Christchurch Travel Blog› entry 5 of 88 › view all entries
I made it to New Zealand - exhausted as I haven't slept - but made it none the less. I was pretty scared the weather was going to be really cold (it is winter here afterall) and loads of people I've been meeting have said the south island is "freezing". Seeing the snowcapped mountains as the flight passed over and hearing the pilot announce a temperature of only 2 degrees didn't really set my mind at ease. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I think some people are just wimps - they are obviously not used to Canadian winters. This afternoon I think I could have walked around in a t-shirt and it was very comfortable, like an early fall day at home.
Christchurch is a lovely city. Guidebooks say it is the most "British"of cities in New Zealand and I'd say that seems pretty accurate. The houses are so little and cute, just like houses in the UK. I'm staying at "Base Backpackers" hostel right in the center of the city. I don't think you could get a better location. It is right beside the big cathedral. I spent the day wandering around the city center. I explored in the cathedral and wandered around the main square. I had some fish and chips on a park bench with several sea gulls staring at me. I then caught the old city tram (from the early 1900s similar to what you see in San Fransisco). You can hop on and off the 11 different stops it takes you to. There was a little street market with food, jewellery, and buskers. The old buildings are nice and the drivers give little commentary along the way. There are lots of trendy little shops and cafes. It looks like quite the green city with tonnes of parks and gardens. I also made my way up the gondola about 15 minutes away from the city center. The views were amazing! There is a mix of mountains, coast and plains. I even saw a few sheep.
It doesn't take long to realize the Kiwis are absolutely fanatical about rugby and the All Blacks -it is everywhere! I really want to try to make a game in Auckland. Tomorrow I am starting the Kiwi Experience bright and early. If it's anything like the FeeJee Experience I think I'm in for a good time. Well it's off for a good night's sleep for me now. I really want to attach some pictures soon.
Thanks for all the messages, smiles and comments. Keep them coming!
Such a quick entry here, only have about 2 minutes left. The west coast of New Zealand is stunningly beautiful. It actually reminds me a bit of home with the mountains but then there is also the coastline and tropical rainforests. I've met a new friend on the Kiwi Experience, a girl from Cork Ireland. We have been having a great time. Tonight we are staying at a pub in the middle of nowhere and having a costume party - the theme is "P" so we are going as police officers.
I will update tomorrow from Franz Josef Glacier.
Sweet as (as all the Kiwis say)