NEW ZEALAND – Day 1 Christchurch

After a slightly shaky start to our trip due to a false start on the plane where it began roaring towards take-off and then suddenly stopping again due to ‘hot brakes’, we sat on the tarmac to wait for those brakes to cool again, we set off on our trip just an hour after we planned. The flight itself was as enjoyable as a flight can be. The highlight being the Air New Zealand In-flight Safety Video which is Hobbit themed, and had my attention the whole way through unlike the usual mundane videos other airlines show. Landing in Christchurch was pretty rough, the turbulence being the worst I’ve ever experienced. However we landed safely and were soon on our way to our hostel. We had booked in to the ‘Jailhouse Hostel’ which is set up inside an old jailhouse and where you sleep in prison cells and can play around having your mug shot taken (we booked as soon as we saw this place online). And sat here now writing this up in our little two person cell, all I’m thinking is I wouldn’t mind jail if it’s like this! The room is larger and far more roomy than my teeny bedroom in Tignes. I guess the bars at the windows and the heavy iron door is a little claustrophobic, but in general, it’s pretty comfy.

(Not taken any photos of accommodation yet but will try add them to next post)

Before we explored the city properly we needed to refuel and so went for breakfast at a really great cafe called C-one Espresso, which is located in this awesome building.

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^^ Yes I kept thinking a real fly was crawling into my coffee. And check out those cool Crayola sugar packets ^^

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^^ Sharing a breakfast of pancakes and French toast, accompanied by the nicest coffee, was the perfect start to our day ^^

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^^ All this topped off by the sliding bookshelf that hides the bathrooms, in which they accompanied your trip to the ladies with the Harry Potter audio book playing through the sound system! ^^

DSC_0032^^ Whoever thought of turning a Singer machine into a water fountain? Genius! ^^

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After breakfast we took to wandering around Christchurch city centre, exploring the streets and learning a little history. I would love to have come here before the 2010 & ’11 earthquakes to have seen what the city looked like before. Currently the devastation it caused pretty much overwhelms the city and what remains of it structurally. It is very much an industrial city right now, with building work happening on every street corner and a skyline of cranes and steelwork holding up remains of buildings. But it is amazing nonetheless. The way the city has adapted to the aftermath of the quake, setting up art installations out of ruined buildings, graffiti and art plastering the walls of buildings and on railings. The whole city has turned into a giant art installation.

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^^ Spot the odd one out ^^

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^^ These are the pop up shops/dining area made out of shipping containers ^^

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To stroll back to the hostel we went via the Botanical Gardens and crunched through the leaves. It feels so much like a proper Autumn here and makes me appreciate how nice England is this time of the year when all the leaves fall off the trees and turn that amazing golden brown.

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^^ Check out this acorn and its colouring ^^

Day 2 – Tune in to follow the rest of our adventures. Tomorrow we are up early to catch the TransAlpine train to Greymouth.

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