Today, well it was a quiet one. For the most part it was about walking around and exploring.
My first mistake though was jumping on the tram. While they sell you an all day ticket it really is a tour rather than city transport. At $25 a day you really want to spend time doing the full route. That said, if I hadn’t had Shirleen show me around on that first day I probably would have loved it. As someone used to trams as a means of jumping on and off as you get around town. For a tour it would be great and very informative.
Walking through Christchurch is an experience where as someone with no experience of earthquakes I feel confronted by the damage, destruction, reinvention, creativity and survival of the landscape.
One of my first exploring places was the O.G.B. – Old Government Building. Yes an imaginative name I know but beautiful and you can stay there to. So on the one hand you can be a guest, a sightseer, or just enjoy the bar, restaurant and cafe. Of couse at this point I was sightseeing!
Next was to wander through Cathedral Square. There were market holders setting up and I enjoyed chatting to one where my eye had been caught by the beautiful scarves. They reminded me of Thailand and yes I was toying with the idea of buying yet another scarf. Low and behold the gorgeous stall holder was married to a Thai woman and all the materials for the stalls products had been purchased over there in Bangkok and then they created each piece themselves when they returned.
If I was in Australia then I would just assume these stalls were some kind of market. However they seem to be semi- permanent where they are able to set up each day in lieu of building facilities. The square does seem to be like the centrepoint of the city and even at night I have felt safe walking through.
As I walked I took pictures to capture the beauty amidst the damage.
Then what seemed out of nowhere I found a beautiful spot on the Avon River to sit and reflect and soak in nature. Yes even some beatiful and different birdlife.
As I started walking again I came across a bridge commemorating the ANZACS. I often struggle with honouring our soldiers and celebrating and remembering war. That said, my special friends, Loula and Mark will be very busy back in Nathalia gearing up for ANZAC Day celebrations in Nathalia. So I took a photo of the remembrance bridge for them and to honour the importance of this day for them and all who take this time to remember. Lest We Forget.
It’s kind of funny but here I get a sense of the world geography of the war that is different to how it feels in Australia. My initial response was that the New Zealanders remembered all nations involved but I think the listing of other countries is about where the geography of the battlefields.
Next it was back to OGB for coffee and to write my blog. It was such a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning watching the world wake up. Yes it was only about 10.30am!
Now my plans for the day included going to Fat Eddy’s Jazz Club for some live music. So by the time I left OGB it was 12pm and I still had two hours to fill in so I wandered. And amidst some of the destruction I came across some crazy characters.
Following is my favorite wall art.
Walking in the shopping precinct I noticed some beautiful shops and came across a fabulous book shop where they even sold a range of feminist sociological books. I did resist but it reminded me about the feminist movement here and if I’m right, New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women, nation-wide, the right to vote in national elections.
Of course it was now lunchtime and I was stuggling to decide where to eat and where would be good foid and affordable. At the same time I was trying to find Fat Eddy’s so I would know where to go. In my tracking down Fat Eddy’s I managed to take a few wrong turns. But just as well, as I stumbled across this little gem – Regatta-on-the-Avon. Here I enjoyed a lovely home-cooked style steak sandwich. While not fancy it was cooked perfectly and I was able to sit out and enjoy being nestled in a forest environment by the river.
From here I found Fat Eddy’s and settled myself in with a Cointreau on ice for an afternoon of music. Kate and Sarena performed this afternoon and it was their first official performance together. There music was fabulous and their renditions of the songs they sang was thoroughly enjoyable.
Of course most people sat on the balcony but yours truly set herself up in a booth and relaxed. If course the hardest thing is feeling like I stick out like a sore thumb sitting there on my own. But in that environment I also find it hard to talk when there is music playing and when it’s live I want to listen and here – especially when the sound is good.
Next it was off to find dinner. Welk what a hoot that turned into! First, I ended up at the RSA and secondly they had an amazingly professional jazz band playing.
I quickly enjoyed sime roast pork and a beautiful pinot noir. Actually I’m amazed at the way New Zealanders enjoy both a pinot and a rose. Two drinks I’m not accustomed to seeing as primary options. Anyway after dinner I took the rest of my wine around to where the band was playing and settled in for a fabulous night of entertainment.
Here I also met Margaret (from Dunedin) and Otto (from Berlin, Germany), a couple who me in Sydney, Australia, lived in Germany for a time and then spent the rest of their lives in Christchurch.
My final musings, however go to the homeless. Shirleen spoke about it on day one. Today and a bit yesterday, it was quite confronting seeing people begging on the streets. Confronting because I was not expecting it to be so overt – and with the cold winter coming it is only going to get worse for them.