Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter "business" trip

This year's Easter for me down here was just about 2 paid days-off added to the regular weekend. No rabbits, eggs, beating girls or any other (more or less weird) easter tradition... 4 days off sounded perfect for getting out of the town and doing a small trip. With few colleagues we had a plan to go camping to Banks peninsula, but after heavy rain during Thursday and Friday the only access road there was flooded and unaccessibble.. So for Friday and Saturday I was stuck in Christchurch and on Sunday I went for a little exploration "business" trip down South to the mountains where I had an interview in one skiing resort (I'm trying to find a job in the mountains for the winter). The interview went quite good and I might get a job here, but nothing is definite yet and I need to wait few more weeks for the final decision..

Few pictures (first part from New Brighton, second part from the trip to Fairlie):
We had some carousels coming to New Brighton for Easter. Unfortunatelly not used too much at the time when I made the picture (Saturday morning). But luckily the weather got much better after that so the kids could have some fun. 

Run in the morning gloom

Sky is getting clearer, waves are breaking - all is good...

Lake Pukaki - lake with a view on Aoraki/Mt Cook (highest NZ mountain). However I could just picture the Mt Cook in my imagination as the clouds had no mercy with me and didn't want to show it.. So you can try to picture a massive (3700m) peak right in the middle of this picture as well... Or google it ;)
Lake Tekapo - another alpine  lake.. This time with better visibility

Autumn arrived  to New Zealand..  @ lake Tekapo
Chapel  at lake Tekapo
Sunset at the camp where I was sleeping the night before the interview (the interview was at 9AM on Easter Monday). The highest peak on the picture is Mt Dobson - the skiing resort where I might get a job is located here.

The next plans are to stay in Christchurch for 2 more weeks, try to save some more money and then proceed further South to see some more mountains before the winter comes and try to get a job for the winter season!   

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Christchurch: the post-apocalyptic city

Same old story: running out of money after some time on the roads -> need to find a job. This time we got into this situation close to Christchurch - 2nd biggest city in NZ, which was struck by massive earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. This caused that more than 1,000 buildings were destroyed or needed to be taken down after the earthquakes. 3 years after the tragedy, the city still looks very sad and destroyed, but there is massive rebuilding going on in order to bring the city back to life... That means a lot of work. Perfect situation for us to earn some money and give a hand by the rebuilding of Christchurch

Yesterday is history - street-art in the Christchurch city centre reflecting the hope and wishes for better days for this city...

The actual look of Christchurch city centre. It basically is a big construction site

Mother Nature probably thought that earthquakes are not enough for Christchurch (btw. Wikipedia says that there were 4,423 earthquakes of magnitude above 3.0 recorded between September 2010 and September 2012) as the city was flooded after heavy rain last month.

The Christchurch cathedral on the main square. I really like the elements like temporary installations and street-art trying to bring the demolished city centre into life (more of that below)

CHCH street-art

CHCH street-art

Container city - my most favorite part of the city. Shops cafes, banks, etc. in containers - bringing people to the demolished city centre. Very nice idea and execution as well.

Container city

We are currently staying out of the city in a suburb called New Brighton, which is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, so I can also get some surf (I went only once though as the waves are usually not good here. And the water is freeezing!). The view on the picture is from the public library where we go for free WIFI :) So I have this ocean view right now as I'm writing this post :)

And we managed to get involved in the rebuild of the city. We got a job on reconstruction of the University of Canterbury. 

The plan is to stay some time here and save some money and wait for the winter to move to the mountains for some skiing!