Botanical Gardens

We said goodbye to Oscar the Van this morning, dropped our bags at our hotel, Chateau in the Park, and walked back through the park to pick up the shuttle to the Gondola. It was an overcast day and so we didn't get a view from the top of the Gondola but we could see down into Lyttleton Harbour and it was interesting to learn that both Scott and Shackleton launched their expeditions from there. Once back in Christchurch we took the tram around the CBD and hopped off at the Re:Start Mall before going to the Quake City exhibition. I found the personal testimonies of local people very moving and felt one mother's pain as she walked into the centre to find her daughter at school after the 2011 quake happened, having experienced the liquefaction firsthand out in her suburb. She described meeting people walking out of the city covered in dust and fearing the worst when she was told that buildings had come down. She arrived at Hagley Park to find the children from her daughter's school playing games. We felt her relief.
Back at the hotel we have just enjoyed a very delicious evening meal and are now trying to squeeze a collection of fridge magnets in to a very full bag in preparation for flying out tomorrow morning! We recapped our adventures over dinner and agreed it has been the most wonderful holiday, we shall be sorry to leave New Zealand.

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