Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our 8h Journey to Christchurch...

Well we were up relatively early on Sunday morning for our trek to Christchurch. This really is a large island and because of the mountainous terrain here there are few direct routes between cities, so our bus ride up to Christchurch was about 8.5 hours. We ended up booking with nakedbus [Yes, we and all of our trip mates were fully clothed!!] for our trip up (only NZD 29) and their bus was quite nice, clean, and we each had our own two seats. The trip took us through quite a few towns (the names of which allude me because I couldn't understand our driver, but were quite nice!) We had a nice lunch along the way at Lake Tekapo, it was a beautiful spot and mostly relaxing, except for the fact that some random place along the lake (not sure what it was) was blaring loud American music the entire time we were there!
Lake Tekapo, surrounded by mountains

Oh, and there were quite a few sheep to be seen along the way too!
So many sheep in this country!!

We arrived in Christchurch a little before 6pm and were ready to not sit for a while! We walked over to our new place and checked in, The Old Countryhouse (about 20 minutes walk from Cathedral Square in City Centre) After dropping off our stuff, we walked back into town and around downtown. There are some cute spots here, but since it was 7pm on a Sunday night it was mostly dead. Swiss says this place reminds him of Ann Arbor, MI, which I'll give him. We found a place called Cafe Valentino, a really nice Italian place for dinner. We each sampled a locally brewed beer and were tempted by the pasta menu since they make their own pasta in house fresh daily! I had the fresh penne with smoked chicken, bacon and roasted pumpkin in a garlic cream sauce and Swiss had the Venison ravioli in a red onion and mustard seed creme sauce. Both were delicious and very reasonably priced!

A nice walk back home...and while it was only 9pm we were both to bed. This morning (Monday morning) we walked into town
Cathedral Square in Christchurch
to grab breakfast...Swiss enjoyed his potato topped meat pie
Swiss's potato topped meat pie...
and then Swiss decided to provide some early morning entertainment for the locals!! :) Note that he not only misses the first shot (granted, somewhat challenging), but then manages to completely screw up the dunk, resulting in a third and final attempt. HAHA

Don't worry, he cleaned up after himself! Now we're off to explore Christchurch for the day, take the TransAlpine train to Greymouth early tomorrow morning and spend a few days on the west coast before heading up to Wellington and Auckland!


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