Home > Blogroll, New Zealand Trip 2010 > Christchurch, Day 2

Christchurch, Day 2


Given how nice the weather in Christchurch had been the day before, Dore and I were surprised when we left the hostel and found the sidewalks wet and gray clouds above. We turned around and went back inside to get our rain gear. Oddly enough, despite the threatening weather, we never ended up needing the rain jackets all day. Go figure.

What we did need was a good nap. We continued our trend of doing entirely too much walking and not enough resting, crisscrossing the town in our various pursuits.

We started with a gentle stroll through the botanical gardens. Sounds easy enough until you figure out the sheer scale of the Christchurch botanical gardens. This place is enormous. It took us a full two hours to walk around the perimeter, and we weren’t really stopping that often. We saw all sorts of neat plants, but I would probably bore you (and get most of the details wrong) if I tried to do any sort of narrative. Suffice to say that the New Zealand garden and rain forest conservatories were both awesome, and Dore really liked the dahlias. She’s a sucker for poofy looking flowers, it seems (note to self).

We stopped off for some Indian food (a second choice after we were unsuccessful at finding one “Loaded Hog” restaurant from the guide book), then hit the sidewalks again. This time we dropped by the arts and crafts center, which contains a ton of little artists shops and galleries. I really liked the format of the building, where each shop had two doors, which allowed you to drift from one shop to another in a sort of maze-like way.

Unfortunately all of the art was either low quality or out of our price range. The only thing we bought was a bar of fudge from a chocolate shop. (The fudge is delicious, however.)

After the arts shop, we stopped off to fulfill one of Dore’s “must do” items: Punting on the Avon. In case you’re not familiar with this particularly English pastime, punting involves sitting in a “punt”, which is a long, narrow flat-bottomed boat somewhat like a squat canoe, and being poled up and down the river by a man in a funny hat.

Our man in a funny hat (the “punter,” for those playing at home) happened to be from Switzerland, and was rather fun to talk to. We chatted as we rode along, enjoying the scenery and taking in the sun, which happened to peek out for the only time during the entire day right as we were going on our ride. Sometimes things just have a way of working out.

Our punt came to its end almost exactly when it should have, which is to say just before it started to become boring. Dore and I set off to the Cathedral square, where we realized that we had yet to see the inside of the Cathedral itself. This, I gather, is a great offense in Christchurch (it is named “Christchurch” after all!), so we decided to rectify this situation straight away.

As luck would have it, we actually managed to time our ascent of the tower perfectly — we were literally the only ones going up or down. It felt really awesome climbing the narrow, winding staircase all alone. We felt like little kids in a castle. I think Dore summed it up best when she said, “It feels like we shouldn’t be allowed to do this. I keep feeling that someone will come out and tell us we’re somewhere we aren’t supposed to be.”

When we descended again, we were rewarded with a chocolate fish (a chocolate-covered marshmallow of Kiwi invention) and found out that the choir would be singing in a few minutes. We went into the cathedral and enjoyed the choir service, which was really cool. There’s nothing quite like music performed in a cathedral. I was really tired by this point, however, and kept wanting to fall asleep.

The final stop of the day was dinner. Our first choice restaurant — a Burmese restaurant called the “Bodhi Tree” — was completely booked, but we found a cool Bangladeshi restaurant instead. At least it was from the same area of the world, right? The food was really good — similar to Indian, but with different flavor profiles. We completely stuffed ourselves, and still had some left over that we saved as lunch for the next day.

Finally done with our day, we walked home to the hostel and crashed, completely exhausted once again.

Categories: Blogroll, New Zealand Trip 2010 Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.