We saved a whole day to walk around in Christchurch CBD. In a strange way I was looking forward to this as I wanted to see how much has changed. Initial impressions told me a lot has… I was never familiar with Christchurch roads, which left me to rely on Google Maps a lot. Well Google Maps apparently doesn’t know anything about the Red Zone. No, I couldn’t just go straight on Colombo Street because there’s a big fence that says No Entry.
Like this… although this was taken from a different street.
A lot of streets have actually been cleared from the Red Zone now. Sure the buildings are still either unoccupied, or levelled. But at least you can walk through Cathedral Square again. I can now get pretty close to the remains of the Cathedral, which I probably couldn’t 1.5 years ago.
The 185 White Chairs felt especially poignant. They sat on a freshly mowed piece of lawn surrounded by gravel. Facing the Cardboard Cathedral which is undergoing construction, as if to say, that whatever happens, life goes on and we will still face what’s ahead of us.