Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
289Trip End Sep 06, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
Parliment House & Australian War Memorial
My friend Lone was going to be arriving at some point today also, so I didn't want to venture too far as I didn't know what time she was turning up. I decided to go to the library to type up my blog and didn't realise it was going to take me 30 mins to get there. Canberra is so spread out that it is difficult to walk everywhere. You really need to catch a bus. Anyway, I walked there and took in the sights of Lake Burley Griffin, which was beautiful. If you walk all the way around it it is about 16 km
When I got back to the hostel around 4 ish, Lone still wasn't there so I decided to walk around the massive shopping centre that was right next door to the hostel. Happy days! Lone arrived around 5.30 pm and it was too late to go and visit anything that day as everything shuts at 5 pm.
Spent the evening around the hostel and made our plans for what we were going to do the next day.
We got up early this morning as we wanted to make the most of the day as it was our only full one we had here. Caught the bus at 9 am and headed for Parliament House as Lone wanted to visit. It was actually very interesting. The building itself is only about 25 years old, but it is so beautiful inside. They have designed it so that as you walk trough the entrance, you are walking through the time zone of Australia, to which I mean, when the aborginals where there, when the first white man got to Australia to the current day
We went on a free guided tour which took around 50 minutes and we got to go into the chambers and sit in the viewing platform and get to go in all of the places which you would never dream of. We were told about the history of the building and of the old building and also how the whole system works. It was very interesting. The building itself is built into a hill and there is a garden on top of the roof, which you can get the lift to. It is an amazing view. After we finished there, we went for a slow walk down to the old Parliament House before heading to Lake Burley Griffin for a cup of coffee.
Caught the bus back to the hostel to have some lunch before heading off again to where I wanted to visit - the Australian War Memorial.
We got there around 2.30 pm and I could have stayed there for days. This place has such a peaceful feel about it. The first section that I walked around was the Hall of Honour, which was the centre of the building where every man and women of Australia who has died in conflict from the 1800 to the present day
The other part of the memorial where I could have just sat in silence forever was the hall where the unknown soldier was buried. The hall itself is decorated in millions of Mosaic pieces with a dome roof. It was so beautiful. Everything about that room was just beautiful..
We were very lucky to be there at the end of the day as when we had finished looking at the museum section, they were about to carry out the closing ceremony which consisted of a gentleman playing the Bagpipes, which is played at funerals and ceremonies of the fallen in Australia. That was so moving.
We sat around the gardens after closing as both Lone and I were pretty tired and also overcome with emotion. It really makes you think about your life and puts things in to perspective when you visit places like this and makes you think how lucky you really are
I would just like to say to everyone that says, why are you going to Canberra, there is nothing there. Well, there is plenty to do in Canberra. Yes, it's not by the sea and yes, it's not a party city, but there is plenty to do here if you like visiting museums, galleries and historical places. You know, the places that really matter!!!
The rest of the evening was spent back at the hostel trying to pack all my stuff into my backpack as I am flying to Melbourne tomorrow. God only knows what my backpack will weigh now. It was around 14 kgs when I left England.
Oh, Lone had bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate the new year, but she never opened it so we had another new years celebration last night. Certainly will help me sleep anyway!
Just to let you, I am typing this blog in Canberra airport and my bag now weighs 19 kgs. OMG, I really need to send some rubbish home. No wonder my back hurts!