FJORDLAND & SOUTHERN PACIFIC EXPERIENCE
Scene Location :
* Christchurch City Center - Canterbury Museum, Rugby Fan Zone at Hagley Park
* Westfield Mall
* Antarctic Center
* Christchurch International Airport
Total Distance :
* Fuel - NZD30
* Day - Cloudy and Heartbreaking
* Driver : Shahrul
* Map Reader & Photographer : Biqque & Shahrul
* Extra : Bunga warna-warni, Bangunan runtuh, Jalan retak, Akak sedih kat Museum, Geng pakcik makcik terer naik mini bus siap pegi Franz Josef
Christchurch City Center : When We Cried Out Loud
It was a bit cloudy in Christchurch.
We woke up and got ourselves cleaned, re-heated the express Thai sweet chilli rice for breakfast, and cooked mix vege and spaghetti, to be packed for lunch and dinner.
Finally, the day that we tried to avoid, has come. It was the day where we must leave NZ, the land of freedom, worry-free, peaceful…back to the boleh-land, with heavy traffic and heavy rain…owh man…why…WHY???
Why must we leave all these excitements and back to boredom?
Home sweet home? Teeeeeeetttt!
Let’s explore the city center. Maybe by looking at the aftershock, we might reconsider to prolong the stay or not…
Bags were transferred to the backseat. Key was handed in to the reception. Off we went to the largest city in South Island, Otautahi, a.k.a city in a garden.
From Blenheim Road, we drove towards the city, turned to Montreal Street, and looked for a car park. All slots nearer to the city center were fully occupied by locals, since it was weekday. We had to park in front of someone’s house at Kilmore Street, opposite the Rugby Fan Zone, that they built on Hagley Park, purposely for the World Cup season.
“To the right, cross the park…” I opened the map, figured out the way to Cathedral Square.
Since the city area was walking distance, we had no issue to find the place. The street names were accurate enough to lead us to the square…
“Where’s the tram? I don’t see any tram…?” I looked left and right, when the rail was just right under my foot.
“Entah…awal lagi ke pun…?”
We continued walking and stopped at one basement parking entrance, where the pole that holding the ceiling was totally bended. “Owh mannnn…this is creepy!”
Soon we noticed that every building along the road has date stamped on the window. It was 26th Feb and 27th Feb. I presumed the day the earthquake hit Christchurch.
“Look at the walkway! Huiyooooo jalan ternaik tu!” Ok, I know that we can see the same cracks back in our country but this was not due to korek tampal korek tampal issue. This was due to uneven land! And right before us, there was one building that almost felt down. It was beyond repairable, I guess.
Approaching Worchester Boulevard, our eyes were popped out with the surroundings. Red skittles were lined up on the road. Extreme danger signboards were hung at the access point. Steel walls were squaring the city. It was a restricted area where officers were working in their safety jacket.
And there was no sign of Cathedral, AT ALL. Not even its dome.
“Oh shiat…teruk gile…no wonder la they closed the tram. City pun tak leh masuk!”
We joined other tourist, walking side by side, encircling the Red Zone. Once in a while, we zoomed in to see what was inside the gate. I saw IBM in there. We stopped at Bridge of Remembrance, where it used to be the main entrance of the city center.
“Punting tu mesti bukak kan?” “Tapi mahal...lagipun takde benda dah boleh tengok pun...” We sighed.
At the bridge, there was a poem written by two girls, expressing their emotion on why Christchurch was built on a swamp. More dissatisfactions towards the government were expressed, where Cantabrians were forcing for the Red Zone to be opened. I know where they came from, but I believe people’s safety is to be concerned the most.
Again, we sighed.
Sighed for the inopportunity of riding the tram! Nasib baik sempat beli magnet kat tempat lain, sebab i-Site pun kat dalam tu jugak.
The scene was portrayed exactly like in a movie…Resident Evil. A ghost town that left unfilled. Full of cracked buildings yang bila-bila masa je akan runtuh abis rebah ke bumi. (Jangan la gempa masa aku kat sini…)
To chill up, we snapped those beautiful and colorful flowers in the flower bed. Konon nak test micro sambil ignore orang yang lalu-lalang, heran dok tengok kitorang yang kusyuk sampai mencangkung tepi jalan raya. Macam bunga plastik pun ada!
We then passed by one big building, something like art gallery. The main door was sealed, but the gift shop was opened. I asked a lady who was doing a cross stitch by the hallway, and she pointed us the direction to the shop. Unfortunately, they only sell artsy items, not touristy items.
The guy told us that there was an Art Center down the road, where souvenirs are put up for sale, but it was closed due to the earthquake. Same goes to souvenir shops around that area. Pendek kata, there was nothing left lah! Bengang aku…
Luckily the guy directed us to the Canterbury Museum at the Hagley Park. That will be our last hope.
