Monday, July 12, 2010

Catching up on Christchurch

Hey, so, I'm in Queenstown! I barely managed to say anything at all about Christchurch and I've already left. Unfortunately, that's how it's going to be for the next week or so as I make my way around the south island because I'll be on the move quite a bit.

So let's catch up on Christchurch (CCH), shall we? It shouldn't take much to cover my days there because I didn't do a whole lot. I kind of feel like just picking a city in NZ, hunkering down, and staying awhile. In fact, if I didn't know that I'd hate myself for doing it, I'd fly straight to Auckland and do just that. But the south island is pretty and nature-y and stuff like that, so I'm here for a little while at least. Anyway. . .

My first full day in CCH got off to a late start because I didn't wake up until almost 11am. I hadn't been sleeping well my last few days in Melbourne, so I guess my body was catching itself up. Then it took me awhile to get out of the house because I was trying to time my leaving in between rain showers. I was staying with couchsurfers near Lincoln University which meant I had about a 1km walk to the bus stop followed by a 40 minute ride into the city center. (Oops! Forgot to mention I was surfing. My hosts this time were Sean (Kiwi), Merf (British), and Christine (German)). Once into the city, I followed Sean's advice and hit up some of the more popular sightseeing destinations: CCH Cathedral, Canterbury Museum, and CCH Art Gallery. I wandered around a bit, too, taking a few pictures, even though it was cold. In the evening I met up with Sean so that he could help me experience some of the CCH nightlife. It was quite fun. We went to a lot of pubs that had heaps of character and then wrapped up the night with cheap and tasty falafel sandwiches.

Saturday I didn't leave the house. That's it. That about says it all. (And no, I wasn't hungover. I was just feeling lazy. It was cold outside and the fire inside was warm and cozy.) Oh, well, wait a minute. Merf and Christine had a bunch of friends over for brunch on Saturday and I was welcomed into the fold. Most everyone in the group were expats, but there was one Kiwi to balance things out. It was interesting to learn people's reasons for moving to a far-off country and the french toast and bacon was yummy, so it was a good time.

Sunday I almost didn't leave the house again. Then I came to my senses and realized how silly that would be. Around 1pm Merf and Christine went out to run errands and Sean was doing some work on his car (his "ute"), so I figured I might as well get out, too. I ended up just hanging out in a coffee shop, doing some writing and people watching. I thought I might meet up with a friend, but she never showed and I just assumed she didn't get my email. After a couple of hours, I met Sean at the bus station because we were going to go to a little town outside of CCH called Lyttelton. Guess who wandered over while we were waiting for the bus? None other than Marina! No, it wasn't totally coincidental, I'd told her I would be there at that time, but I was having my doubts that she'd show. Unfortunately, she couldn't join us for our trip to Lyttelton because she had other plans, but at least we got to see each other, however brief it was. We also forced Sean to take a commemorative picture, lol - five countries now! He probably felt a bit like Will did, listening to us blather on and then be all goofy waving goodbye from the bus, but oh well. There's not much to Lyttelton except a harbor, but it was pretty and I got to see another kitschy, character-y kind of bar, too.

Finally, today, Monday. The plan had been to wake up early, super early, like 5:30am early, to go into town with Sean to watch the World Cup final game between Spain and the Netherlands. I was scheduled to be on a bus at 8:30am, so it was the only way I'd be able to see most of the game. The waking up was painful, but I managed it. Everything was going according to plan. Then. . .the car wouldn't start. Grrr. The car is more than 20 years old and I think it was just too cold for it. Sean and I grudgingly conceded defeat and went back inside to watch the game there instead. I stayed as long as I possibly could before I had to catch the bus into town and Sean figured he'd give the car one more try. Damn thing started up right away, wouldn't it figure? We were in town early enough to pop into a place that was showing the game, but couldn't stay til the end (don't worry, I heard on the bus that Spain won. Yay, that's who I was rooting for!).

I made it onto the bus - with a hot coffee in hand (legally!) - and settled in for an eight hour trip south to Queenstown, where I am now. It was a lovely ride, but more on that later. . .


  1. Nice wrap-up. At least you got to watch the game there. Hopefully those folks are more into it than Americans. I wanted the Netherlands to win... but either team winning is awesome, since neither ever had before. Love ya!

  2. People were WAY into it. The game came on at 6:30am and the bar was completely packed. And the bus driver kept giving us updates. :-) Love ya back!

  3. two things:
    bacon - yuuuuum
    and your mention of a falafel sandwich gave me such a craving for one. arg! where am i going to find THAT in LINTHICUM??

  4. I shoulda figured Laura would be the one to pick up on the bacon! LOL. And girl, you can make your own falafel - try that!