Monday, January 03, 2011


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21:  An exhibit...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeOur first real look at Christchurch brought mixed emotions. The city is a lovely little English like environment, but recent earthquakes have devastated a number of businesses. In some areas, whole blocks are closed off due to severe damage and parts of building fronts still unstable. The quake hit on September 4, 2010 reaching 7.1 on the Richter scale. Unfortunately, they have had over 130 aftershocks since then with some as high as 4.9 making recovery a slow process for some while it is impossible for others. As we walked the city, we saw some buildings totally destroyed, others that were being held up with heavy duty supports, but all of them closed for business. Not even the Baptist church was left unharmed, so any religious zealots that want to attribute this to God’s revenge for something, start looking in your own homes of worship.

They are still celebrating the New Year by having national holidays through tomorrow when we leave. They received two additional days for the holiday falling on a weekend. Poor Hungarians have to work previous Saturdays to make up their time-off. This limited what we could do with things closed from damage and then add on the holiday. We did go to the Art Gallery, which is free admission. They have the Ron Mueck exhibit, which we thought we may catch again, but
they wanted NZ$12. We saw the same exhibit in Scotland, so by-passed it. Most of the art was modern, with some classics thrown in here and there. Ron and I could have sworn we heard that photos were allowed without a flash so we are snapping here and there. Then he overheard someone getting told otherwise by a guard, so we both acted innocent getting the cameras out of sight. Other than walking around, going into the Episcopal Cathedral and some shops that were open, we really did not do much of anything today.

Returning to Bruce’s by 5:30, everyone else was out; I had a chance to write. Ron napped. They returned by 6:30. We chatted for an hour and then Jim and Barry joined us for dinner. The guys are great fun. They are really into sports, own horses, go skiing, like rugby, and such, but we still have enough to chat about regardless. We don't hold their athletic nature against them either. ; ) Having their company for the couple of evenings has been a pleasant diversion.

What  I wonder is how the town received its name. How do non-Christians feel about living here in Christchurch? 
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