We just got dropped off at the airport. Our flight to Melbourne isn’t for 4 hours but it was the latest free shuttle from the airport. Temporary free wifi! Woot woot.
Anyway, we spent the last night and day in Christchurch. It has been completely devastated by the many earthquakes. They have had over 11,000 aftershocks since the first big one in September 2010, including 2 we felt last night. It’s very sad. I can tell how beautiful they city once was. Rob was here 5 years ago but it was the end of his trip and his camera memory cards were full so he didn’t take any pictures. Entire city blocks are condemned, mostly right in the heart of downtown. The rebuild will take a long time, but I’m sure the city will be absolutely gorgeous when they are done. It was eerie to walk around and only see construction crews demolishing buildings. It must be similar to what Ground Zero was like. We walked along the Avon river, which runs through the city. It’s very picturesque and you can almost pretend nothing is wrong. We also went through the massive botanical gardens. Since its mid winter most things were dormant but I bet it’s just lovely in the spring.
Overall, New Zealand was a wonderful wonderful trip for many reasons. Rob and I are already plotting our return (within the next 30 years). I highly recommend coming here.