Christchuch: Where there’s a will there’s a way!

Already flying across it I fell in love with New Zealand; with its rugged coastline, its green meadows, but most of all with its wild mountains. They were simply evoking a strong sensation of and adventure in me…

Flying across the South Island

But first I landed in Christchurch, the biggest city on the South Island. I don’t know what I had expected when I arrived in the city center, but certainly not a big field with some low houses around it. It felt more like being in a deserted suburb, there in the late afternoon. No people, hardly any cars, it was absolutely quiet.

Memorial to those who died in the earthquake

A few years back the city had been hit by a devastating earthquake and the center had suffered the worst damage. It had all been cleared up and unstable buildings had been torn down, but reconstruction is still going on, and taking its time. As I was walking through this unusual city I could not but notice the incredible number of construction sites. There were so many of them that it became a challenge to get from one side of the city to the other.

Construction in Christchurch

Damaged cathedral in Christchuch

The church (or rather what is left of it) is fenced in and heavily supported, probably for future reconstruction attempts. There is a lot of street art, and a mall (“re:start”) was built out of creatively placed, painted and customized shipping containers.

Re:START mall

Street art

I was impressed by the will of the population to stay and start over again; one could really see the effort put in, and the potential. It would be  interesting to follow up on this place in a couple of years!

Restaurant on wheels in the deserted street

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