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The death of Nelson Mandela is a great loss to humanity. He sought no revenge for his many years of unjust imprisonment after merely making a stand for what he believed. As president of South Africa he worked to unite a country divided by race and economics. We can be assured his passing after a long life has ensured the world is a better and fairer place.

I spent a day in the city last week following the trams with my camera. Pleasingly, the two trams (No.11 and the Birney No.15) were well patronized throughout the day. I got to chat with Paulus & Lou, the coffee makers in Cathedral Square. They were providing excellent coffee and snacks from their booth. They gained their expertise from many years of servicing coffee machines. I expect they learned a lot, as their street-side coffee is well up there with the best café fare.

I also chatted with George from the Swiss Café in Cathedral Junction. He was putting in the final touches in preparation for re-opening next week. His outdoor tables and colourful flower boxes look enticing.

I also heard of visitors arriving in Christchurch only to be seen wandering aimlessly amongst the noise and rubble of our recovering city. It got me thinking that visitors to Christchurch need to arrive with a plan: good advice for visiting any city I reckon.

There is no need to wander aimlessly here. A Welcome Aboard Grand Tour trip solves everything while in the company of one of their exceptional coach driver-guides. Visitors get to experience many Christchurch attractions along with finding out what happened here during the drastic seismic events three years ago and why the locals have been voted amongst the world’s most resilient. Rather than focusing on the negatives of the quakes, the tour instead highlights the positives and gives customers a chance to experience Christchurch attractions that are up and running again. It fills the day pleasantly and explores spots otherwise likely to be missed by many tourists. Feedback from satisfied tour-goers have definitely given the experience the thumbs-up.

 Bookings can be made at the Welcome Aboard office in Cathedral Junction (a stop on the heritage tram route) or customers can book online at www.grandtour.co.nz

Visitors with more time in the city can take the TranzAlpine train, which departs Christchurch daily for the town of Greymouth along one of the world’s best scenic rail journeys. The train can also be an excellent first leg for a tour of the South Island’s West Coast, venturing through glacier country and the adventure centres of Central Otago. Find out more at www.kiwirail.co.nz

It is time for Christchurch to sound a trumpet and announce the great things on offer here for visitors. Our city really is a fantastic place to visit.

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