New Zealand 2006: Day 10


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New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006: As we headed toward the Lyttelton harbour (gateway to Christchurch), the shipcam showed a clear, sunny day. Hooray!
We took the shuttle into the Christchurch city center, where we admired this Art Deco building. We'll show you more of the city center later.
But first, we bought a combination ticket for the Christchurch gondola and tram and hopped a bus to the gondola, which is approximately a 15-20 minute drive from the city center.
Here's Tom as we ascended the mountain.
At the top of the mountain, we were able to see the city of Christchurch in one direction, and the harbour town of Lyttelton in the other.
The Lyttelton harbour is really pretty from up here.
Tom spotted a familiar ship in the harbour, the MSC Sariska, who had followed us from Dunedin.
Here is the view looking to the right of Lyttelton.
Here is the view of the sea to the east of Christchurch.
After all that scenery, we needed to fortify ourselves with cake and Diet Coke in the cafe.
The cafe is at the end of the gondola building in this photo, with views over the city of Christchurch.
We loaded up on some souvenirs before making the trip back down the mountain.
Here's the aforementioned view of the city of Christchurch.
And here we are enjoying it.
The larger version of this photo better illustrates the mountain and gondola path.
This mileage chart at the base of the mountain includes the distance to the top of the mountain (on the sign pointing upward). You may be able to spot the moon peeking from behind the mountain in this shot.
We took a city bus back to the city center, and hopped on the Christchurch tram.
We weren't on for long, though, because we were tempted by the very next stop, which was the Arts Centre.
In the North quadrangle of the Arts Center is a bizarre sculpture. In our travel book, we saw a photo of this and weren't sure what we were seeing. An outline of a small building seems to hover in midair.
Perhaps this shot will make it clearer -- it is suspended on thin cables between buildings.
From there, we walked to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. We walked along the path and passed this pretty fountain.
As we walked, we remarked on the notable absence of flowers. Where is the garden, we wondered? When we made it to this map, we realized that all we had done was walk the length of the path on the bottom left of this map, just a tiny fraction of the size of the garden. We realized that this garden would require hours to explore, so we sadly bade farewell.
Instead, we hopped back on the tram and went to Victoria Square. Here, you can see two people taking a punt (boat) tour of the Avon River. It's not so much a river as a very shallow creek.
Here's a very cool Maori statue.
The park is lovely, and this photo includes a glimpse of the tram and a punt.
This is a statue of Captain Cook, who apparently named everything worth naming in New Zealand. Or, more accurately, renamed everything, since the Maori people had already named most things.
We returned to Cathedral square in the city center. Described as a giant ice cream cone by a certain Kiwi we know, here is a large sculpture in the square, pictured next to the kebab stand that provided our lunch.
This photo is for you, Jill.
There are clothing and craft vendors in the square as well, and shops all around the perimeter.
Here is the center of Cathedral Square.
Tom was kind enough to stand in line for a fried donut at this stand. You can see him patiently waiting through the glass.
This fellow was not so patient, and wanted food now. We did not oblige, but you can be certain that he did not go hungry.
The center features a giant chess set, available for use by the public during the day.
Finally, here is the Christchurch Cathedral, for which the square is named.
After a great day in Christchurch, we took the shuttle back to the ship, which was now docked at the fueling dock. Once onboard, we photographed the graffiti left by visiting ship crews from around the world.
Looking back toward Lyttelton, the gondola building is visible at the top of the left-most hill.
Debbie soaked up a few last-minute rays on deck before changing for dinner.
Our tablemate, Glenda, bought these candy mushrooms for us to try the day before. They were so funny we had to photograph them before devouring them. We love the fact that so many New Zealand lollies are made with marshmallow. These were really delicious, right down to the candy stems.
Our tablemates (or "our ladies" as we called them) were looking especially fine at dinner. From left to right are Lynnette, Joyce, and Glenda. Tom was a very lucky man with four ladies as dining partners each evening.

Day 11 >


New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

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