ACT - Canberra (9th/10th October 2008)

Published: October 12th 2008
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Canberra - Oz's capital city (not of choice).

So this week I actually left New South Wales and ventured by Greyhound Coach to Australia's Capital Territory - namely Canberra. As most of you will know Melbourne and Sydney squabbled for years over which city would be the capital city and in the end they thought what the 'eck lets just build a new one and Canberra is the product of this slightly weird approach........

I had read Bill Brysons Down Under before and his account of Canberra would make, well no one, want to visit...... But against his warnings, I felt that I should go and at least see it and the 36 hours I had there was enough - but definitely worth it and I actually really enjoyed my wee holiday from a holiday.....

I arrived and went to check into my YHA hostel but they said I was too early so I looked round Canberra's shopping centre (spending my precious cash in Sportsgirl - my Topshop replacement) and as that took all of 10 minutes I found the nearest pub - King O'Malleys and had my first Magners since arriving. I did miss my Magners drinking buddie though!!! The sun was out and I had some nice pub grub too and I knew I was going to like this city 😊

Once checked in and all I walked for the rest of the day - and I walked alot! The city is designed to be off putting to pedestrians and I have to admit I did feel slightly put off at walking along the busy highways next to the road trains and boy racer utes hurtling along but I was not to be discouraged!

First of all I walked to the Commonwealth park where some flower show with the theme of Ozzie movies was on - I saw some half hearted (read laughable) efforts off Priscilla Queen of the Dessert and Muriels Wedding but the flowers were nice and I enjoyed eating most of their supply of homemade fudge from the craft stalls. I then walked to see the Old Parliament building and just up the road on Capital Hill; the new parliament. The new parliament is some modern building that they have managed to make look half-way decent - unlike our very own Scottish Parliament!!! It was stunning inside and there was lots of art work and even an art gallery apparently but I thought it more fitting to check out the PM's bar and enjoyed a nice chilled vino...when in Rome and all that.....

The next day I saw the National War Memorial which really was very impressive and sad. To cheer me up afterwards I found a nice little off the tourist track suburb called Manuka and had a really nice lunch - YES with a glass of wine!! I also went to the Australian National Gallery which I loved which surprised me as I don't usually get too excited by arty farty stuff but this was so interesting - especially the stuff from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, Melanesia etc!!

I thought it would be fun to get a bike and cycle round the lake which it was until families of ducks and big lizards kept on trying to end it all under my tyres!!!

Then it was back on the coach to good old Sydney with the thought of an early start at the cafe tomorrow - boo 😊

So it was fun - what does Bill Bryson know anyway?


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