We met a family in Thailand who were from Australia and we got chatting to a couple of them who were called Robyn and Lyn. Lyn was from Canberra and she kindly offered to put us up for a couple of nights. So whilst in Melbourne we gave her a ring and asked if was still ok to stay with her. We got the Greyhound bus from Melbourne and arrived in Canberra in the early evening - an hour late might I add! Lyn was there waiting for us and drove us back to her house. She had her niece Kyla staying with her who had just returned from living in London for a year teaching. So we got chatting and it turns out that she had been teaching at Minet Primary in Hayes and then Colham Manor until she left to come back to Oz! It really is a small world! That made us feel very at home talking about the U3 bus and Sainsburys.
Lyn kindly cooked us dinner - Lasagne - and then took us on "Lyn's Lightening Tour" of Canberra which was really interesting. We went up to Black mountain which is a good place to
see the city. Lyn knew a lot about Canberra and was reeling of lots of different facts and figures, very impressive! For a Capital of such a huge country it was very quiet and not what we expected it to be like but good to go there as it has the National Museums, Art Galleries, Library etc. We also had our first encounter of some Kangaroos in the wild which was cool, there were loads of them all eating the fresh grass - much to the annoyance of the locals! When it got dark Lyn took us up to the Telstar tower which revolved and you could see out to all the different suburbs, it looked very pretty lit up at night. She also drove us past Parliament House (both of them!), past the Library and round the lake that surrounded them. Canberra looks very nice at night and all seems very new. After this we went home and Han and I went to bed as it had been a long hot day and we were feeling pretty tired.
The following morning we got up and Lyn had suggested that we take a bus Trip which you can hop
on and off at any time at different points of interest. We caught a lift in to the city with Lyn, as thats where she works, and then made our way to the bus stop. The bus was named "The Explorer" it was pretty old and battered and had no air con - can you beleive it?!! Anyway after moaning about this for about five minutes we got on the bus (and we were the only ones on the bus). Thankfully we picked a few people up on the way. First stop was the War Memorial Museum and Han and I decided to jump off here and have a look around. It was a very nice museum and very interesting, would liked to have spent some more time there though as we didn't get to look around the whole place. Next stop was the High Court which I was really keen to go and see, so we jumped off and made our way up there, only to be greated by the tour guide who informed us that the court was shut for a couple of hours as all the windows on the outside had been smashed in an act of vandilism! We took a walk over to the National Art Gallery which was only about 100 yards away and had a look round there instead. Again, we didn't get a chance to look around the whole Gallery as we had to get back on the bus in forty minutes, but we saw some famous paintings and some others. Next stop was Parliament House. We went to the new one, they have two but one isn't used anymore, it was just built as a temporary one until the new house was built. We saw the Magna Carta which was very interesting as it all came about in Runnymede.
With our trip over, the guide took us around all of the different embassy's, although I can't say I saw much as I coudn't keep my eyes open on the bus! I was so tired - wasn't even like we had done much! Wouldn't have happened if the bus was air conditioned! We went and met Lyn back at her work and then we all went home together. We did some washing and then chilled out for the rest of the night. We were keeping updated on the news as cyclone Yassi was due to hit Queensland that night.
We woke in the morning to the news of the destruction to Queensland. I think it was then that we realised that we probably weren't going to be able to travel as far as Cairns due to the Greyhound buses being suspended, first for the floods and then now because of the cyclone. We went into the city again and went and did some shopping. We went to the swimming pool in the afternoon but got out just in time for the massive downpour. Hopped on the bus to the supermarket then headed home - in the rain might I add! That night we cooked ourselves a lovely meal. We watched some telly and relaxed as we had to catch our Greyhound bus to Sydney in the morning. We had arranged to stay with the other lady we met in Thailand - Robyn - as they have a house just forty minutes or so from the city centre.
As a capital city, we were really surprised at how new everything is! Its strange seeing a museum thatis pratically brand new but then I guess Australia isn't that old. Anyway we were glad we visited Canberra and it had lots of things that you could do for free which was great!
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