CANBERRA


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Published: October 28th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

So, here we are in the National Capital - Canberra. At least the temperatures are a bit better here - I've switched to summer PJs !!! We arrived on Saturday at the Canberra Lodge Caravan Park. As it happens, there is a Vintage Car Club rally & exhibition here this week and most of the cars & their owners are at this park!!! So I've been gob-smacked looking at them all. The oldest hasa steam-driven engine and was built in 1899 !!! On Wedneday the owners are all dressing in period costume for the official exhibition at the showground - should be a spectacle to watch them all leaving from here!!

We've been through the Old Parliament House, which was supposed to be a temporary housing for Parliament - it actually was used for 51 years until they built the new one. And the new one is just stunning !!! Garry wondered if we'd have to pay to go in there and I replied we'd better not - we've already paid - BIG TIME !!! There's imported marble EVERYWHERE and the whole thing (inside & out) is plush, plush, plush. Did you know that the flag flying on top is the size of a double-decker bus!! You have to pass through security checks when you enter (like at the airports) and there's Federal Police all around and on the roof. We took the guided tour which was excellent. Did you also know that 327 architects from all around the world put in a design for the building?

We've also been to the War Memorial/Museum. The underlying theme here is war and death and unbelievable hardship but it is a FANTASTIC place. Every Australian should make it their business to visit this place (you need about 5 hours!!!) and remember/realise why they don't speak German or Japanese!!!
There are some incredible displays and shows there and it's extremelt hard to comprehend the numbers of Aussies who have been killed in wars over the years. Such a terrible waste!!! Even worse is the reality of what man is capable of in the way of terror/abuse/inflicting misery on his fellow-man..... There is a tank on display just near the carpark (photo here) - it weighs 47.8 tonnes !!!! We went on the 'bridge' of HMAS Brisbane and 'experienced' a helicopter assault/drop-off in Vietnam (very real and noisy).

We've also been the Gold Creek Village which is about 12km from the city centre and lots of novely & specialty shops to browse in. Also here is "Cockington Green" which is a display of miniature houses, trains, buildings etc etc It is just delightful. Most of the displays are only about knee-high but incredibly detailed and the gardens and lawns are immaculate. They even have a miniature soccer game set out, polo, a miniature maze, windmills.... Each building is an exact replica of the actual real thing and each has a plaque telling you where that building is in the world. It is just FANTASTIC.

The "Canberra Centre" is THE BIGGEST shopping centre I have EVER seen. It takes up 3 city blocks and is two levels high!!! Myer, Target, DJs, KMart, BigW, Coles, and about 200 other shops!!

Tomorrow we're going to The Mint (where they make money) and the Deep Space Centre. Expecting to leave here on Friday heading for Gundagai and then Wagga. TTFN (ta ta for now).


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