Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The traveller returns

I'm back from my lightning trip to New Zealand. I had an awesome time, hanging out with Sara, enjoying the comforts of the spare room (which comes complete with warm feline sleeping companion), eating banoffee pie (and plenty of good food too), and viewing some of the awe-inspiring havoc wreaked by the February earthquake. She arranged perfect weather for my visit, but failed entirely on the aftershock front - there wasn't even one decent noticeable rumble the whole time I was there. I'm still sulking...

We've both decided that next time we get together, we need to clear and synchronise our calendars and just spend plenty of time chilling. And of course, eating - we're particularly good at that. But in spite of a fairly manic schedule, I had a fabulous time, saw some sights, met some friendly Kiwis and generally felt like I'd never left home.

Here we are, all glammed up for the gala occasion on Saturday night that was the impetus for my visit:

There are still some parts of the city where serenity abounds:

The ubiquitous security fencing is a bit of a giveaway that something's up, but otherwise, it looks like business as usual along the river:

Christchurch is full of pretty weatherboard houses with ornate fretwork and lace from the late 1800s-early 1900s. Most of them are still standing. Unfortunately, many of them have these brick firewalls on the property boundaries, which didn't stand up so well to the earth's rocking and rolling:

The Catholic cathedral is a bit of a mess. I'm pretty sure the Catholic church can afford to rebuild it, so hopefully it will eventually be restored to its former glory.

Elsewhere, there are stone buildings that have been partly or wholly destroyed.

And people's homes with their furniture and belongings still sitting there...

It was quite strange to walk down apparently normal streets, then see rows of port-a-loos along the footpath.

The seriously damaged sewer system is just one of the challenges amongst the rebuilding efforts. There's also a bit of an unpleasant smell in some parts of town.

Most of the city centre is still off-limits due to ongoing danger, and businesses have been forced to close if they can't find alternative accommodation in the suburbs. Folks appear to be just getting on with things, but it must be very difficult for those whose homes have been destroyed, or who no longer have a job to go to. :(

I got home on Monday, after a ridiculously early flight that required me to head out the door at 4:30am. Sara valiantly crawled out of bed and drove me to the airport, for which I'm sure I must owe her more Koko Black... I managed to find decent coffee at the airport, plus some bargain duty-free grog for myself and Bike Boy, and some Sheep Poo for The Baby. Yes, Kiwi humour....


I'm off again this coming weekend. Bike Boy and I are heading off to western Victoria for a romantic getaway to celebrate our wedding anniversary. He surprised me this morning with a gift - we don't do anniversary gifts as a rule, so I wasn't expecting anything.

Turns out he actually does listen to me now and then. I mentioned a while back how much I like Pandora bracelets, but how expensive they were, and guess what he got me?



Also? I've posted a new recipe over at my Good Food blog. I pinched it from Delicious magazine, and it's awesome.


Unknown said...

Have a great w/e Kerryn- congratulation on the anniversary

Maryanne said...

Congrats on the wedding anniversary!

Thanks for the pics - must be the year for NZ trips. We are heading to the south Island in 4 weeks

Sara said...

Love the sheep! Glad you girls had fun. You both look so happy in that pic! I'd love to visit Christchurch someday. And Happy Anniversary! xo

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