Christchurch and beyond. Sunday 22nd February.

We hadn’t realised we were to be in Christchurch on the anniversary of the 2011 Earthquake, that did so much damage. Sunday dawned dull and overcast with slight rain at times, which reflected the somber mood of the many ceremonies that took place in the city. Walking out from our temporary home the Classic Villa last night, was like having arrived in Dr Who’s Tardis and surveying block after block of trashed buildings, like some alien war had taken place and decimated the entire area. Even the Police Station was boarded up. Having ventured forth on foot we were convinced we had entered a culinary desert and we would find nowhere for an evening meal. The restaurant two doors away was holding a private function and the one further down the street was fully booked. We wandered through the carnage and re-building and retraced our steps, finally to find a place called The Villas, which at last offered succour and refreshment.

The view from the room! Are we saving the worst till last? Gulp.
The view from the room! Are we saving the worst till last? Gulp.

With such a dull start to the day instead of trudging round Christchurch in the rain, we took ourselves off to Akaroa, where signs were in French and people were speaking the language!

The village butchers!
The village butchers!

The journey was rewarded by some fantastic views.

The low cloud added greatly to the drama.
The low cloud added greatly to the drama.
Always someone on hand to paint your picture.
Always someone on hand to paint your picture.

So many pictures so little space! A few more and then off for dinner, where we have pre-booked this time. Some are of a place called Pigeon Bay, to get there you pass a sign to “Starvation Gully.” Nasty echoes of tramping the streets last night! Thank you for reading and keep those comments coming, we love to hear from you! Take care M & M.

On the road to Pigeon Bay looking back towards Akaroa.
On the road to Pigeon Bay looking back towards Akaroa.
A tree in Pigeon Bay.
A tree in Pigeon Bay.
These two amused me!
These two amused me!
Where does Mary keep finding these?
Where does Mary keep finding these?

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Malcolm and Mary

Malcolm worked for LWT. Mary worked for TRL. They live near Camberley in Surrey and did achieve their life long ambition to visit New Zealand. They have two daughters Laura and Hannah and two grandchildren Zach & Safi. Having done the big trip they then went to Canada, which was amazing. Scroll down it’s all here. They have visited Venice that they both so fell in love with in 2009 again. And recently returned to Lefkada for one week in glorious sunshine. Where next? Well, Canada is calling again in 2019; this time including Alaska. So stay tuned if you enjoy the ups and downs of travelling.

5 thoughts on “Christchurch and beyond. Sunday 22nd February.”

  1. We always enjoy doing the B&B ‘thing’ too. It’s always an opportunity to met like-minded people and learn about the area. Great pics again. Look forward to hearing about the train. Enjoy! Sandra

  2. When we went to NZ in 2008, we had to abort our tour just before we did the railway bit, so looking forward to your shots and narrative of that bit to fill us in with what we missed!!

    Your travel agent has found you some great places to stay; some hotels and some B&Bs, so a nice mix I would think, even if the view out is not always brilliant!! To be fair, most of them have had terrific views.

    Continue to enjoy what sounds like the trip of a lifetime!

    Frank (and Gwyneth!)

    1. Just met some folks who live in Collingwood Drive, small world. He has a very Scottish accent so we assumed, wrongly, they were from Scotland! ‘Abort’ sounds quite dramatic Frank! The hotel and B & B mix was Marys idea, but as you say Audley have done us proud! Now sat on the train πŸš„ and the observation car, which I imagined would be like those Canadian jobbies, is in fact just an open metal standing area, good for pictures but bad for the knees!

  3. Yes indeed…4 years ago at 12.51 a few seconds changed ChCh forever. I remember being glued to TV3 for the latest (TVNZ failed miserably…). I thought you guys were going dolphin swimming today..not yesterday..Whatever. Looking forward to your reports on the Trans Alpine train…Looks brill to us…You are running into a little rain, lets hope the scenery makes up for it…Drive carefully down to the Glacier!!! M&S

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