic dinners, beer and wine for a classical music, dancing and singing concert/show with truly world-class talent, capped off by a fireworks show, all for free. The show was outstanding.

Not only was the show great but I sat with a group of about 25 friends representing more than 15 countries. I made a few great connections here and had a blast.

Photo Gallery.

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