So we walked towards the Art Center and while walking, we tried to chill up by posing at the banners of Black Boot Legends Gallery, and posing konon macam tahan tram laaaaaa…
We stopped for a short break at the Dyslexia center, to read some history and snap few photos of the statues, before we headed to the Museum.
From afar, we saw lots of info boards in front of the Museum. There was a Merry-Go-Round bus stop and double decker bus as well. Comel! Next to the Museum was a community college. Kemas jer bebudak ni pakai coat, pipi merah-merah sebab sejuk. Hahaha!
We entered the Museum and paid no fee. It was free admission and visitors were allowed to take pictures! Haaaaa tempat lain ada? We were welcomed by the officers who guided us to the main hall. The first thing that I saw was a horned lady in ruffled wool dress. A fashion victim maybe? (Serius! Aku baca memang dia tulis rallying for fashion victim! Hahaha!)
We were introduced by a family of Maori manikins experimenting how the Kiwi ancestors previously survived, living in huts and eating wild animals. Similar to other countries’ aboriginals, they were half naked and half coated, with curly hairs and darker skin tone. So yang putih-putih ni sume pendatang la ye. Kawin campor dengan English yang datang nak memerintah. Actually, Maori ni banyak yang tertindas sampai tergadai tanah, sian gak kat diorang sebab dulu-dulu banyak yang kena tipu. Ah malas nak cakap pasal history nih…
The next hall displayed the creativity of capturing the All Blacks moments, history, achievements, stars that were organized in creative collage, by various sports photographers.
At the other side of the hall, the scene suddenly changed to the 50’s era. A row of classic shops like barber shop, pawn shop, doll shop…“HOIH! TERKEJUT AKU! ADA PLAK MAKCIK NI!”
SCARY OK! NURSE PLAK TU! DAH LA AKU BARU JE KUAR DARI DOLL HOUSE ALA-ALA PATUNG OMPUTIH MATA KLIP POP, KLIP POP TU!
“Ha…ada beskal…” I waited for an Asian couple who was taking their sweet time, capturing each other.
Tergelak sorang mak omputih ni sebab anak dia pun nak tiru cara aku! Hahaha! Tapi mak dia tak kasi. Mak dia suruh naik kuda jer. I wanted to try the horse as well, but hubby said it’s only for children under 10 years old. Kang patah patung tu.
So I just played acting with the guy up there.
“Ayang…ada orang tengok you…” “Ok…that is not funny…macam real siut!”
“Dah jom…jom…” We finally reached the souvenir shop. We had a chat with the volunteer and she also expressed the same feeling where government didn’t do anything to speed up the recovery. But she was thankful that her family survived in the quake. She told that the government is delaying things coz they has no money to rebuild the city, so I consoled her by saying “You have a beautiful country and I pray for the prompt restoration.” Jangan buat church la, buat masjid, mesti tak runtuh :D
We then walked to the Botanic Gardens and cam-whoring with the flowers.
We ended the city tour by visiting the Rugby Fan Zone, entering the air-pressured dome.
Love the way they set the scenes, kan? From 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, Millennium, and Today.
Since we still have plenty of time before departed from Christchurch, we stopped for a while at Antarctic Center. Sampai dah mati kutu, baru kitorang masuk airport parking and parked the car, at the said lot, to ease the rental service to collect the car on the next morning.
In the car, we heated the spaghetti using the car heater :D Panas jugak la...hahaha! We cleaned up the car and re-arranged our luggage. Aku risau je tak lepas…tapi macam biasa, belakon kena real to show that bag tu tak berat mana pun.
We hid the key and left the car, walked towards the check-in counter. While queuing, we met a group of oldies who happened to complete their trip, with the allocated time like us. BUTTTTTTTT…THEY WENT TO FRANZ JOSEF ON THE FIRST DAY! Siap pegi Akaroa lagi.
HOW LA? HOW THEY DO IT? They were driving Mercedes mini bus, loaded with 9 old folks!
They must be driving alllllllllll the way without stopping...huh? Mesti tak banyak gambar ni. (Calming myself down.) Owh…they didn’t go to Nugget Point. (Pretty damn sure!)
We killed time by eating BBQ chips and lepak at the couch.
It was sad to leave NZ, I must say. The COLDNESS, the picturesque, the SNOW, the mountains, the waterfalls, the BLUE SKY, the GREEN GRASS, the cruise, the roads, the SHEEPS, the locals, the cabins, the buildings, the rugby fans, EVERYTHING…have been the BEST ROAD TRIP we ever had.