Sunday, November 21, 2010

Post the First

Monday 22nd November, 2010

6.16pm, GMT+13


My esteemed readers - the very first entry of this travelogue comes to you from inside the old Christchurch jail. No, I have not been arrested so soon after my arrival, but such a dramatic opening the Jailhouse Hostel implies! There is certainly something about the architecture of a penitentiary which lends itself so well to a youth hostel. The cells make perfect rooms and dorms, the long, wide corridors are perfect for socialising, and the tiny windows are kind of funky. And indeed, the Jailhouse is not unique, there being another jail-turned-hostel in Ljubljana, Slovenia (which also doubles as an art gallery).

But, to New Zealand I have come, and thus, I find myself in Jail, just south of Hagley Park, a lovely 20min stroll/stumble-with-a-backpack from the city, through a park, over the Avon River (dodge the punters), past some train lines, and finally to Addington. This is the first stop on my curious adventures, where I promise that tales of hilarity will outweigh the banal, the people I meet will be caricatured, there will be not one photo of food (except perhaps exceptional coffee), and the stories will be greatly exaggerated for comic effect. Maybe.

So far I have spent just more than 4 hours in the land of white clouds, sheep, and ridiculous hobbit jokes, and as such have yet to form an opinion. However, on the flight across the country, the sweeping hills and ice-capped mountains, undulating rivers and worn out gorges did a pleasantly good job of taking my breath away. It's no exaggeration when they (whoever they are) say that New Zealand is very green. I will keep you updated on what I think of here, perhaps tomorrow when I've had a good look around the city (the somewhat forcibly named Cultural Precinct). And so, before I head out to find a good vegetarian restaurant in Christchurch proper, I bid you farewell, until next time (when, with any luck, the story will be told in mostly pictures).

The Curious Traveller.


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