Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back to the Culture Precinct

In the Botanical Gardens

The iSite in Cathedral Square

Canterbury Museum

The Christchurch downtown core, between Cathedral Square and the Botanical Garden, is referred to as the Culture Precinct. I assume this is a local term for a neighborhood. I needed to get back to the Court Theatre in the Arts Centre to pick up some theatre tickets. This may have been a mistake as it let Mary Ann back into all the arts and crafts shops in the buildings of the former Canterbury College.

After our cappuccino break it was like an explosion when the lightning struck her. Wham, kazam, we were the owners of another major piece of art work by a local Christchurch artist. I do confess I may have aided and abetted the purchase. She handled me like a car salesman: which do you like best, object A or object B. I don’t recall being asked the yes or no question. While the artist saleslady (it was a co-op where all the participating artists have a day of work) was kindly wrapping object B, we went on to the Botanical Gardens.

The Botanical Gardens are a part of the larger huge Hagley Park System and it is impressive. We walked a portion of it and were amazed of the condition of the flowers in the middle of the local fall. The Avon River flows through the park and with the great weather we had today there was a lot of action on and around the river. The natives were enjoying sitting on the grass, having lunch, punting and paddling on the river and generally making a great day of it.

At the edge of the garden is the Canterbury Museum. It was a good museum showing the history of the area and some great artifacts. It also is the repository for a lot of the materials retrieved from the various expeditions to the Antarctic. By this time I was shopped, walked, and museumed out, so it was time for a nice lunch at the Gardeners Cottage restaurant on a corner of the Botanical Garden. I needed a nap after all this culture and shopping trauma.

Quirky Living Note: Being formerly trained as a tank unit commander, when in the U.S Army, a tank driving adventure really appeals to me. Should I sign up? The ultimate off-road driving experience. Bad day at the office? Let off some steam with the ultimate tank driving adventure ‘tanks for everything’- the only place in New Zealand where you actually get to drive a 52 ton battle tank! They’ve got a range of other wild and wonderful military vehicles you can take for a spin on their custom off-road track.

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