My time in Christchurch is very focused, so fun 'n games have to take a back seat. That being said, there's still time to run every day, and one afternoon, my mate Sean takes me for a tour of the earthquake-ravaged CBD. I've kept in touch with Sean ever since living in Queenstown, and he and his wife Steph are awesomely gracious in letting me crash at their house in Chch.
Within minutes, we're running through Hagley Park, a gigantic green oasis in the middle of Christchurch. This is not a bad resource to have nearby. Minutes later, we're in the CBD, and evidence of the earthquakes is never more than a few steps away.
The last of two big quakes struck Chch in February of 2011, and it further destroyed what was left of many parts of the city hit hard by the first quake in September of 2010. Sadly, almost all of the awesome old architecture crumbled, but even more sad is that recovery and rebuilding has taken an inordinate amount of time.
A lot of the difficulty simply lies in finding the manpower needed to tear down condemned buildings (and neighborhoods). There's a lot more that plays into what it'll take to rebuild this city, but it's more than a rebuilding; it's a rebirth. More on that in another post.
Barely standing cathedral
Jogging through the CBD is pretty bizarre. It's largely devoid of any activity, and detritus is everywhere. Popping in and out of the Red Zone is even worse; it just feels eerie with no people, no activity, piles of rubble, and blocks of buildings waiting to be demolished. Total zombie apocalypse.
Most places, though, we're also not far away from signs of rebirth/recovery/rebuilding. It's a city in a unique phase of its life, even though its awesome old architecture is reduced to memory.
Evidence of search efforts
This run brings me to 100 miles for the week, a new record for this bag o' bones. Special thanks to Sean for shepherding me through the final few miles and taking me on a tour of the CBD. Cheerio!
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