Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Last Day in Christchurch and the Aftershocks.


We were up until well after 2:00 am last night after the earthquake so we slept in a bit this morning.  It has now been designated as a 7.6 and even some reports say a 7.8 quake.  I guess because it was 100 km away, we had no real damage in Christchurch.  Lucky us. Lucky Christchurch.

When we went outside today, it just seemed like a normal day.  People were just out doing their regular things.  I realized that there was more noise this morning from the construction crews who were working on the buildings from the 2011 quake.  There appeared to be no damage from last night’s quake.

I noticed these container boxes across a site.


Her is a close up of the sculpture that was in one of them.

Version 2

These randomly painted art walls are all over the city.  They were done to cheer up the people.


Today I got to photograph the Bridge of Remembrance.  It was done in memory of the people who fought during WWI.


Jan and I then went to the information center again.  We discovered that there was going to be a walking tour of the city at 1:00.  We purchased tickets for the tour and for visiting the Quake City Exhibition after the tour.

We had some time before the tour so we went to see the  Christchurch Art Gallery  (Te Puna o Waiwhetu) that we saw the first day. Miraculously this beautiful glass building survived the 2011 quakes.  But they discovered that it needed to be retrofitted.  On the right side of the building are the words, “Everything is going to be okay.”


Since earthquake of February 2001, the art gallery operated as an emergency HQ for Civil Defense, provided temporary accommodation for Christchurch City Council staff, and underwent an intensive program of ground and building repairs. Following seismic strengthening and retrospective base-isolation, it’s now one of the safest and most earthquake-resilient galleries in the world.

The jazzy light fixtures made from chairs was wonderful.


Here is a close-up.


I only took a couple of photos of the art work displayed.  This sculpture made from mechanical pencil lead was amazing.  I think it was called, “Above the Lines.” Here is a close up of a small portion of it.


I found this steer sculpture interesting.  It is made from tin cans of corn beef.


There were some wonderful water-color paintings. I loved the view of the building from the inside looking out.


There were 9 people on our walking tour.  The tour began at 1:00.  At about 1:30 Jan noticed that she was feeling another tremor.  We all stopped to feel it.  Some of the people talked a lot during the tour and lagged behind so that they even got lost and we had to wait to find them which was a bit frustrating.

Here are just a few of highlights of the tour.

This sculpture honors the women in New Zealand getting the right to vote.


On September 19, 1893 New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to recognize this freedom for all women.

On just a silly note, we passed this wizard on the street.  Right after I took a photo of him, our tour guide told us that he is a college graduate and that he  goes around the streets and makes provocative remarks about women.


The elevator shaft in this building collapsed in the 2011 quake.  All of the people had to get out by rappelling (It is called abselling) down the side of the building.


We learned about the people who came on the first 4 boats from England in 1850 and landed in Lyttelton Harbour.  She told us stories about some of them.

Jan and I had to leave the tour a bit early because we almost didn’t have enough time to visit the Quake City Exhibition.  Given that we were in the earthquake last night, it was even more interesting.  There was a movie with interviews of people who survived the 2011 quake.  Their stories brought tears to my eyes.  We were disappointed that we  really didn’t have enough time see and read all of the exhibits.

After going back to the Quest for tea and a snack we went out again. When we stopped in the lobby to pay for our room, Jan noticed that we were experiencing more tremors.

We passed these two sculptures.




Passing Time

Passing Time

Passing Time is twisting boxes depicting each year between 1906 (marking the funding of CPT – Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology) and the completion of the sculpture in 2010.

We walked to what is called the “Cardboard Cathedral.”  It is a transitional Cathedral.


We would have liked to go inside, but we found a note on the door that said, “We apologies to our visitors but the cathedral is closed until it is checked by engineers because of the recent earthquake. We hope to make you welcome inside as soon as possible.”

We passed the CVC site.


The CTV Building was the headquarters of Canterbury Television (CTV) and also housed King’s Education language school, a medical clinic, Hair Consultants, Relationship Services, and a nursing school.

On February 22, 2001 the building collapsed as a result of a major earthquake. Tragically, 115 people who were in the building lost their lives. Plans are being developed for the future of this site. Those plans will reflect what happened here and respect those who were affected by the tragedy.

Opposite the site of the CTV building, 185 chairs of all shapes and sizes symbolize those who lost their lives as a result of the Canterbury earthquake on 22 February 2011. The individuality of each chair pays tribute to the uniqueness of each person represented.


Beside the installation there’s a quote by Anne Lamott:

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

We walked to the site of the Catholic Church.  Jan leaned from the tour guide this morning that the Catholics did not have a problem deciding about renovating the church.


Perhaps the containers on the side indicate that they are working on it.

This pretty much concluded our stay in Christchurch.  We stopped for a bite to eat at Indian Sumner CBD.  We liked it and wanted to give them more business.  We were the only ones there except for one man and a couple of guys that came in for take-out as we were leaving.  Funny how we ate at the same Italian place in Sydney 3 times for lunch and had Indian food 3 times for dinner in Christchurch.

Just a quick update on the earthquake. It is 1:15 am on the 15th.  As of 1:12 there have been about 162 aftershocks.  That is what we felt earlier today.  Some of them were stronger than 6.2.  Amazing.

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.

3 thoughts on “Last Day in Christchurch and the Aftershocks.

  1. Glad you’re safe and sound.
    Keep the faith!


  2. I was thinking about you when I heard about the earthquake. Glad you made it through OK. Really liked the quote by Ann Lamott since we just had a celebration of life for Yoi Stewart who died in June.


  3. So glad you and most everyone in Christchurch were spared! Your update is much appreciated! XO


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 )

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.