Well, our time in Australia is over, but our trip isn’t. From Sydney we hopped a plane for a three hour flight to New Zealand. We were warned that New Zealand is extremely strict on what you can and cannot bring into the country. No food of any kind is permitted. In fact, there are food sniffing dogs at the airport. One of our troupe had an apple in his pocket that he ate at the Sydney airport. The dog in NZ sniffed his pocket and he was asked about food. Luckily he had eaten it because it is an automatic fine of $300 if you are caught bring food into NZ.
As you can see, New Zealand is made up of a North and South island. We started in the south at Christchurch. Some of you may remember an earthquake that hie Christchurch in 2011, I believe. Well, the city is still recovering from it. On our way to the hotel we passed a church that had received severe structural damage. There is an ongoing argument by the people there as to whether it should be restored or torn down and rebuilt. The main proponent of rebuilding is a bishop who wants her name preserved for posterity as the one who had it rebuilt. You can see the damage in these pictures.
This sculpture was in the courtyard in front of the church. I just liked the looks of it. I am sure there is a story to it , but I don’t know what it is.
That evening we had an interesting dinner. Instead of eating as a group or being left on our own to find a place to eat our tour guide divided us into groups of 4 – 7 and arranged for us to eat with a local family in their home. This is the family Kathy and I , as well as four others, had the pleasure of dining with.
We had a traditional meal of lamb with all of the fixings. For dessert we had rhubarb pie made from rhubarb grown in the family’s back yard. It was a delicious meal and plenty of interesting conversation.
The next day we started off on a six hour bus trip which I will talk about next week. Before we left Christchurch we stopped here.
In case you are wondering why we stopped here it was because this is New Zealand’s tribute to 9/11. Those beams are from the World Trade Center.
Next week we travel south to Queenstown.