My first day in Christchurch I didn’t really see much of the damage that was done during the big earthquake last year. I saw a few church spires taken down from their churches, and some shaken buildings, but generally I was too busy printing out my plane tickets – since those already printed got soaking wet and destroyed during my trekking up Franz Josef – buying a ticket out of Thailand, just to make sure they would allow me to depart from Australia (in the end I didn’t even need it, but I’d read loads of stories of people being denied to boar their plane from Sydney to Bangkok because they didn’t have a return ticket, so better safe then sorry), and other practicalities concerning my too soon departure from New Zealand.
My second day on the other hand, I walked a bit more around, and ended up “in” the old center of the city – in not being quite correct as that part of the city is completely closed down and fenced off. You could see full shops still with displays in their windows, as no one are allowed in. There are still tons of aftershocks (many a day, most of them really subtle, and I didn’t notice any), some quite powerful like the one in December, so the Christchurchers walk around on tiptoes.
But not far away from the closed off area, you’ve gotten a nice new hangout. Colorful boxes with cafes and all kind of shops that gives a promise that Christchurch will rise from the ashes.