Monday, February 26, 2007

I'll call this place home

Classes started Monday, I forgot, but I guess that's what I'm here for. I finished my day at 10 , so I decided to put my head down and go do the tourist thing in town and take a bunch of pictures for your viewing pleasure.
I should have a bike by next week so hopefully I'll be able to explore beyond the city on my own a little more, but I've really only just begun to get a handle on this place. If I had a nickel for everytime I've had to tell someone I'm from a one drag town after making some classic bumpkin mistake, I'd be getting a damn nice car next week not a bike.

Everyone takes these two pictures when they visit Christchurch, "chch" as the locals abbv. it
I've no idea what the sculpture's supposed to be, there's probably a plaque right next to it. Below is the cathedral. I snuck in without paying the admission fee the other day and went to the top of the bell tower, but didn't have my camera. Today I didn't feel like paying up, but the view from the top is fantastic.

This is the view at the end of Cashel St. one of the few cobble streets with no traffic. Notice the "sky scraper" in the corner. Most of chch's buildings are 3-4 stories, and it's handful of towers might make it 20. i suspect that has a lot to do with the earthquake threat.

Victoria Park, notice the cable car past the monument. They won't take you very far very fast and usually hold just as many walkers and canes as passengers.

Signs of color on Worcester Bvd. Most the city has a very modern feel to it, but aside from the art gallery below, Worcester is a step back into the cities roots, with a cobble street, homes converted into galleries shops and cafes, it has a much more down to earth feel then the busier Cathedral Square and downtown area

The Christchurch Art Gallery, I wish i could have taken pictures of some of the work inside

The Above three shots are taken in the old Canterbury Campus. Like Skidmore, Uni used to be right in the center of town, but had to move out to expand. The architecture is a classic example of what the founders of this city had in mind when they attempted to transplant a slice if Olde England in NZ. What i can't figure out, is why oh why did they move campus, haha. Now the area hold numerous cafes, galleries, craft shops, and lawns where you can find music and a farmers market on the weekends. There's also a chocolate shop nestles in a corner of the campus anyone visiting the city has to check out.

First signs of color on the edge of campus in Ilam

Right behind my apartment are the Ilam Gardens. The accommodations aren't exactly fantastic (see below), but the winding paths, giant old trees and exotic looking plants growing along the Avon River make it more than tolerable.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

0-70 in 36 hours

I just got my net set up yesterday, though I've been here for a little over a week now. It's been quite a change, and the past few days have been filled with as many challenges as amazing experiences. I'm all 'enroled' for classes starting on Monday, hopefully that will bring a little more structure, going to the beach or wandering through Christchurch sure gets tough! First day of rain today, so here are some pictures, mainly from the first two days of orientation.
By the way, I heard the east got a big dump right after I left, I just wanted to say two things along that line, first, I told you so, I was clearly holding ole mother nature back, second, while I'm sure all my snow carving compadres are shredd'n hard, it was zero in Burlington the day I left, its been 70 and cloudless in Christchurch all week, I can't say I miss the snow too much!

Sumner Beach

Narv and Megan

Devils Punchbowl Falls

Taken from Castle Hill in Arthur's Pass

A view of the boulders of Castle Hill, these were left here by receding glaciers

The namesake boulder of the area

That's Eunice, the program director below, just for a reference to the size of this place

This is a climber's paradise, Narv and Mira were at home

Jet boat spin, these things cruise at about 40mph on only a few inches of water, sometimes less

In the foot hills of the Southern Alps

A rainy view of the Canterbury Plaines

We stopped by a giant Sheep Auction on our way into the foot hills. it's no joke, this country is packed with livestock. At this auction alone there could have been 2000 sheep. The fields are full of cattle, ostriches, emus, and domesticized deer. New Zealand's human pop: is about 4.2 million, its sheep pop. is about 42 million

Narv snapped a few photos on our flight from Auckland to Christchurch, I passed out like a rock. We ended up getting out into much of the country we flew over in the next two days

Anything but lax in LAX, about to board a plane so big it could have fit a small island nation within it.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Here I go

This marks the start of my blog. This will hopefully also be the 'wordiest' post. For the most part you can expect to find only photos and the occasional caption. I hope to keep in touch at a more personal level instead of writing for everyone at once, so feel free to email me whenever you want.

The facts: Place of Departure: Burlington, Vermont
Date of Departure: February 13th Date of Arrival: February 15th (I’ll be flying right over Valentines Day, sorry, I can’t be yours)
Place of Arrival: Christchurch New Zealand (South Island, East Coast)
Time Difference: by the hour, only 8 behind, by the day, one ahead (it’s the dateline thing)