Earthquakes left a devastating mark on Christchurch. I’ve seen the documentary ‘When a city falls‘ and it sent chills down my spine. Not only because so many lives got lost and there was so much destruction, but also because people show resilience and are working hard to bounce back.
I remember the first time I was in Christchurch ten years ago. The city was busy and bustling and the Cathedral stood proudly on the square. Three years ago I visited Christchurch for the second time. Only a short visit, but long enough to feel the impact of destruction the earthquakes had caused. The city centre closed to the public, high fences all around, Cathedral Square was off limits. It felt grim. And yet, people were picking up their lives, running their businesses. A contrast and yet not. People are resilient, and devastating events like these can also bring out the best in people. The Cantabrians have surely proved that.
This time, the city sent out an incredibly positive vibe. ‘Tomorrow starts here’ a sign said, and even the word ‘Re:start’ as a name for the mall gives hope and a smile on my face. Re:start Mall, a gathering of shops housed in containers, colourfully painted and breathing a friendly atmosphere. After my visit to the mall and enjoying a yummy souvlaki from the Greek stand, I walked to Cathedral Square and saw the Chalice standing proud. That felt good. Sadly, the Cathedral’s in ruins, a harsh reminder. The Cathedral was beautiful, such a symbol for the city. I can only hope it will be rebuilt/restored.
To say this city was beaten down might be true, but the same cannot be said for the people. I didn’t have much time in Christchurch. Still, I’m happy that I had at least some time to explore and see the restart the city is making. As another sign said ‘Rebuilding for our future.’ I’m convinced Christchurch will land on its feet and come out stronger than ever.
Kia kaha, Christchurch!