A ghost town and yet a hive of activity

christchurch-cathedral

Below are a few pictures I took when I was in Christchurch recently.

I could not believe what it was like walking around the city centre. Everywhere you looked you all you would see are signs of construction. If you looked upwards, you would see numerous cranes towering above. If you looked lower down you’d see an army of road cones on every intersection, sidewalk, traffic island…. just everywhere!

Any direction you turned you would be confronted with either the steel beam skeletons of new structures, or perhaps a new building neighbouring an empty, dust-covered one standing there still openly bearing the scars of the earthquake.

The other thing I couldn’t get over was the noise! At one point I stopped walking and took a video on my phone while turning 360 degrees. It showed all the sights I have mentioned and also captured the cacophony of construction sounds. Unbelievable!

I was in two minds about what I thought after walking around the city. On the one hand I couldn’t help but think that the atmosphere was quite eerie with all the empty and damaged buildings and streets. It makes it seem a little like a ghost town – especially as there weren’t huge numbers of people there – and yet at the same time it’s a hive of activity with all the building taking place.

On the other hand, seeing all the work which is going on to rebuild the city was quite phenomenal. I’ve never seen anything even remotely like it. You can see the things that have been done to try and inject hope and life into the place and I’d be really keen to see how the city looks in a few more years time as it’s an incredibly rare (even if expensive) opportunity to pretty much restart a city like this.

Pictures really won’t do justice to what it is actually like to explore the streets yourself, but here’s a few to at least give you a small taste of what it is like.

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Cranes and signs of construction in every direction you look.

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These bright and colourful sheepy things you’ll find dotted around the place.
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The cathedral.

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Christchurch cathedral

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Empty and coated in dust.
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A door slightly ajar to what was a Starbucks. Coffee mug eerily still just sitting there.

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Signs of innovation – the Re:Start container mall.

 

And then in complete contrast were sights like this….

Wondering amongst the daffodils in Hagley Park
Hagley Park.
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Like a magical land….

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Christchurch gardens

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It was warm in Christchurch this day, but not sure if I would have been keen as some people we saw who went swimming!
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New Brighton pier.

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This was the beginning of my South Island holiday. More pictures from the rest of the trip to come soon 🙂

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. zzzisle says:

    i visited the city many years ago and i think the cathederal square was very beautiful. thanks for sharing the pictures. i hope the cathederal square will be restored to its former beauty.

    https://zzzisle.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/christchurch-cathedral-square/

  2. tpm1lk says:

    what street/location is your second photo from?

    1. juliarachel says:

      I can’t remember exactly, but it would have been around the High Street/Hereford Street area somewhere.

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