Posted by & filed under Travel Country: New Zealand.


An Italian friend of mine, Monica, living in Amsterdam, was here in Christchurch doing an intensive yoga course for a month. We decided to meet up in the city and have a catch up. It was great to be able to say that a month ago, we met up in Shape Café in Amsterdam and now we’re on the other side of the world meeting up in Christchurch.

Monica wanted to go to the i-site first to sort out a few things and afterwards we had a walk around the Botanical Gardens and then carried on to Hagley Park, where the Buskers Festival was on. The weather was lovely – about 20 degrees and it was a great day to sit outside or go to the park. It was a Saturday too, so the Buskers Festival was even busier than it was during the week. There were quite a few more “standing statues” (people dressed up as statues, who’d perform when money was thrown into their cap). We had a look around some of the stalls there and stayed for one or two of the acts. There were a couple of evening shows on too and we had a look at the programme to see what times the shows were on. The shows started at 7pm and went on in different venues until 10.30pm, each show lasting an hour. There were two tickets left for the performance at 8.30pm, so we took them and headed off to get something to eat.

Monica hadn’t seen the city centre area much, so we had a look around Hereford and Colombo Streets and the Re-Start shipping container shopping precinct. In the city centre, there weren’t so many cafes and restaurants open yet, due to damage caused by the earthquake in February but opposite the Arts Centre, we came across a lovely café called the Astro Bistro. It had a courtyard at the back, with tables and chairs set out, with a lovely soft couch that you could sink into. Just what we needed! They did food too and had a good choice of snacks and main meals. It was great to sit down and rest the legs and get out of the sun. I was burning again, even after having put on factor 30 sunscreen. The sun is very intense here, especially for my fair skin.

I had a chicken salad and Monica had a vegetable wrap and we shared two portions of fries. To accompany the food, we had a glass or two of wine. The wine was the equivalent of 6 euros, but it was a BIG glass of wine! We had a good chat here and time passed. Before we realized it, it was nearly 8pm. The show was starting at 8.30pm, so we had to scoot. It was on in the big inflatable dome in the park and when we got there, it was pretty full. The host came out on stage five minutes later and introduced the three comediennes. The first woman was from Hawaii, the second was Australian but living in NZ and the third was a Kiwi. They were all very good and I really enjoyed the show. We paid 10 NZD for each ticket and they went around at the end of the show with basins, asking for donations.