The new people joined us today (Wednesday). After their meeting with Burto we hit the road and went up the Sugarloaf hills which give a great view of Christchurch and the surrounding areas.
After this we went into Christchurch city centre. They had two big earthquakes, one in 2010 which weakened buildings and one in 2011 which brought them down. It was awful; 185 people were killed and many buildings and roads destroyed. The suburbs were also badly effected because they had been build on wetland. The first stop was at the temporary cathedral, where an artist has set up this in remembrance.
There are 185 chairs set up over 185 meters of grass. Each one is unique and represents a person who died in the earthquake. There is a sign up welcoming you to sit in them, reflect, pray, whatever you feel the need to do. The temporary cathedral is just across the road.
It’s still in the same state of destruction because they don’t know what to do with it. It’s so unsafe that to rebuild it would mean tearing it down first. Apparently there were people trapped in there that they could not get to.
We had lunch at the restart mall, which is where people have set up their businesses in shipping containers. It’s such a good idea and a really cool area to explore.
We were at Tekapo in time for dinner and this gorgeous sunset.