Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Land of the long white cloud - Part three

Christchurch is delightful - a small city with heaps of character. Yesterday I paid a visit to the Gallery which had an exhibition of Ricky Swallow watercolours, plus an interesting survey of their own collection including many works which have been in storage. There was a Warhol Chairman Mao print, but not nearly as nice as the one I know - Christchurch's has a dark blue face.

There is a tourist tram service which circles the city but I prefer to walk - trams are no novelty to me.

This morning I walked down to the Arts Centre which occupies the old premises of Canterbury University, elegant Victorian neo-Gothic stone buildings. Over the road are the Botanic Gardens and these are spectacular; there are many mature examples of European trees (some are huge) and shrubs as well as an excellent area of New Zealand native vegetation.

Next door is the Museum. There are many old-fashioned exhibits, but over all it's a very interesting collection including some wonderful displays of native birds in great dioramas. It brought back memories of the old Melbourne museum. There is also a rather nice cafe with views over the Botanic Gardens, where I had lunch.

On my way to the Arts Centre this morning I discovered a wonderful bookshop, Scorpio Books, a friendly old-fashioned bookshop with an amazing range of books and a nice laid-back atmosphere. Unfortunately (or fortunately) my bag is already full to bursting so I only bought one book.

Mustn't be late tonight as my flight leaves at 6:30 in the morning; I'll probably have to leave around 5:00. Wish me luck!

PS I'll post some pictures when I get home.

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