‘The city and the Yokels…’

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, August 13, 2010

This morning we lazed about and got ourselves sorted whilst Jenny and Ioee ran an errand.  When Jenny came back at 12, we racd off to Christchurch, an hours drive away through the farmlands of Canterbury.  Back over the longest bridge too!  Jenny introduced me to an incredible shop called Valleygirl,  it was $15 for all the dresses! That’s 7.50! I’m quite glad I’m so restricted by my baggage weight, although HSBC bosses won’t be getting their bonuses this Christmas.  After shopping, we went to Christchurches Cathedral, it was so amazing.  Using all local materials including limestone from Castle Hill where we were yesterday and beams made from Remu.  The guide there was fantastic, he took us around and told us all the neat little details of the history and construction of the place.  We were lucky enough to come on a function day, so the all boys choir was practising.  They sounded incredible!  After listening to the choir, we headed back out into the main square to laugh at the digital countdown clock for the rugby world cup…. And then go to the prettiest Satrbucks I’ve ever seen!  Tastes good too.   We went to find the Canterbury shop to pick up some presents for the boys and then Jenny took us on to some old buildings she’d discovered a few weeks before.  She’s so funny, trying all these doors in what looked like barristers offices!  Great though.  I mean, a Brit would never discover that place, being too prudish to just try a door.  We walked into a hall which we later discovered to be the meeting place of lots of high councils in NZ.  I wish I’d taken a photo, but it felt too sacred. By now everywhere was pretty much closed, so we walked through the rain to the sweetest collection of buildings I’ve ever seen.  Very ‘Cambridge’ in appearance and the old ‘School’ of the city.  It was like walking through Hogwarts sometimes, with deep mahogany panelled walls drawing up all the light.  There is an observatory here which I’m really keen to go to now I know I’m not going crazy and that IS in fact the Milky way I’ve been seeing for the last few days, but alas it’s not open until 8:30 and Helen and I have bigger fish to fry in the form of Rakaia pub! We dashed back and got changed to go the pub.  Jenny joked that we should actually be dressing down to go. It’s a full-on farmer pub.  She’s offered me some overalls, but I decided I didn’t mid sticking out like a sore thumb! Ha, she wasn’t kidding either. It’s so strange.  The UK has such a pub-culture, which I didn’t actually realise until I came here.  Pubs are few and far between. Maybe one in a town?  Makes sense really.  They look like working men’s clubs, and may as well be as we were 2 of 5 girls in there!   We were introduced to jugs, like 1.5litres of beer for $4, TWO POUNDS! I love this place. Anyway, the night was very good, we met some interesting folk…
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