I’m down in Christchurch for the week and it’s my first visit since the big earthquake. I don’t have words for how mind blowing the drive in from the airport was. All the cherry blossom trees surrounding Hagley Park are out in full bloom and looked stunning. I was looking forward to having a wander around the city after work and taking some photos before dark.

BUT once the taxi pulled up outside work and I looked across the road at a now very empty lot that was once a beautiful old church I went into shock. I looked round to see another vast empty plot of land where the Crown Plaza Hotel used to be and could not believe my eyes.

At lunch time I went in search of food, which was harder than I thought, there’s not much open that sells food anymore. There are big fences erected everywhere and the roads are mainly rubble. I stopped to look through a fence at one stage to see where the cathedral is still standing and it really did look like a scene from a movie… the streets were empty, the buildings were empty and broken. It was so sad, this once beautiful city now looks like a dusty old ghost town complete with tumbleweeds.

I did eventually find a very groovy place to eat, in an area they’ve set up with loads of containers that have been turned into shops and eating places, but of course none of them take eftpos and couldn’t issue me with a receipt.

And so much for taking photos after work… there was torrential rain and it was very very cold, something like minus two degrees. On a more positive note, the motel I’m staying in is marvelous and surrounded by loads of places to eat and all of them have a charge back arrangement with the motel. There is even a massive spa bath which I’m about to make the most of!!! This could be the best place I’ve ever stayed at for work, which is the complete opposite to the last time I was in Christchurch when I stayed in the WORST place ever.

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