Christchurch is located on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. It has a population of around 380,000 people.
|Spring has sprung!|
|Trees beginning to leaf out in the Botanic Gardens.|
The Avon River meanders through the city center with walking and cycling paths along its banks.
|The Avon River in Christchurch, NZ.|
In 2010 and 2011 there were a series of earthquakes and aftershocks that devastated parts of Christchurch, including the downtown core where 80 percent of the building were damaged or destroyed. Even today there are vast open spaces where buildings once stood. A memorial along the Avon River remembers the people who were killed or seriously injured in the February 2011 earthquake. Other just as poignant memorials are scattered elsewhere.
One of the city's iconic structures, Christchurch Cathedral, was badly damaged in the 2011 quake. It was so badly damaged the first thought was to demolish the old structure and build a new one. But this met with resistance. Just earlier this year it was decided to restore the Cathedral.
|Christchurch Cathedral to be restored over time.|
There are lots of new buildings going up in Christchurch. Just today a new state-of-the-art public library opened. A new convention center is due to open in 2020. The city is going through a renaissance and the future looks bright, from my humble perspective.
People who know me well know I love my coffee. I believe Christchurch has as many coffee shops per capita as Portland and Seattle. They're everywhere and they have great coffee.
|A cappuccino with just a hint of chocolate on top.|
I did make it outside the city. I took a gondola ride to the top of Mount Cavendish where I had great views of Christchurch and the Southern Alps to the north and Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula to the south.
|Looking over Christchurch and the Southern Alps.|
|Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula.|
I've had a great time in Christchurch and would recommend it to anyone who is planning a trip to New Zealand. Now it's time to head a little further south to the Land of Ice.