We had a slow get up this morning. Much as we loved the camper it was nice to sleep in a king size bed. We had tea in bed and took our time. Last evening a nice chap knocked on our door and presented us with a complimentary bottle of wine and some chockies. They will get some attention later.
Today was about re-charging the batteries before we head for Oz tomorrow. Jill had done her research as was taking us on a lazy walking tour of the city. Christchurch is home to just over 300,000 people. It is very compact. It is often described as being 'more English than England'.
As we left the hotel and headed across Hagley park for the city we saw why. A large park with a lake, playing fields, rose gardens,croquet lawns and tennis courts.
Our walk took us to all parts of the city. There are very modern areas, but also parts dating back to the 1800's. We were taken aback by how much had been damaged by the recent earthquake here. It was mostly the older buildings but big areas are fenced off and businesses are closed due to structural damage. On top of this the local council have decided to increase the size of the tram system. Both things together have left parts of the city looking like a bomb site. Our cab driver said, you can rely on our council to do what an earthquake couldn't !!
The street names are very English. Oxford Terrace, Hereford St and so on. The river Avon zig zags through the city. A tranquil walk alongside the banks shaded by willow trees. Small bridges are dotted along it and young men in blazers and straw boaters take tourists on a punt ride. You could easily be in Oxford.
We ate our lunch by the river, basking in the sunshine (sorry about that!!).
After lunch we had a local brew in the Bard of Avon pub. Very English inside. Shame some of our own haven't stayed that way.
As the day drew on we headed back towards our hotel. It sits on the opposite side of Hagley park from the city. It has some lovely features including fountains, ponds and the Heritage Rose garden. A secluded area chocked full of huge rose bushes.
We are now sat in the rose garden of the hotel enjoying afternoon tea and writing our blogs. Tomorrow it's on the move again flying out for a week in Sydney.