When Mona, myself and Juni woke around 12 we realized parents had been rather quiet as they left five hours earlier. We had a slow breakfast, chilled and in the end left the apartment after some last minute research around 14:30.
We started with a tram tour on some old line they kept running – it was shorter than expected but nice to get a feel for the city centre walking around. I showed Mona some of the areas I walked by yesterday and then we headed out to the botanic gardens.
Christchurch is a bit strange with some weird post-apocalyptic aura with broken buildings, the container-built centre, but not end of civilization style since there are lots of ongoing building projects – as well as tearing down old unsafe structures. New buildings are not allowed to be higher than 28 metres (with one or two special exceptions) – which makes an interesting skyline.
2011-02-22 23:50 the quake hit Christchurch with a registered 6.3 on the Richter scale. 70% of buildings in inner center was destroyed. 185 casualties, 1500-2000 wounded in a city of 360 000. About 10k people left that year after the quake, which made Christchurch drop from being the second biggest city to the third (Wellington is now second).
After being (semi) cultural we went home about the same time as my parents got back from their trip. They had had a great time, although going both back and forth the same day was potentially a bit overkill. They were kind enough to babysit Juni while Mona and I went to have Indian food at Corianders – which was really really good and to top it up had nice drinks. I also love the whole ‘no tip’ culture, there is no requests for tip, and most places don’t even allow you for providing tip and if you try they find it almost more of a hassle than gift so we simply paid prices that were put on price lists and the staff still were able to live on their wages – amazing concept which I would like to see conquer the rest of the world at earliest convenience.