Chess after an Earthquake: Christchurch, New Zealand

This was the 29th post (Day 29) of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here.

30th July 2014 – Christchurch, New Zealand

Beyond the construction sites, and the debris lying around,

Beyond the grey walls, which withstood a calamity,
Beyond the trams, and the still pace at which they moved,
You realise that you still have a spring in the step, in this beautiful city.
Christchurch chess game

The giant chess set in a fast-recovering Christchurch.

The 2011 earthquake has left most of the important monuments in Christchurch, still under reconstruction. Last night, I had met a bunch of local folks over a house dinner, and one of whom was an Engineer on the reconstruction projects. She informed me that it would be years before the city was fully restored. You can’t take shortcuts with nature, she said.

Further Reading: Also worth checking out in South Island, is the stunning oriental bay in Wellington.

Yet, taking a walk around Christchurch is fun. The Avon river runs like a beautiful vein across the city centre, and has some amazing sceneries around it. I heard so much about the punting on the Avon, but for some reason, even that was shut down today.

But, the city council did manage to set up a project called ‘Transitional city’, with creative and fun projects around the city centre, with the intention of brightening up people’s lives. One of these was a giant chess board and pieces, which was placed right in front of the cathedral, which is still closed for renovation. Marvellous idea, and the placement couldn’t be better.

Play now. You’ve prayed enough. So, they seemed to say.

Click here for the previous day’s post. Or you can follow this project from Day 0, by clicking here

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Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. If you would like to use them for any commercial or non-commercial purposes, please contact for approval.



About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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