Christchurch First Day / by Shaun O'Boyle

Stumbled around Christchurch today in a daze after arriving last night at about midnight local time. I have to say - flying sucks. At least when your doing 2 solid days it does. Grateful for the break in Sydney, that was excellent, but still. I'm all disoriented here, I'm used to using the sun as a reference point for what direction I'm going in, except the sun is to the north here, not the south. R0010319-1

Christchurch is a pretty amazing place. I hadn't realized how much damage the 2011 earthquake had done here, the entire city center is being rebuilt, and I mean there is construction everywhere. Mike & Vin - Hill should open a satellite office here, buildings are going up everywhere. The city center took the brunt of the quake, and there are still many buildings standing that shouldn't be, but most have been leveled and steel structures are rising everywhere.  I spent the day walking the city, and went to the botanical gardens behind the Canterbury Museum. I've been to botanical gardens before, but this is on a whole different level, an amazing place, and it's spring here, so everything is showing the first leaves and flowers.

It's a very quiet city, not a lot of bustle, or traffic. In fact when we arrived last night at midnight, I wondered if anyone was alive, there was zero traffic and no one out on the streets. It reminds me of New Orleans in some ways, a lot of residential neighborhoods rights in the city center. OK I'm off to grab a souvlaki at Dimitri's, supposed to be great. It's located in the Re: Start area, a shopping area made of shipping containers that was built after the quake, very cool and well done.

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