I spent a lovely couple of days on holiday in Christchurch a couple of weeks ago. I have been down a few times for work but that tends to be just a ‘fly in fly out’ sort of visit so I thought I would repeat the type of trip the Husband and I did a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, the Husband could not get the time off work so it became a one woman expedition.
I contacted Dave from Velo Ideale again to see if I could bludge a bicycle while I was down and, like the absolute star that he is, he lent me a beautiful Linus step-through. Gorgeous to ride but I’ll do another post about that.
First impressions of Christchurch were mixed … but definitely breath taking in all respects! It is obviously spring and Christchurch was just glorious with all the new green leaves, daffodils and blossom – truly breath taking. I so totally enjoyed cycling through the park and along the river and sitting in the warm sunshine (the folks at Cycling in Christchurch arranged specially for me, I understand).
I also toured around the city – I felt a bit guilty about sightseeing but the lovely lady at the B&B that I stayed at said that pretty much all of their business was coming from the sightseeing, so I didn’t feel too bad. The bicycle was definitely the best way to do this as I could get around all of the city as well as taking a lovely long ride East along the river. I saw a large office block being eaten by a very large machine with a fearsome jaw-like contraption – again it was all truly breathtaking and really quite difficult to get my head around. My navigation skills were fully tested (and failed) and it was only on the second day that I actually got the city the right way around in my head.
I was intrigued by the interesting juxtaposition between ‘Christchurch’ and the ‘rebuild’. Subtle (or not so subtle) additions – a crane here, a fluoro jacket or barrier fence there …
I also managed to catch up with the Cycling in Christchurch peeps – most of whom I had never met before. I was incredibly flattered when Glen turned up in one of my T-shirts!
I think, for me, Christchurch is as special as it has always been. Yes there are fewer historic buildings but in their place is an amazing sense of opportunity … and it’s very exciting!
When we come back from our Trip, I am seriously considering moving down to Christchurch. Your everyday cycle culture is far more advanced than Auckland’s. I tried to take some photos for my Cycle Chic blog but all of the cyclists looked so ordinary … this is a very good thing.