Christchurch: A City in Recovery

Located in the Canterbury region of New Zealand, Christchurch is the South Island’s second largest city. It is a city in recovery, still rebuilding after a devastating earthquake in February 2011.

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Christchurch Cathedral partially collapsed in 2011 earthquake.

The earthquake was New Zealand’s largest natural disaster on record with 185 lives lost, most in a single, collapsed building. As we walked around the city center today, many structures were still under repair or have simply been demolished altogether.

Despite the visible scars,Christchurch retains an old world charm, particularly in the architecture of older buildings around Hagley Park. The British influence is strong here.

John and I  enjoyed an activity we didn’t expect to ever do again outside Cambridge, England — punting.

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We took a leisurely float on the Avon through part of the city center.

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The crown jewel of Christchurch is definitely Hagley Park. We spent a thoroughly enjoyable two hours there alternating between sitting, strolling, bird and people watching.

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The Christchurch Museum and a wonderful Edwardian fountain are located right inside the park.

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The grand old trees, including a large redwood, populating the park survived the earthquake unharmed…

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as did the iconic cone sculpture erected in 2000 to honor the city’s sesquicentennial.

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Here’s hoping the scars of 2011 will be completely healed with no new ones to replace them when Christchurch celebrates its bicentennial.

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