Sep 23, 2004
The next day we explored the city a little more. Christchurch has a very English feel, with stone buildings, a Victorian Gothic cathedral, quaint little bridges over the River Avon, and punting. We hired a punt to glide along the river beside some of the many parks and the botanic gardens. The punt chauffer was only too happy to let Rick and I see if we still had the knack from all our practice in England! The river was certainly calmer than the Cam; without the hordes of tourists we could relax and enjoy watching the ducks diving to the bottom of the crystal clear river.
After a leisurely morning opening presents with Mum, Dad and Rick, we set off to Sumner Beach to carry on the Christmas festivities in traditional Antipodean style. We were armed with disposable barbies, although I managed to leave behind the big green lipped mussels I had prepared. However, this was probably a good thing- the barbeques were on the weedy side, and a dozen scallops used up most of their heating power. We also had to fend off the cheeky opportunistic seagulls, who kept trying to make raids. We supplemented the scallops with Lindauer, crackers and cheese, topped off with rum and raisen ice cream from the dairy over the road (the closest thing to mince pies we could find at short notice). We strolled along the promenade until the drizzle started, which provided motivation to get back to the mussels.