trip to Christchurch - day 2
July 25, '04

(click on the first picture to get started; captions are at the bottom of each picture page)

We started our short exploration of Christchurch at Cathedral Square where they have a huge chess board. This cool sculpture was also in Cathedral Square
And I am assuming this must be the square's namesake I don't know, what with IBM and Starbucks this could be the US...
Karl and Tenley in front of a monument at one of the parks in this "garden city".  It really is a lovely place from what I saw of it. A street performer (although not juggling.. boo), with the historic trolley passing in the background.
We visited the Arts Centre, where they have all these tents set up selling arts and crafts of all kinds.  A whole bunch of bigger shops were inside the surrounding buildings.  I bought a funky winter accessory that they called a "polar poncho" which is made out of fleece and can turn into a scarf, a bonnet-type thing, and all sorts of kinds of hats... useful? you decide. A fountain in the Botanical Gardens, which sadly I didn't have time to really visit.  But I mention it for Elana's benefit.
This is an art gallery also in the center of town.  We didn't have time to go in... but what a building! Another fountain in a pedestrian-shopping-street kind of place.
So after our brief sightseeing visit to Christchurch, we set out on a bus to hike to the top of the peak you see on the left, called Castle Rock. Here we are hiking up the side of a valley.
Awesome.. looking back at the valley we hiked up through.  That is a spit outside of Christchurch; beyond, the ocean. We walked up into this cave...
... here I am just to prove it. :) Me, Tenley, and Karl just outside the cave.
There was also tons of cool geology to see along the way.  I had already learned enough in my intro Geo class to appreciate some of it.  I think these funny rocks are called "pillow lavas"... but don't quote me on that. At some point we abandoned the trail and trekked up through sheep pastures.  Check out the baby sheep!!
So yeah, the view just kept getting better... When we got to the ridge, we could see down to the other side, a place called Lyttelton Harbour.  What an amazing location for a port!  A tunnel actually runs through the ridge I am standing on, connecting Lyttelton with Christchurch.
Finally, after about 3 hrs of hiking, we made it to Castle Rock, and wow.  It was totally stunning: this huge slab of rock just juts straight up out of the hillside.  You can really only see the tip of it here... lower down there are rock faces that are apparently world famous for rock climbing. The hazy view of Christchurch from the top of Castle Rock.  We were probably on that winding road when I took the picture of this ridge earlier.
I basically scrambled out along the top of Castle Rock to the point at the end, and stood up there on top of the NZ world! It was so cool-looking, I couldn't stop taking pictures
This gives you a little better sense of the thing, although most of the rocking climbing was on the other side.  Wow, dude.