It was nevertheless quite disconcerting to drive into the city yesterday morning and find large pockets of derelict ground being used as car parks; buildings in a state of disrepair; cranes and building works everywhere.
And despite the proliferation of temporary car parks, it was surprisingly difficult to find one that we could use (many of them are not available to the public but are reserved for various businesses). But find one we did and off we went to explore.
It is a very English city - deliberately so. It was designed as much as possible to mirror an English cathedral city
|Bridges over the river Avon|
|They have punting on various stretches of the river!|
I think they are doing some fabulous things. They are making imaginative use of the spaces, and the building materials and objects for both permanent and temporary structures.
They are using lots of shipping containers, which make splendid, relatively mobile spaces for retail, food and hospitality. There are coffee bars based in shipping containers. And shops
They are also filling some of the empty spaces with pianos, artworks, sculptures and pavement chess boards
The city, which was obviously seriously traumatised by the 2011 earthquake and its aftermath, is nevertheless buzzing and vibrant and energetic. And in the centre of the city, in Cathedral Square, stands this, bravely hanging on
Its future remains undecided.
In the meantime, rising from the catastrophe is the Transitional Cathedral
I think it is glorious
We had something of an excitement trying to board our flight back to Melbourne. At the check in desk they scanned our passports. The lady looked at her screen, slightly puzzled. She then asked me if we had visas for Australia. I confirmed that we did. She scanned the passports again. Was I *sure* that we had visas for Australia? Fortunately I carry paper copies of any visas we might need. I handed them over. The rescanned my passport. Yep. All fine. Here's your boarding pass. Jim's, however, refused to believe he had a visa. The lady called over someone else. They stared intently at the screen and at the visa print out. Eventually one of them exclaimed: Ah look - the dates of birth don't match. And indeed they didn't. The visa had a different month to the one on his passport. Fortunately, a quick call to the Australian Immigration people sorted it out and Jim was allowed to board.
He's come into Australia on that visa multiple times since last August and up until then no one had noticed the discrepancy, not even the Australians!!
|I wonder if the Frankston Gnome has come over to Christchurch on holiday!|