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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Punting on the Avon, Christchurch

Punting always makes me think of the Mary Poppins scene where they are deciding which chalk drawing to jump in to. Burt says "Punting on the Thames" and makes a gurgle, gurgle, pop sound.

It doesn't really sound like that, in case you were wondering.

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Wave to the crazy lady standing on the bridge!

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See, I'm not the only one snapping photos of random things.

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Christchurch is known as the garden city and it's full of the most amazing old trees.

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We chose to do the garden tour which is 30 minutes through the gorgeous gardens of the inner city.

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You share the water with the local ducks. Actually these are the Paradise Shelducks, a whole family of them. In the front is the mother, then father and trailing behind are all their quite grown babies.

It seems to be one of the few cases in nature where the female is more distinct/colorful/eye-catching than the male. Well, except for humans in which this is almost always the case. Right? Right. Just agree with me here.

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A tall Maori carving. To be honest there doesn't seem to be much of a Maori presence in the South Island. The detailing on the carving was really gorgeous.

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As we glided through the water we would catch glimpses of the historic buildings Christchurch is made of.

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You can just feel the history here.

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We passed under bridges and weeping willows.

On the sides of the bank there were occasional steps and ramps. When Christchurch was first established they would use this shallow river as a way to haul their goods. The land was too soft and the terrain to uneven to take their wares to the trading place in the middle of the city. Instead, horses pulled boats or barges up the waterway and stopped by the bank to be unloaded.

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The guides told us bits of information and answered any questions we might have. I could have stayed on this much longer than 30 minutes.

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After we took a walk through the gardens nearby and wondered what it would be like to live in an area with buildings like this. It made me want to go exploring back home.

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Its like a scene from a book.

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In this picture I am actually standing and looking straight forward. Everywhere you turned there were trees like this. Trees with great branches that reached the ground. Around the base of the trunk were wrought iron benches.

How wonderful would it be to sit and read a book here?

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We ended our walk at this local pub. It was so inviting we couldn't resist.

Are there old, historic buildings by you? Do you ever go visit them?


  1. I DO want to read a book under that tree! What a gorgeous tour through the garden.

  2. Oh so pretty and the first thing my eye was drawn to was the flowers!
    p.s I tried making lemon bars according to your recipe and they were super duper delicous...but I think the pan I used was too big, so they came out kind of thin. They were still good though :)

  3. What a gorgeous ride you had...the scenery is breath taking!! oh that pub reminds me of being in England, they have great food!!! ;)

  4. What an amazing looking city! The shot of the leaves that reach the ground just made my jaw drop & I love all the historical buildings - it all looks so magical!!

  5. Lovely!! That pub looks entirely inviting. I bet it's at its best with the fire going on a cold night. :)

    Crazy alert: Your title immediately put the tune for Tiptoe Through The Tulips in my head. WHY?!

  6. I want to be yooooouuuuuuuu!!!

  7. Oh, I would love to do something like this! Absolutely amazing. I too find it interesting that the human race is one of the few species where the females are obviously more good looking and eye catching than the males. Hmmm....that duck has it figured out.

  8. Those tree pictures make me want to a very good way, mind you.

  9. oooh! I was born in Oxford - seems like half our childhood pics are of us punting!

    I'm surrounded by lovely old buildings - mainly industrial. Our house is a in a terrace of buildings where families lived upstairs and the basement was used to weave on huge looms. It's over 200 years old. Our church building down the road was built in 1200ad-they've done it up a bit since then!

    Funny how you get used to it! xx

  10. Ah! Those were REAL flowers? Not silk or even paintings? We've been so gray around here today that I almost have forgotten that real flowers grow on the ground!
    Lovely warm post!

  11. Dawn,

    You know I was just thinking about this today after looking at some old episodes of California's Gold and realizing just how little of California I've actually seen. Time to get a little more adventurous.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  12. That looks like quite a romantic trip. It's beautiful!

  13. Love the boat trip and the tree. All I can think of is "The Secret Garden." I'm not sure why! Beautiful!

  14. So purty! Seriously I bet you've seen more of New Zealand than the people who live there. What an incredible honeymoon!!

  15. Sure, I sleep in one every night! : )

  16. It's a lovely picture of you both in the boat, smiley and sunny, but I think B's attire is slightly more colourful...


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