September 26, 2007


So a few more pics from around Christchurch. It's a beautiful city, I imagine this is what England would be like, but I really don't know I haven't been to England .....yet. It's a particularly flat city, and every second shop just about is a bike shop, though honestly, we didn't see that many people riding in the city. Its a low building city, no buildings more than say 20 storeys an they were all Hotels, and really the CBD was much smaller than Perth. I really was surprised, but I guess there city population is a quarter of ours. I was also really was amazed at how clean the streets were, there was never any rubbish around, and all the water in the river Avon was crystal clear. Apparntly Christchurch still has the cleanest water in the world, and I can vouch for that. So the first pic is the Remeberance Archway in the centre of the CBD. The second pic is of the Mountains, we went to Pan'n'Save, and this was the view. Still taken from the CBD, so you can see what I mean about a low, small city. And the last two are some instalation art that we saw at the Cultural Centre. New Zealand has so much Gothic Revival architecture, it was amazing, and I think there was an effort to maintain and preserve all their old buildings if they could which I really loved. So the Cultural Centre was set in the old Christchurch University, a truely amazing collection of buildings, all Gothic style, so beautiful.

Well I'll post more again tomorrow.



September 21, 2007

Let it snow........

Well Im back, safe and sound, full of fun and tales, and also apparently with a bit of a tan. Who'd of thought you could get a tan in the coldest place I have ever been in my entire life?

I will have to do pics and story a little bit at a time as we took nearly 1500 photo's while we were away, not all fabulous, alot of double chins in most actually, so Im busy sorting, deleting, and working out which ones to print as we speak.

Ok well Im going to start with the snow, my personal fave, could so move somewhere where it snowed all the time actually. So on day three of our trip, we booked a day trip to Mt Hutt, about an hour and a half out of Christchurch, to go skiing. I have been to the snow once before here in Australia, but Lawley had never even seen it so it was all very exciting, I think I was more excited for him, as I am soooo in love with snow. Our little minivan picked us up at about 7:30am and we travelled with some other daytrippers, who happened to also be from Perth, go figure. Couldn't have been a bus full of European travellers, no every one from Perth was on holiday in New Zealand. Anyway back to the story. We travelled to Darield, where we stopped at a ski hire shop and got fitted out in all our marshmellow man glory. Serioulsy when you have about four layers of clothes on you start to feel just a little bit like the white puffy man from Ghostbusters the movie, and rightly so, fall over and there is enough padding to break that fall, well at leasted I hoped!!!! So we travelled on a bit further until we came to the Mt Hutt Turn off, and I have to say, all the way I was mesmerised by the snow covered Mt caps, and honestly, I've been to Mts in Australia, but we actually have no clue as to what real Mts look like, these were real Mts and I was sooo excited. I strained to see the road leading up the Mt and to see the ski lodge, but it took me a little while to realize that I wasn't going to see them, this MT was way biger than my perception had me believe. So we started up the Mt Hutt road, when suddenly it turned from sealed road, to gravel track! Ok I was feeling relatively calm until the side of the hill turned into the cliff on the side of the MT, and the road was perched right on the edge!!!!. Lucky me, fraidy cat, scared of heights also happened to be on the side that looked straight down!!!! Well I got the sweats, had a little bit of a momentary panic, anf then took a deep breathe, and promised my self, the view was worth dying for!!! It really was, I have to say, but you now, add alittle bit of snow to the gravel track barley clinging to the edge of the MT, and I was in panic attack heaven. Despite my fear, It was an amazing ride up the Mt to the lodge, and I was glad and excited to be there, and about to go skiing for the very first time!!!

So we got all our ski passes and booted up, all fasinating, and were ready to ski!! None of the ski lifts were open , and all the experienced skiiers around were alittle bummed, but all us beginners, headed for the bunny slope to try and learn to stay on our feet. This was a little difficult as it was particularly windy that day. 100km winds were just blowing straight up the Mt and with every gust people were knocked to the floor. I am proud to say even amongst that, I never fell over once, bit proud I am. We were half way through our first ski lesson, which I have to add was really cool, I think I love skiing, well If I ever really get to do it, and the fact the instructer was a spunk did help. Anyway got to keep my focus, the Mt was closed half way through our first ski lesson. I was bummed, I was finally there, was finally going to do it, and we get shut down. We were offered to come back the following day, but as we were starting our driving leg of our trip we were unable too. Luckily for us, we were not charged for the skiing, just the trip to the Mt, which was very cool, and I will definalty be going back to the snow so time soon, to resume my ski adventure.

The next day we were driving to lake Tekapo, the highest lake above sea level, and over night there as a cold snap, so as we were making the three hour trip the sky got darker, the air got cooler, about 0-1 degree, and then we noticed cars coming the other way were covered in snow, what luck, more snow. When we arrived in Lake Tekapo, we found we had a room at the YHA that over looked the lake, beautiful, and we decided to go for a walk, we rugged, up, got all our things together, and in the time it took to walk from our room, and went through the front door, the heavens had opened and snow was falling. I snapped the most amazing pic of Lawley standing in it as the snow fell around us. More snow fell over night, and we had the most amazing views from our window and front door of our room/cabin.

I love snow, I really do, well enough from me today, will tell another tale soon.