Christchurch was originally a Church of England settlement with the Cathedral at its center. Nicknamed the Garden City, it contains 79 acres of parks and gardens, about one-eighth of the total area of the city.
It's a very pretty city, with a cultured feel to it. There is a large Art Center, Art Gallery and a live theatre which was doing a production of Anything Goes while I was there. So I went along, and was really impressed. It was an excellent production and very entertaining.
I was particularly impressed by the trams, which run on a 25 minute circuit all through the day. You can buy a ticket which is good for 24 hours, get off and on and go around as many times as you like in that time. It stops at various points of interest, and the driver keeps up a running commentary while he's going around. It was a really fun way to get to know the city. The one above is a restaurant tram.
Trams were introduced to Christchurch in 1905, but were discontinued 50 years later. They were reintroduced in the 90's when they managed to collect together a few surviving trams and restore them to their former glory. They're all different, and all very interesting to ride around in, with their colourful outsides and insides of polished wood and brass. Above is the motorman on one of the trams doing his thing.
I found some trams resting in their shed. The one above is one tram with two carriages.
The river Avon runs through Christchurch, so of course you can go canoeing or rent a pedal boat, but the most relaxing option is to go for a punt, with someone else doing the punting of course.
Here's the booking office in the boat shed.
I spotted this pennyfarthing in the boatshed and asked if it was for rent, but the answer was no.
I followed the river and ended up in the Botanical Gardens and Hagley Park. There were some interesting looking trees in there.
Also, a bell for world peace that was made out of coins from every conceivable country. Notice the interesting tree in the background - you could almost use it as a model for a family tree chart.
The hydrangeas were simply amazing. Just look at all those colours.
The bumblebee on this one had a blue bottom from picking up pollen.
And of course, there was the duck family. Mrs. Duck and her quins! They were so tame, they let everyone get up close until an overexcited pair of little kids ran towards them and scared them off.
As you may have gathered, I really liked Christchurch.