Still reeling from our wedding, we arrived in Christchurch sometime around midnight, desperate for sleep and dinner. We ordered some room service wedges and promptly fell asleep. The next morning we had just a few hours to explore before we picked up our rental car and headed for the west coast.
Last time I was in Christchurch was pre-quake and it was devastating to see how badly the city is still affected three years on. Though the rebuild is underway, much of the city centre has been leveled. The beautiful university buildings I’d fallen in love with on my first trip are now propped up and barricaded. The art gallery is closed. Many of the buildings still standing are unsafe and empty.
On our return trip we would find lots of inspiring and creative art installations and businesses in the most unexpected places, but on that first morning it was windy, raining and absolutely bloody freezing. We found a lovely little bookshop in the Restart Mall where we stocked up on reading material, then made a beeline for a cafe.