Monday 2nd June
Looking around Christchurch city centre was quite a harrowing experience for us. Even three years on since the earthquake, the city centre still somewhat resembles an abandoned ghost town. Half wrecked shells of buildings, construction and demolition sites and road works are everywhere you look. Of course we knew about the earthquake having seen it on the news in 2011 but actually being at the site of it and witnessing firsthand the damage to the city was actually very humbling. The afternoon that we visited was a public holiday at about 5 o’clock on a very pleasant, sunny day so the almost complete absence of people, cars and general activity was quite shocking.
What was nice to see though was the huge works of art and bits of colourful decoration that had been put in place by in areas that had been devastated by the earthquake. It seemed like the sudden bursts of bright colours and decorative art were meant as a positive response to all the ruin and we thought it showed the resilience of the community to still appreciate colour and art and beauty even after such a terrible event.
We’re sorry this post is a bit heavy on doom and gloom but we wanted to honestly portray the overwhelming sense that we felt whilst there.
Speak to you soon,
Ben and Jess.