CHCH – Christchurch – Our New Zealand Adventure Begins
I’ve become a bit nostalgic about my New Zealand trip and then realized I’ve left you all high and dry! Shame on me. I’m going to start at the very beginning. My brother and I left for New Zealand on May 6, 2014. We landed in Christchurch around 2pm on May 8, 2014. Crazy, right? We took a quick cab ride from the airport to our amazing accommodations, the Orari Bed and Breakfast, smack in the city center.
It’s a bit hard to tell from this photo, but it’s a beautiful Victorian home that was thankfully spared by the devastating earthquake in 2011. We enjoyed a really great egg and bacon breakfast each morning with tea and toast (including Vogels toast, which is now my favorite and I can’t find anywhere in NYC). I’ll have to come back here with Dr. Awesome because it’s such a cute and romantic place. Wasn’t awkward for me or my brother at all, LOL.
Being jet lagged, the best thing for us to do was to walk around and get to know our first host city. Our first stop was to visit the famous cathedral. But as we walked around, there was a huge theme staring us right in the face: the wreckage that was leftover from the earthquake. Christchurch was a bit like a ghost town. You could see how this place was hustling and bustling, but because many buildings were still structurally unsound, they were abandoned. This was all around the city, no matter where we went.
And then we walked up to the cathedral.
Compare these images to what the cathedral looked like before:
Very sad. It was weird being in a country such as New Zealand and seeing something so displacing on such a large scale. We both had a new understanding and appreciation of the situation. The bell tower is just totally gone and the whole front as well. If I didn’t look at the before photos, I would have no idea what I was looking at or the scale of the destruction.
So what the city decided to do to try and bring back some sort of normalcy and life, they created these pod shops, which were pretty cool.
Our first introduction to Maori influence. Definitely not the last!
Being REALLY jet lagged at this point and hungry, we made our way to Fiddlesticks for dinner. This place was great (and was one of the only places that were open.) Oh, talking about food, it was very hard to find restaurants in the city center. There were not many, and the ones that were open, you either needed to get there early or have a reservation.
Fiddlesticks was so yummy. We had a great treat of Bluff oysters.
These were great! They were firm, yet briny. Never had anything like them in my life. Definitely a different texture to the oysters we’re used to here.
Who could be in New Zealand and not have any venison? Well, I made sure I did. And it was delicious.
Bellies full and sleep knocking on our door, we were ready to call it a night. Next post will be about our romp around town and checking out the cardboard cathedral along with the Canterbury Museum and botanical gardens.