Friday, 22 February 2013

Visit to Christchurch

SPOILER ALERT - this post is not sewing or knitting related, so feel free to skip it :)  However I am sure it is healthy to see I do other things too!

Last weekend I went back to my hometown of Christchurch for my Mum's birthday. I hadn't been back since the quakes of February 2011 and I really wasn't sure what to expect and was prepared for a pretty sad and depressing visit.

Things have definitely changed, most of the CBD is now demolished so it feels a little surreal, but on the flip side what they are doing to cope with such a radical change is quite inspiring. The city is now has a "container mall". Where there were once buildings are now loads of shipping containers painted up, windows installed and generally done up to look pretty funky actually.

Here is the cafe where we had breakfast:

One of the banks:

The red arrow shows where the five storey building I used to work in was once located.

The poor landmark Christchurch Cathedral:IMG_1516

The city is pretty much in limbo at the moment whilst it is decided how to rebuild, where and what requirements buildings will need to meet. So many buildings are still to be fully evaluated and may still be demolished in the months to come. It is likely the rebuild project will take 20 years.

Despite all the obvious demolition going on and very little construction, it still felt like people were getting on with it and doing the best with what they have. After all my initial intrepidation I was pleasantly surprised and it is likely I will go back now with little hesitation.


  1. Liz,
    OH, I am so proud that the visit turned out positive for you.. and the rebuilding is going on. Such devastation.. The restaurant was just beautiful. Sending hugs.

  2. Blimey, I hadn't seen photos before...I remember visiting the cathedral some 10 years ago on honeymoon...and having breakfast at a lovely cafe round the corner...nice to see that the population refuse to let earth movements defeat them

  3. I am so pleased that you had a positive experience from returning to CHCH. I too come from CHCH and I went back in November, 2011 for my girlfriend's wedding which should have been on February 24, 2011, several days after the earthquake. I too was prepared for a sad and depressing visit but I have to say, it was one of the most inspiring examples of the human spirit to get up and get on with it. I was so proud of the people of CHCH. Last night in Australia, SBS TV played a movie about the earthquakes and the impact they have had on CHCH, to commemorate the 2nd anniversary and I know many people are still suffering and struggling, but there is an amazing spirit in CHCH and it was wonderful to see. I use to work in Cathedral Square, so seeing the Cathedral ruined breaks my heart but I am sure something good will come of all of this.

    1. I watched that doco on SBS and balled my eyes out! I live in Melbourne but have been back 3 times since the big quake. Last time was the first time I had been into the city and I felt such a big hole in my heart. All my city haunts were gone - The Vault, Oxford terrace, Smiths Bookshop, Asko design, Cashel mall, Hoyts8 (demolished when I was there)...The only good thing that happened is that everyone now knows their neighbour and that there is a will and drive to rebuild a truely unique city.

  4. Mmmm..puts the Brissie floods into perspective.

  5. I'm from Brisbane (BTW) which is why I say this.