On my first visit, the earthquake-wrecked city casts an image of honourable resilience and beautiful strength. A scene of haunting beauty, this seemingly abandoned city centre filled me with sadness, as my new friend brought me around, talking about what used to be in place. Innovative artworks bring a certain solace and the Re:START mall assured me that the city and her people are doing their best to build a life better than before. Christchurch commands my deep respect and I am more than happy to give it.
Yet, it did not change my biased opinion of it being a mere gateway to “greener pastures”. Christchurch was my entrance to Akaora, a lovely sleepy “French” town (approximately 1hour+ driving time). It was also the starting point of my transalpine journey towards the West Coast.
My second visit was unintentional. An emergency at home required my urgent return. A mixture of relief and slight comfort enveloped me as I landed in Christchurch airport. I was a step closer to home. I spent less than 3 hours during transit in this hub. Technically speaking, I was not visiting. Christchurch was (still) a mere gateway to other destinations.
(Walking along Re:START, the innovative make-shift mall)
And then they say, “Third time’s the charm”.
Indeed, my impression was altered on my third and final visit (to date). What I failed to register during my first visit has finally struck me and this resilient city is more beautiful than ever. Life and hope pulse in the city, quietly but surely.
I have no doubt that I will return. And I look forward to my next visit.
Intrigued about this resilient city? Do you feel the same for it as I do? If you are intending to travel to Christchurch, I welcome you to join me on (next up!)”my dates with Christchurch” or leave a comment & share more on what you know about this beautiful city! 🙂