In the history of this blog, we have yet to revisit anywhere we’ve already been (well, except for that time we got bored in Nagoya, and went back to Kyoto, but that was on the same trip). Yet here we are in Christchurch, less than year after our last visit.
If you haven’t heard, this came about through me winning an Air New Zealand competition. Until now, Holly and I have had a pretty strict ‘every second year’ overseas travel plan, but when you’re handed a free trip you kinda just go with it. The prize was a ski trip at Mt Hutt, but we’ve added a few days either side of that to make the most of it. Which brings us to Christchurch.
We thought that after a year, it’d be good to see what progress has been made in rebuilding the city following the earthquake. And while the tradies have definitely been busy, it seems to have been more in the demolition of buildings, as there are lots more empty lots than last time, and not so many new buildings. After walking around the city this morning, with everything pretty much as we remembered it, we thought we’d have to venture further afield to find something to fill in our day here. But on our way back to our B&B to pick up the car we came across the beautiful building which is Christchurch Art Gallery.
Last time we hadn’t ventured as far west as where the gallery is (turns out if we had, it would have still been under repair, it only re-opened in February), so stumbling across it was quite the happy accident. The gallery turned out to have a very impressive collection, and we very happily spent a good chunk of the day browsing the various exhibits, including a second viewing of the Fiona Pardington photography exhibition we’d seen in Wellington last year – definitely worth another look.
The afternoon consisted of us doing some touristy driving around the coastal suburbs of Lyttleton (a little town), Sumner (no doubt very pleasant in summer) and Red Cliff (there were indeed red cliffs). An excellent dinner (happy anniversary Holly!) at Twenty Seven Steps rounded out the day. This place had caught our attention last time, but we hadn’t been able to get a table – the copious amounts of local wine, seafood and venison we devoured tonight made it worth the wait. Tomorrow we head up the mountain to Methven – the base for our skiing. Stay tuned to find out how that turns out…