Today in an effort to reach across the ocean in conjunction with #blog4nz and help a land that is rich in culture, rich in natural beauty, rich in hospitality and all around loveliness I am doing a three day series on my week of adventure in New Zealand last August 2010 to exclaim, if you can, visit this incredible land the adventures that greet you will stay with you as the land and its people niggle their way into your heart!
We flew into Christchurch from Sydney. What a wonderful city! While the city might currently be limited in some ways to tourists I wanted to include it to bring you an essence and introduction of its land and its people. The city the old juxtaposed against the new. It was rainy that first night but not cold, perhaps I’d call it more of a heavy mist. Stepping from our hotel in the dark mist, we started a walking tour of the area close to our hotel; walking just a few blocks when we came to the city center square where the lovely cathedral seemed to oversee the activity below. The lights of the cathedral glowed in the mist making for a rather surreal yet magical atmosphere. It was a lovely first encounter of the city.
|Silver Leaf Column|
Finding many sculptures of art on the square brought a sense of the modern world to bear amidst the lovely architecture of older days. The silver leaf column lit in the mist, dressed in blue and silver and the radiating light sculpture provided for the modern day interest. Even a Starbucks on the corner was a new meeting the old housed in a beautiful old building.
Walking a bit further, the architecture seemed to add to the wonder; lit in the mist of the evening it created lovely sculpted facades and deep shadows of contrast. Continuing our walk to the Bridge of Remembrance; its lit archway provided the framing for a lone person walking in the night, adding to the wondrous mystery of this new venture.
Finally as I turn my back to the arch and walk down the store-lined street, I look upward; again I am amazed, the sculpted facades continue along with the modern edge of a hanging multicolored lit sculpture suspended over the street. What else would this adventure hold? Who else would I find in this fascinating city?
The rain was still falling as morning came but that didn’t stop our exploration! We visited the walking sights from yesterday as we headed to the botanical gardens, yes even in the deluge! It was still lovely and there to greet us were the crocus of spring!Waddling in the rain and always dressed for the weather were the ducks, the paradise shelduck drakes and hens, feeling quite at home in the rain.
We continued our exploration to the arts and crafts area of the city and met lovely Marilyn Rea-Menzies, an amazing fiber artist. She was warm and delightful and we exchanged information and have stayed connected on FaceBook. Our tour guide, Andrea, is from the Rotorua area of New Zealand and was invaluable as we experienced the nation and land of New Zealand, I cannot speak highly enough of her; she is a wonderful representative of this land and its people. The people in New Zealand are really the cream. You not only have magnificent scenery but incredibly wonderful people. We continued our walk that day, visiting the art museum and the Blue Pearl shop where we met still other wonderful people; the list goes on as we also enjoyed a home-hosted overnight stay as well as a local storyteller share a bit of history. We took a bus tour of the city and chased a rainbow, quite literally, which seemed very fitting to think the pot of gold lay right here in New Zealand!
Christchurch and New Zealand began to niggle its way into my heart quite quickly! We traveled after our 3 days in Christchurch to Queenstown stopping first at the Tin Shed, then for a break and lunch at Lake Tekapo. My, such beauty and we haven’t even been to “the gem” I was told not to miss. Such loveliness! Tomorrow Queenstown and beyond!