Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Christchurch 2nd Day: Earthquake11/13/16


We had an easy, slow start this morning.  Slept until almost 8:00.  We had to deal with our car rental for the 15th and ran into a problem with trying to cancel one booking and get another.  Oh well, everything will work out.

We walked to the information center to find out about buses and things to do.  On the way we passed some restaurants.  I thought the name of this one was funny.


We stopped for a short walk at Christ College and I took a photo of this sculpture.


The visitor center is right next to the Botanic Gardens so, after we got the information about the buses, we decided to take a walk around the gardens.  This lovely, large park has many trees, plants, and ponds; and the Avon River runs right through the park.

Here are some of the photos I took in the park.

Purple Birch

Purple Birch


Red Horse Chestnut

Red Horse Chestnut


Red Horse Chestnut Flower

Red Horse Chestnut Flower


Giant Sequoia

Giant Sequoia

I was surprised to see how much ivy was allowed to grow up the Sequoia


Lawson Cyprus

Lawson Cyprus

I don’t know what kind of tree this is but it was so expansive and beautiful.


We stopped in the visitor’s center and Jan had coffee and a scone with cream that she shared with me.

Then we headed off to the bus.  On the way to the bus we saw the Re:Start Container Shopping Mall.  It is a is a temporary mall built from shipping containers.  It was built in response to the February 22, 2011 earthquake which destroyed most of the building in the City Mall.  Here are some photos from the mall.



These girls were sitting by one of the sculptures in the mall and singing because they were trying to make money for a recording studio.


I also liked these sculptures, The woman depicts somebody looking through her blinds to see what is happening outside during the quake.


This person is feeding the cats who have been abandoned after the earthquake.


This one depicts a man mowing people’s lawns to help prevent looting when they are away from their homes.15-lawn-mower-sculpture


What a fantastic idea – shipping containers as stores.  Jan talks about wanting to make a house out of shipping containers.  Wouldn’t it be a great idea to use shipping containers as a solution for some of our homeless people.  Just saying….

After exploring the mall, getting cash from the ATM, and buying a smoothie to get change for the bus, we headed off to the bus mall which must have been constructed after the earthquake.  I didn’t count the number of bus routes, but there sure were a lot of them.


The Purple Bus to Sumner was just getting ready to leave and we were lucky to catch it so we didn’t have to wait for 30 minutes.

When we arrived in Sumner we discovered the Sunday Market was set up.


We enjoyed walking around the market where many of the things were made locally.  One woman had a coffee shop set up from the back of her car.

Version 2

There is a rock at the edge of the town called the Tuatara Cave Rock.


You can see the cliffs at the end of the beach.


We walked along the esplanade and watched some of the swimmers and boarders out in the water.  Then we decided to check out a bit more about the town.  We found a small shop and spoke with the woman who was working there.  I asked her about damage in Sumner during the 2011 earthquake.  She said it was extensive and that her home in Clifton (an adjacent area) had been totally destroyed.  It took years  before they could negotiate the reconstruction and she had to live in 2 different places before it could be done.

I also asked her why reconstruction on the Cathedral in Christchurch had not begun.  She told me that there was a disagreement between the Anglican Church officials and other people including city officials.  The church officials wanted to demolish the building and replace it with a new structure.  The case had gone to court. This is what I found out online after we got back to our room.

“While the judgements have mostly been in favour (catch the Australian spelling) of the church, no further demolition has occurred since the removal of the tower in early 2012. Government expressed its concern over the stalemate in mid-2015 and by September 2015 had appointed an independent negotiator. In late December 2015, the announcement was made that all parties had agreed with the negotiator’s report, which means that the Anglican church hierarchy will for the first time consider reinstatement of the building.”

After stopping for ice-cream cones, we walked along the rock walls on the cliff side of the town.  We were looking for a place to go walking in the hills.  There was fencing all along the cliff edge.  We walked a bit through a neighborhood and asked a man were we could get access to a trail to do a hike..  He was 86 years old and in charge of the “Trampers Group” in town.  He said that without poles we should not even attempt to go up into the hills.  So we walked back along the road.

It was had to believe that people still result their homes in these hills after the earthquake.


We walked back to the bus stop.  Jan noticed a cable car that was being used to take somebody up to the house at the top.


Just a few minutes after we boarded the bus, Jan discover that she had left her bag at the bus stop.  The bus driver let us off at the next bus stop so we could catch the bus going back into town.  But instead we tried to hitchhike back.  A very nice woman turned her car around and took us right back to Sumner.  The bag was still there and we waited again for the next bus.

