The wedding weekend in Christchurch was really great. We started off by leaving early on Friday morning, and knowing that the return flight was on Monday made it easier to relax and know there would be time for everything and being able to talk to people and also do activities.
We (the Finlays) all gathered in the Airport, and flew down to CHCH. It all went well, and with 10 people travelling around, it is important to adjust both expectations and subjecting yourself to the common will of the group. On previous trips, this often made me nervous and irritated because everything always takes so long, but this time it was awesome all the way. I just checked in at the beginning of the trip and then went with the flow. Aimee also helped me a lot in showing that we could go off separately every now and then, and then re-join the group later on. So, it is a bit like a fleet of ships or school of fish moving in a general direction, but individual members peeling off and re-joining
The highlight was of course the wedding, but a very close second was the whole backdrop of being in Christchurch and talking to the people involved in the earthquakes.
I was also quite intrigued by the Container City in the middle of Christchurch. I have always been interested in building with containers, and here was a small part of the city centre built from them. In this case I really hope that the Council leaves the city plan as it is and retains the area as it is, or at least similar. It might need some extra structural work to make it more permanent, and I think this can be done with only a little extra effort.
In my view, having a permanent container city in the middle of Christchurch means:
- History/Legacy: The containers obviously had a big part in the rebuilding efforts, so they serve as a perfect reminder artefact and a way to breath life into history
- Feeling: When I walked around the city, I got Berlin and Copenhagen vibes, and I have not had that anywhere else in NZ. It is a good feeling, and very well contained (pun intended) in the small area in the city. This will be an ideal spot to experiment with small spaces that can be swapped out and
- Creativity can be infused in the place, and one way of doing this can be to let young companies occupy the spaces and build a community of creative and entrepreneurial businesses in the area. A little bit like a melting pot of ideas and prototypes.
- New Business: It might also be an opportunity to build on the trend of converting containers for other purposes. I have thought that this is a good idea for a long time,
- USP: Christchurch has a unique opportunity to retain and remind us of the earthquakes, and I hope that the Container City will serve as a reminder in the years to come. Just like Napier is world famous for Art Deco, Christchurch can be famous for Containers. Just like Art Deco made Napier stand out in the Hawke's Bay, so will these containers stand out.
Here is a link to my Chch photos on Flickr.
The first time in NZ was really nice. We went straight down to BOP and settled in to a good routine in the Papamoa beach house:
Before the holiday really kicked off we had some great company as well.
The Fishes were down for Xmas, and it was really good to ave all the FInlay's gathered in the same area.
After the Fishes left, Hamish and Ida came down for New Years. To top it off, John, Ulrika and Bjorn came down to house sit for the Trasks. So, it was a repeat of the raw vegan New Years of last year. Good times.
After the holidays season, we continued the vacation routine.
It is a little hard to describe this any further, because we did not do very much apart from what was described above.
Aimee spent most of the days in the kitchen or on the beach, and when Aimee was in the kitchen, I was on the computer. Even so, I did not really manage to write too much in the Diary, but hopefully that will change :)
Here is a link to Flickr for those summer photos.
Coromandel is a peninsula on the North Island between Auckland and Tauranga.
It is beautiful; with steep forest covered hills and beautiful beaches. There are small villages scattered around the peninsula, and most of them are by the sea, so there are lots of places to stay over night. The main villages are probably:
- Whitianga (B)
- Pauanui (E)
- Whangamata (F)
||My favourite places in Coromandel are:
Cathedral Cove: About a 45 min walk from the parking lot, along a good track, is a spectacular beach with a cove the size of a house.
(C) on the map
Driving Creek Railway and Pottery: This is a very cool little place, tucked away in the bush. Originally, it was a pottery and brick making facility, and they had to build a rail way up into the valley in order to get clay and fire-wood down to the kiln.
(A) on the map
Whiritoa: This is a small village, and I am not sore they have any good accommodation since we stay with friends when we are there.
The main attraction is the beach, which is quite steep and it creates some interesting, dumping waves, which crash onto the beach with good force.
(G) on the map
Hahei, Hot Water beach: This is an interesting phenomenon. Just dig a little hole in the sand, and the water that comes out is warm like a hot tub. Funny feeling sitting in a puddle of hot water…
(D) on the map
Queenstown is the centre for actions sports of all kindsBungy jump was invented here by AJ Hackett.
Now the town has expanded to also offer Sky diving, River rafting, River surfing, River Jet boating, Zorbing etc etc.
It is also a beautiful place with mountains, lakes and rivers all around.
The night life is as active as the town due to many tourists and seasonal workers.