I headed back to Christchurch for a very quick visit recently, here’s what I got up to:
*Disclaimer* — There are just a few photos in this post so it is rather long!
After arriving in the middle of the night, I woke up to find beautiful blue skies and no wind. Of course it was a bit cooler than Brisbane but it was going to be a gorgeous autumn day none the less.
After catching up with my sister-in-law and my gorgeous nieces, I decided to drive down the street where I use to live. Last time I saw this street it was a real shambles. It’s nice to see now that they have cleared a lot away and kept some of the existing trees. What they have done with the area now is actually quite lovely.
May 1st would have been my dad’s 91st birthday and this was the main reason I wanted to go home for the weekend. My dad passed away in 2008 and I like to go ‘visit’ him every time I’m home and this time I took a little something with me.
Tower of London Poppies were planted in 2014 for the 100th anniversary of WWI. These 888,246 poppies were planted in the moat of the Tower of London to commemorate each British life that was lost during that war. My father served in the New Zealand Navy for over 30 years, including in WWII and the Korean War. I wanted to pay tribute to him, so I purchased one of the poppies which would be sent to me once the installation finished in November 2014.
Luckily my poppy was beautifully delivered to me in April which meant I was able to take it home with me and ‘show’ my dad. The poppy is now safely ensconced in my mother’s china cabinet for safe keeping but not before I took a couple of photos of it at my dad’s memorial plaque.
After visiting dad I decided to head into the city to find some autumn foliage. Autumn is my favourite time of year and Christchurch was giving me a gorgeous day so I had hoped for some amazing colours throughout the city. It’s been about four & half years since the earthquakes began in Christchurch so the city is still very much in transition with the rebuilding happening, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t beauty to be found.
I woke to pretty much the same weather as Friday – little cool but beautiful blue skies and very little wind. I had decided to go on a bit of a road trip out of Christchurch and headed over towards Akaroa. I didn’t get as far as Akaroa because I have a bit of a dodgy leg and driving too much can aggravate it a little so I had to be careful. I got as far as Little River, which is about an hours drive from Christchurch and about 30 minutes around a very windy road from Akaroa.
First though, a pit stop to visit one of my favourite places in Canterbury – Tai Tapu. I first discovered this cute little place many years ago as a teenager. I often visit when I’m in Christchurch as it’s only about 40 minutes from the city and one of the most peaceful places I know of. A beautiful stone church and library are just over a little wooden footbridge from the rest area.
Just on the other side of the Little River township is a great spot for photos and I may have gone overboard on them just a little, but it really is pretty perfect.
After a photo session with nature, I headed to a rest stop area on the shores of Lake Forsyth that I had noticed coming into Little River for a spot of lunch. I had a bit of ‘dinner and a show’ when three people turned up to take photos of themselves wearing backpacks, their dog racing around chasing ducks and what I think was a prison or community service clean up crew roaming around.
After lunch I headed back to my mum’s place. On the way I decided to go down Marine Parade in New Brighton and came across kite flying on New Brighton Beach.
My last day. After waking to overcast skies I had a quick breakfast, said goodbye to my mum, dropped in to see my gorgeous nieces before heading into the city to go and see SPECTRUM Street Art exhibition at the YMCA. It’s on till the 10th May 2015 so if you’re in the city and have a spare 30 minutes I recommend heading along.
I’ve always been fascinated by street art – you know the good stuff, not the random tagging people do. When I was in Melbourne over Christmas, a real highlight was visiting Hosier Lane to see the amazing street art there. So when I found out about SPECTRUM, I knew that I had to go… and I was not disappointed. Photos do not do this exhibit justice! There were a number of large rooms set up with all different types of artwork – these are just some of them.
It was time to leave – sad face – so I headed to the airport, dropped off the car, checked in for my flight, had a bite to eat and then headed through Immigration to the departure lounge. I had hoped that the overcast skies of the morning had dissipated so that I would have clear skies for flying over the South Island, because lets face it, it’s a pretty stunning sight.
The cloud seemed to come and go but I needn’t have worried because once we got up in the air, the view was amazing. Little tip, if flying to Australia from Christchurch during the day, sit on the left side of the plane in a window seat, because you will have an amazing view if there is no cloud. FYI, I love photos from the plane window.
Going home never disappoints me, even it there is horrible weather it’s ok because I am home. Leaving is always hard and even if I do like getting back to my own little part of the world where all my stuff is, I miss Chch a lot. I miss my mum heaps and of course my family and friends there. Luckily I don’t live too far away and a quick weekend trip can be all I need to sustain me for a wee while.