Plucky, Resiliant Christchurch NZ
In 2010, Christchurch suffered a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. But it was the 6.3 quake six months later in February 2011 that leveled much of New Zealand’s second largest city. The ‘vertical lift’ quake lifted everything 3 meters — before it all crashed back down. Riding around in the shuttle bus we saw buildings with cracks, buildings cocooned in scaffolding, empty lots where irreparable buildings had been razed, and new buildings that have gone up in the past seven years. Saw this everywhere... new buildings alongside empty lots waiting to be built on. And lots of street art. Christchurch is an entire city under reconstruction.
The famous ‘Cardboard Cathedral,’ built as a transitional cathedral while the original stone one is being repaired. Much of this modern structure is made of... cardboard.
Twisted girders from the Twin Towers... a memorial to all first responders.
In the botanical garden alongside the Canterbury Museum.
Canterbury Museum: When I saw ‘National Geographic: 50 Greatest Photographs,’ I couldn’t resist.
The museum had dioramas, silver and porcelain, costumes, a reconstructed Victorian village street, etc., showing the history of the Canterbury region, which includes Christchurch. Here’s an early native hunting the now-extinct Moa.
One of the 50 greatest. (Sorry, I cut off some heads.)
Just down the street was the Christchurch Art Gallery.
The Victorian houses across the street survived the quakes.
Their floor plan handout states: What to do in an earthquake: Don’t be afraid, you’re in a very safe building. it’s easy to lose balance, so it’s a good idea to crouch or kneel on the floor and cover your head with your arms. Our team will let you know if you need to evacuate the building — but only after the shaking stops.
I resisted the temptation in this Arts Centre shop...
New Zealand loves colored-glass buildings...
Back at the port in Lyttleton, waiting for our last bunch of passengers to return from Christchurch. That’s a 57-suite cruiser alongside us, a New Zealand ship called the Caledonian Sky, registered in Nassau.
We ‘set sail’ at 6 and the scenery as we left was exquisite, under piercing sunshine. And it was still light after 9:00. #