Christchurch and Hanmer Springs
So before I go back to India, let me tell you more about Christchurch and the time Andrew, Yasmin and I went to Hanmer Springs. Way back when Andrew and I went to visit our friend in Christchurch (re:Antarctica) we got up to more than just the International Antarctica Centre.
As many people are aware, back in 2011 there was a really powerful and deadly earthquake which struck Christchurch. While New Zealand isn’t a very old country, Christchurch is the second largest city and the earthquake took out many buildings and some of the little history that the city held onto. But, due to the people in this city who are very hearty and have a strong sense of community, the city decided to rebuild. To this day, you can still see a lot of the damage that was done. There are damaged buildings and so much is under construction. Not to get into the challenges of rebuilding, instead I’ll focus on how the community has created some interesting outlets, like Container City, a re:START mall that popped up from shipping containers. The main strip was all but destroyed, so many of the old stores, and some new ones, have re-opened in large shipping containers. It’s really spectacular to see how dedicated those in this city are to not only keeping the city together, but thriving despite the city sitting on a fault.
My friend also took us around to the Botanic Gardens. Christchurch has some amazing and expansive gardens. They are very beautiful. My favorite part of our trip would have to be the ducks. We sat on a bench by a pond to chat, and this little duck came up to me. He must of thought I had food, which I absolutely did not! In fact, I tried to find some chips or food to feed them earlier, but came up empty handed. Anyways, the duck insisted I feed him, even snapping at my fingers as I took his photograph. What a cutie! Afterwards, Yasmin and I rented a kayak and took a bit of a cruise down the little river through the park. It was shaded enough that it was a lovely day! It was great to catch up, watch the fishes and enjoy the day!
That evening, Andrew and I went to watch Sparks. The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra played a variety of movie-themed classical songs, like from Harry Potter and James Bond. Afterwards, there were fireworks. And, like I said before, the people of Christchurch came out to support this free event, even though it was a chilly evening and it was raining. At one point the rain picked up, and the sturdy community just relaxed and enjoyed the songs regardless. Colour me impressed!
The next day, Andrew, Yasmin and I drove down to Hanmer Springs. Less than a two hour drive, Hanmer Springs is a town which stars thermal mineral baths. There is also horseback riding, mini-golf, hiking and a bunch of ice cream shops. Basically, it’s what long weekends were made of! Like I sometimes do, we were having so much fun I forgot to pull out my camera while we were in town. We managed to do a short loop hike in the forest and found a rather raggedy mini-golf spot as we searched for another. It was fun. After we got sufficiently hot, we headed to the springs. We floated around the lazy river, relaxed in some hot spa mineral pools and then, because we’re only young once, we hit up the water slides. It was late enough on a Sunday we rarely had a line, and we careened down the spiral water slide at least half a dozen times. Sadly, it was only a day trip, so afterwards we slowed it down from the slides in another mineral pool for a bit, we showered, dried off and grabbed some grub before we headed back to the city. On our way back, we caught one of New Zealand’s classically stunning sunsets.
So if you’re in the area, might be worth a visit.