From the bus we could see a row of containers along the side of the road between the two bus stops (Sumner and where the woman picked us up)  I couldn’t get a photo from the bus so this one is from the web.


We also saw lot of rubble from a collapsed wall near the containers.

When we got back to the room, Jan looked up some information about the earthquakes around Christ Church.  She discovered that there was an earthquake in that area on February 14, 2016 (Yes, just last February).  People were enjoying the day and swimming at the beach.

The quake – centered 13km east of the city at a depth of 14km – brought down cliffs, damaged houses, and caused widespread terror.   A couple of boys were riding along the road just outside of  Sumner when the quake stuck.  They were passing the containers and heard a massive bang on them.  This is what they were quoted as saying.

“It sounded like someone was running on top of it and all of a sudden this dust just swept straight across the road.

We looked up and saw all these rocks just coming down so we biked as fast as we can out of there and stopped at the end, looked back and the rest of the cliff at the other end of Sumner was coming down. ….

We were right at the start of the containers, it just went bang, bang, bang with all the rocks hitting the containers, if they weren’t there and we were riding right next to it, we would have been absolutely cleaned out for sure.”

Here are a couple of photos that I copied from the web of the February 2016 quake.



I guess hiking in those hills might not have been such a great idea – although people are still rebuilding their homes up there.

We just wanted to have a salad for dinner tonight.  Because it was Sunday not many places were open and we didn’t really want to walk too far.  We found another Indian restaurant tonight.  This one was called Mumbaiwala.  It was filled with people.  It has a much better location than the restaurant where we ate last night.  We sure felt badly for the owner of the Indian Sumner restaurant.  The food there was at least as good as tonight’s food.

On the way back to our room I took a couple of evening photos of sculptures.

This one was called “F….

Wow!!!! In the middle of writing this post, the whole room started shaking.  It was 12:02 in Christchurch.  Jan and I got under the desk.  The building shook for a long time – not just seconds.  We just had an earthquake.

We are okay.  Here is the scoop.

At 12:01 am I was writing my blog and felt the whole room shake. It was a 6.1 earthquake with the epicenter about 100 km from here in Christchurch.  Jan and I got under the desk and the building shook for what I was told was 1 minute 2 seconds.  Then we had a couple of after shocks.  At about 12:45 we were told to go outside.  We were given information and told that we are safe to go back into the building.  It is a newly renovated building.  I feel safe.  They said that if there was going to be a problem, we would see police and army.  About half way down the block there was a car with a flashing light on it blocking the street.  That is because the building across the street (which was behind fencing) was not safe and concrete actually fell off of it.  But no army has been sent here.
Crazy – hu?
Okay – safe enough to finish the blog for today.
Back to the last couple of photos of the sculptures.

This one is called “Flower Power.” and it acknowledges Christchurch as the Garden City of New Zealand. Regan Gentry, the person who created it, playfully described the making of the work as if a friendly giant had walked through the Garden City gathering light posts like flowers and tying them together with a car tyre.25-flower-power

This last one for today is called the “Chalice.”  Neil Dawson’s steel sculpture ‘Chalice’ was installed in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square in 2001 to mark the new millennium and the 150th anniversary of Canterbury’s foundation. The sculpture is 18 metres high, 2 metres in diameter at the bottom and 8.5 metres at the top. The metal is cut into shapes of native plants indigenous to the area. ‘Chalice’ survived the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011, despite the severe damage to the nearby Anglican cathedral.


That’s all for now.  It is 1;50 am in Christchurch.  We are trying to read the news on the computer.  New Zealand TV has nothing on about it.  Jan told me before that New Zealand TV was terrible and I believe her now.  Anybody reading this blog may hear more on your news than we do here.

Until tomorrow.  We are not sure what we will be doing but will write again tomorrow night.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

9 thoughts on “Christchurch 2nd Day: Earthquake11/13/16

  1. A truly different world…
    Glad you are safe and sound!


  2. A container mall. Ingenious. An earthquake. Wow. You must keep a log as you travel otherwise how do you remember all the names, etc? Great adventure.


  3. Ok from Earthquake?

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. Here we are told it was 7.8 earthquake– has there been another one? And huge tsunami?


  5. So glad you are OK. Yes, we did hear about the quake.


  6. Happy to hear you are ok. The news here says it was a 7.8 earthquake. hope you are leaving this area soon!

    Love, Tonya



  7. Glad you’re ok. Such beautiful art and scenery…seems like everywhere you go!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.