# 40: Exploring Christchurch

So, despite the rain, I set about a tourist day in Christchurch, taking in the sights, the sounds, and the weather.

bot3.jpgI started with a walk around the botanical gardens, which were beautiful and peaceful. Even though it was raining it was wonderful to be able to take some time to myself, a mindful few minutes alone with just the plants and the ducks.

Getting out of the rain, I headed to the museum, which is free entry and has exhibits from Maori culture, to the European settlers, to Asian art, and Arctic exploration. I learnt that there was such a bird as a Moa, which was made extinct by the first settlers mainly because they had no fear of humans. It’s well worth a visit if you have a chance.

bot2.jpgFrom there, I took a stroll to the city centre (about 15 minute walk), stopping for a coffee en route. The city is still in such a poor state following the earthquake – lots of buildings stand derelict, and there is a lot of reconstruction work still going on. The shopping mall there is completely made of shipping containers.

I visited the ‘cardboard cathedral‘ – an impressive piece of architecture made from cardboard tubes.  I also visited the 185 Empty Chairs, a temporary art piece commemorating those who lost their lives in the 2011 earthquake. It was really moving to see this visual representation.

All of the above things where available to do for free, and provided me with a really interesting day out!

Rainy, but an interesting city break – 4 out of 5 stars 

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