In the BBH hostel guide which shows the hostels that are members of BBH and gives them a rating, this hostel is rated at 83%. The ratings really do not make any sense, as Chester St Backpackers was not very clean, the bed sheets had strange stains and the showers looked like they had not been cleaned in a long time, the manager is not very friendly…we had vacated our room by 10am and she asked is to leave the hostel as it was 11am, there was a couple there from Singapore, she never said anything to them….O well……suppose she has some issues!
We left the hostel around 11:30 and walked to a restaurant called:
The Lotus Heart
Vegetarian Restaurant and Tea House
363 St Asaph Street
T: +64 3 377 2727
E: [email protected]
Sangeet had the bun-less burger which came with salad and fries, I had the sunflower burger with salad. Both dishes looked and tasted nice. By the way this restaurant also serves egg. I have found that if you say you are allergic to egg, the staff make sure the ingredients do not contain egg and are kept away from egg.
Afterwards, we had a wander around the city centre. We first came here 7 years ago, it was a very vibrant city with lots to do. Since the earthquake the city centre is very quiet, perhaps quiet is an understatement I should say dead. The only people around were tourists, the workmen and a few workers in the shops just a few hundred yards away from the ‘red zone’. The city looks like it has been hit by a bomb. It is very sad to see it this way, especially when we remember its vibrant past.
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Red Zone, Christchurch, New Zealand
After walking around the city centre we came across a small section of the city that was trading out of containers, it is quite amazing to see this, at last a bit of life in the city. We popped into a nice book store….it is amazing to see the shop owners taking charge, continuing with their business after a devasting earthquake.
We later walked through Hagley Park, a huge park, pretty amazing to see God’s creation that was able to withstand the earthquake, whilst man’s creation was destroyed. The park is amazing with a beautiful canal flowing through it. There is also a fantastic rosé garden,which we walked through. It was the perfect setting for a Bollywood film. So we decided to take the part!
On walking back to the hostel we passed the cathedral, it was very sad to see part of it crumbled.
We passed a cafe where Sangeet had a hot chocolate and I had a vegan chocolate cake.
The restaurant does meat and vegetarian dishes.
On returning to the car we drove to the hotel near the airport:
This hotel is owned by Indians and there was a feint curry smell in the room. I could not bring myself to call reception and say there is a curry smell in our room. Especially when it was occupied by two Indians!!