Christchurch

The drive from Hokitika to Christchurch takes you through Arthur’s Pass.  This is another beautiful drive.  The road however had suffered a slide the previous week and was only open for 10 minutes at the top of each hour.  As luck would have it we just missed the open period so had to wait 50 minutes for the next opening.  I cannot think of a place in America where if a major road were closed for 50 minutes you would not have a huge backup of very angry drivers.  Here it was very pleasant with people getting out of their cars and talking and nowhere near as many cars as one might have anticipated.

Christchurch is another city which has hit hard by recent earthquakes.  In this case in 2010 and 2011 major earthquakes damaged many buildings.  You can still see buildings partially destroyed.  Driving downtown is a challenge because of all the detours.

We did take a gondola to get views of the city and surrounding area.  You could even do walks from there.  Another excursion was to the botanical garden.  It was quite busy and had very nice flowers but I have been spoiled by the Chicago Botanical Garden which is much nicer.