I drive to the city center of Christchurch and walk around for a couple of hours. Actually, the city does not look as devastated from the earthquakes in 2011 as I had expected. There are several places with parks, plazas, statues, and pedestrian streets where old trams drive around. There are some empty footprints after buildings which have been teared down, and also some old buildings like the cathedral which have not been restored. Else, many new buildings look to have come up during the last 10 years, and they are working on even more. From what I have heard, the earthquakes were also most damaging for the eastern part of the city due to the soil conditions.
I drive to the Antarctic Center a bit outside the city center (close to the airport). It’s not a big deal – most fun experience was a drive in a special build vehicle used on the Antarctica, and to try the ‘freezer’ i.e. a room where they can blow wind to simulate wind chill down to -20degC – quite cold in shorts.
It’s my last evening in the camper, and the menu is of course hot smoked salmon, which I fry together with pasta and salad 😉 I take a couple of photos of the stars, and think I have found the 4 clear ones also reflected in the New Zealand flag.
It’s time to clean the camper, and afterwards I drive to the hotel in the city center which I booked from home – 4.5 stars sounded good after this long in a camper (although also nice). It goes easy handing in the camper, and no unexpected surprises – I can for sure recommend Tui for another time (although they should have observed the issue with the hose to the grey water tank).
I have a small walk in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and a tour inside the Canterbury Museum. Especially the display of how people lived, decorated their rooms, and what was popular during the 70-, 80-, 90- 00- was interesting, also to recognize several things from childhood. I have a photo taken at an ageanator (thoughts go in direction of BIG), and can apparently appreciate by current hair for the next 30 years. The buildings outside are in Gothic style. There are many people in the city center, and music down the river with many restaurants, pubs, cafés and food market. I go for street food at the Cathedral Square. It’s nice and sunny 25degC which is very fine for me. I can see in the weather app that it’s raining at Mount Cook.
It’s now Friday 6th of December 2019. I arrived in Auckland on Wednesday 30th of October, and picked up the camper Friday 1st of November, which is also Day1 in this journal.