All I can say about being in Canberra over the Anzac weekend was that I’m so glad we didn’t go before Anzac Day. Despite the city being apparently booked out, (for what reason we don’t know) there were decidedly few people about, making our first real couple holiday since kids a most relaxing time. Yes, you read that right. First time since we had kids. 17 years.
I have now been to all but one of our country’s capital cities (7/8) and aside from loving where I live, Canberra is definitely my favourite.
Hobart is a mish mash of old and new, and down right ugly, with no real purpose, or structure and while Adelaide is similar with its mix of buildings, the execution has been much better.
Darwin made no real impact on me.
Brisbane is a mess, and just plain horrible (putting it nicely).
Sydney is beautiful and reasonably well set out, (we found it easy enough to get about) and Melbourne is very concentrated and busy but I like it. Not sure why, I just do.
Perth over on the west coast I have yet to see. Hubby has been and is excited to show me. From his pictures, I think I will like it.
Canberra is a very neat city. I found the buildings all had very clean lines and fitted well. Even the new curved glass and abstract buildings fit in with the others in a way that doesn’t seem to work in other places. The traffic flows well with an easy road system and getting about, even in peak traffic was no issue. We used the navigator to get somewhere but not on the return. That’s how easy it was.
As a tourist you could not get bored here. Regardless of what your family make up is there is fun for everyone. My city map I picked up from the information building had a list of attractions on the back – Free admission, (33) and Charged Admission, (18). Part of the free attractions were all the galleries, gardens and memorials you can poke a stick at, the Mint, numerous Lookouts, a glassworks, and several churches.
The first afternoon, we checked out CMAG, (Canberra Museum and Art Gallery) and then wandered around the city before having dinner at the hotel. Well, hubby had dinner, times two. I had one of my ‘things’ where I was too excited, dehydrated and couldn’t function. Doesn’t happen often. Even the most basic item on the menu was too much. It looked fantastic, but all I could manage was a small glass of juice. Granted, after a brilliant sleep I was starving when it came to breakfast. Then, the only headache I got was from the choices. Where to start??
On the Saturday, we took advantage of only 4 of the free attractions, remember, we only had a day and a half in town, two of which were walking distance, the other two we had to drive to and only one paid attraction. But we filled in the day and by dark were exhausted and ready to have a bite to eat and chill in our room before an early night ready to fly home.
Saturday we visited the War memorial – incredible, even for those not into war or history, and took heaps of pictures. We spent 2+ hours there, although you could easily fill in a whole day. A light lunch was had on The Deck, a restaurant overlooking Lake Burley Griffin before chilling on the banks waiting for the Captain Cook Memorial Jet to start. An easy walk around the edge of the lake brought us to the bike hire where we commandeered a pedal car for an hour and took the 6k round trip to the National Carillion.
We drove to the Telstra Tower where a late afternoon coffee was muchly appreciated and the views amazing, even with the afternoon sun casting shadows over town. Seeing this, we tootled back into town and made our way to Parliament House. I can’t stand politics – who can? – but visiting this magnificent place was always going to be on the list. It is a masterpiece of architecture and a pretty cool place to see up close. Of course we got our picture taken, as is the way, and then took off and walked the 2k around the place. By the time we finished it was dark and definitely time to leave.
I will be posting photos over on the Box blog and as I sort through them a
few selected posts & photos here which will help explain everything I have just written.
My piece-de-resistance was going to be this picture, but as I rarely do a post without one, I’ll show it now. Hubby and I outside parliament in Canberra (as taken by some girl whose photo we took, again, as you do).