Friday, 2 January 2009

Arriving in Christchurch

We arrived in Christchurch yesterday and walked into town to see the 'city', well, what there is of one. Christchurch is a picturesque town, but hardly a bustling metropolis. We were pretty tired after only a few hours sleep the night before, so we grabbed some dinner and had an early night. before we crashed, however, a few phone calls organised a fantastic day for today. We went by shuttle bus to a small coastal village about 80km's away called Akaroa. A lot of the cruise boats depart from there, and there is a lot of wildlife in the bay. The shuttle stopped several times to allow us to photograph the dramatic scenery - steep hills that were once the walls of the volcano that is now the bay at Akaroa. We had some lovely fish and chips for lunch, and then went on a 2 hour nature cruise with Akaroa Dolphins. The cruise was fantastic. While we were driving in, the sky was quite overcast, but it had burned off by 12:45, when we left. Blue sky, sparkling water... what more could you ask for? Well, dolphins please, if you don't mind... We were lucky enough to see several small pods of the tiny, rare Hector's Dolphin throughout the afternoon. They rode the bow wave of the boat, and even did a few leaps in front of us. I think I even managed to catch a photo of one mid leap, (it was quite hard to anticipate when they would come to the surface, never mind when they would choose to jump). I'm not able to connect my portable hard drive to this computer, so I will add photos later. We also saw fur seals, and one lonely little blue penguin, and the scenery alone was worth the trip. On the way back to the bus meeting point we stopped at Andrew Firth's glass studio - frustratingly billed a blown glass, when it was actually lampwork, but some lovely work. I bought a beautiful pendant - a version of a Maori symbol often seen carved in Jade and Bone. Tomorrow we are having a quieter day in Christchurch - a local tour on a Segway (yes, we are doing to tour just so we can ride one!) and some other local sites.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The term Glassblowing or Blown glass covers both types of glassblowing, the specific names are 'offhand' (furnace work), and 'flamework' a.k.a 'lampwork' (using a bench burner). Calling flamework 'blown glass' is technically correct.