Monday, 10 June 2013

Sunny Winter Days

Winter is finally upon us here in New Zealand, after what felt like an especially long and chilly Autumn. Over the last couple of weeks, we've put up with buckets of rain, rain and more rain. However, this weekend we were given a bit of a respite and enjoyed a couple of days of clear blue skies and heartening sunshine.

The previous weekend had been a bank holiday here and we'd intended on taking a trip up the newly re-opened Gondola near Sunmer (the cable cars were wrecked in the earthquakes and required major repairs in order to resume business as usual). But it wasn't to be as we were subjected to even more wet miserable weather. So when the sun showed it's face on Saturday, we took our chance and headed off to take in the view of the city and shore line from the peak of the Port Hills.

I've never had much of a head for heights so I was initially pretty nervous as the car made it's way up the steep incline. But I quite enjoyed the downward journey - apart from the occasional alarm as a gust of wind would rock the car from side to side. 

The after-effects of the earthquakes are still clear to see, as we travelled over the Summit Road which has been closed for the last 2.5 years, covered in fallen rocks and boulders. 

Sunday started off sunny and fine, but didn't stay warm for long. Nevertheless, we chose to brave the grey skies and imminent drizzle and head over to a great Gap Filler installation - The Pallet Pavilion. Designed by recent architecture graduates, the Pavilion was originally intended to be a temporary structure that would host a range of performances, events and community projects over the summer of 2012. However, due to its popularity, Gap Filler decided to try to raise enough funds to keep it running for another summer. This week, they achieved their £80k target, to the immense relief and pleasure of many of us city dwellers that have enjoyed a range of diverse and engaging events hosted at this unique venue.

The lovely Martine and Alex were cooking away at their portable pizza oven on Sunday afternoon and we enjoyed a scrumptious chili, potato and egg pizza whilst playing a game of snakes and ladders, sat on a stack of crates at a table made of - can you guess? Yes, pallets :)

In the evening, we took a trip down to my old haunt The Colombo mall to sup a cool beverage at the Belgian Beer Cafe before heading over to the newly opened Academy Gold Cinema to see The Great Gatsby. I've been wanting to pay the latter a visit ever since it opened, as it screens the best in art house and international films. It was a bit like stepping back in time, with the red and gold striped wall paper and cabinet of She Chocolat truffles. We thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere - it was a perfect setting for a screening of the cinematic adaptation of one of my favourite novels.

We felt more like tourists than locals this weekend, but it was nice to get out and enjoy some of the up and coming spots of Christchurch. It's hard when we speak to people who aren't from Christchurch to express the positive vibe that's here. All visitors seem to see is the rubble and vacant demolition sites. But there is so much more to the city. I can hear its heart beating and it's getting louder every day :)

To view all our pictures from the weekend, check out our Flickr

Ciao for now,

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