Where We Be
After 32½ hours of continuous travel from Denver to
Los Angeles to Fiji to Aukland to Christchurch, we finally
arrived at the aptly named Vagabond Backpackers in
Christchurch -- the main city on New Zealand's South
Island. On our first evening we took a short stroll to the
cathedral in the city’s central square. A flutist was
playing a haunting melody out front, and as we walked
back, we saw a trolley making its way along the tracks,
adding to the romance of the place. Christchurch
reminds us a bit of Vancouver. It’s definitely English in
feel, with lots of gardens and open grassy spaces and
trees, and a vibrant and young population.
During our second day, we strolled the city and visited
Cathedral Square, the Christchurch Art Museum (see
the "Corned Beef Cow" below), and the Arts Centre.
On our third day we purchased a car! It’s a white 1986
Honda Accord with 115,000 miles on it. It’s not much to
look at, but it runs clean and it passed its recent
“Warrant of Fitness,” which means it’s fit to drive as far
as the New Zealand government is concerned. It turns
out this WOF is a big deal when you are buying a used
car in New Zealand. I thought it was just a rubber stamp
of approval, but it’s anything but. [See blog for more].
On our fourth day we went on a shopping spree at the
Pak 'n Save [See blog entry]. On our fifth day, we finally
got some sunshine and made the most of it on a walking
tour of Christchurch Botanic Gardens. We also
successfully Skyped our parents for the first time.
|Christchurch, New Zealand
|The lovely, slow-moving Avon River meanders through the city center and is one of our
favorite things about Christchurch. With its overhanging willows, arched bridges,
landscaped banks, and poling boatmen (or “puntmen”), it has a quiet magic all its own.
|Punting on the Avon -- magic!
|Our first glimpse of New Zealand from the air
|These stately trees stretch along the Avon's banks
|Lily pond with stone bridge
|Robin enjoying a hot cup of chai at Raj Mahal
|Proud temporary owner of a Vagabond Backpackers cabin
|English-style garden outside our room
|Christchurch Cathedral is the centerpiece of Christchurch
|This is the car we bought in New Zealand -- we call it the White Wizard
|A perfect rose from the Botanic Gardens
|Funky corned beef cow at Christchurch Art Museum
|Tree limb making a U-turn
|Looks like she's having fun!