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Published: January 7th 2004
Or a hazard to the eyesight?
Canberra is a purpose built capital, and it is apparent in the atmosphere of the city. The endless stream of government buildings and national headquarters make it feel like one giant industrial estate. The sheer amount of land Canberra occupies in relation to the number of people who live there (many who work there can't face living there and are located in Sydney) causes the place to be incredibly quiet. Visiting just after New Year, when many were still on holiday, the whole place was a ghost town. In the middle of the day it was possible to be the only signs of life around - no cars, no pedestrians, nothing.
Canberra does however have many national tourist attractions. The Parliament House, the National Gallery, the National Museum and just about every other National you could think of. It was really good to see the Parliament, and the free guided tour was worthwhile, giving details of the thought behind the building and the site. The colour scheme is chosen to represent the colours of Australia - dusty red and pale green, rather than the traditional colours that were used in the old building. To keep with tradition yet to also be
Parliament House By Night
My camera isn't digital...
defined as Australian at the same time. The Museum and Galllery were also interesting to visit, the latter holding paintings by international artists such as Andy Warhol, and Australian artists, including an impressive aboriginal display. Due to the lack of night life in the city, we took to playing poker. As a result of this I lost all my imaginary money, my imaginary car, house and wife just to try and 'make it big' at the table. Although I was emphatically told how much fun a real casino is I doubt I will EVER
dare enter one until the day I'm rich or the day I'm old. Canberra could easily have become a really boring place, but after 3 weeks of the bustle of Sydney it proved a relaxing break between more city life in Melbourne, an 8 hour coach journey away.
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