I love road trips. Just pack your bag and jump into the car and drive to destination unknown. I wanted to do one for a while but there was so much happening in our life that we couldn’t. Luckily on last Friday, we decided to go on a road trip to Canberra. It is not far at all, around 3.5hrs drive from Sydney.
I have a friend, PA, in Canberra. She is working for Australian Defence Force. Every time she comes down to Sydney, she asks us to visit her so this time we decided it was time to visit her too.
On Friday, the weather was really bad here, wet and windy the whole day. I left work early and went to pick up AS and my friend SS. The traffic was really bad leaving Sydney but as soon as we hit Hume highway, it was cool. The weather was not on our side until we reached Canberra but it was fun to drive with the tourists (AS and SS). I have been to Canberra a few times before so I knew what to expect but AS and SS have never been there so it was fun to hear them talk about empty roads, their excitement in seeing horses and cows gazing on the fields, etc.
In some places, the rain was so bad that I couldn’t really see more than a few meters in front of us but finally we were in front of PA’s house. PA was on the way home from work so we waited for a while and there she came. As it was still raining we took our stuff and ran into the house.
She shares a 4 bedroom house with a lady so me and AS got our own rooms and SS got her own room too. It was really nice to have a cuppa with a variety of bread from Bread Top after a long tiring drive. We just chatted for a while. It was still raining outside but we decided to go out and have dinner.
We went to a Korean restaurant called Kimchi in the city centre. They served some nice food. We had kimchi pork, Squid and some dumplings. PA is pure vegetarian so she had vegetable fried rice. AS and SS also tried special Korean rice wine which looked like home-made ‘Tho’ in Nepal.
The last time we met PA was a few weeks ago during AG’s hen’s night (post here) so we just ate, drank and talked until everyone was a bit tired. Then we headed home to our warm beds as it was till raining outside and quite chilly.
On Saturday, we were lucky to have a bright sunny day. Once we had breakfast we decided to visit a few tourist places.
First stop was Cockington Green. I have been there before and I just love it. It has miniature towns as well as famous international landmarks. These displays are scaled versions of the real things around the world. I am sure it is really hard work to maintain the place as the gardener told us that all the trees and plants are real and maintained in their miniature size.
Next we stopped for lunch in the city centre food court. I thinking living in Sydney we are spoiled for choice but in Canberra I found it hard with just a few outlets. Anyway, we had a plate of Turkish food and were off again to the next stop, the Parliament House.
Parliament House is situated in the middle of the city and it is free to tour. I really lovethe architecture of the place. On my previous tours with a guide I came to know that all the marbles used there were imported from Italy. This time we took our own tour. We went to The House of Representatives and the Senate. It was nice to visit the place where important decisions that affect our lives is made. I love the rooftop of the Parliament the best as it has a great view of the city and it also has green lawns to just sit on and relax. Best of all it has a big Australian flag flying over it.
Inside, one of the halls was decorated for a wedding reception. It was really beautiful. Can’t imagine how much they pay for the wedding in the Parliament House.
After taking a few photos we went to the Australian War Memorial. Each room in there tells a story of Australian men and women who fought for their country. There were really interesting displays of war-time with miniature soldiers and their surroundings. There were a number of military aircrafts and airplanes in display as well.
On the top floor, on both sides, there are names of all our fallen heroes and lots and lots of poppy flowers decorating them. I think it is a really emotional place for people whose ancestors have fought in the wars.
After the Memorial we went to see Kangaroos. According to PA, if you are in Canberra you must see Kangaroos in the wild, and we saw so many of them. I have seen them before in the zoo and national parks but seeing them in the wild was a different experience. There were a lot of mothers with their Joeys (Baby kangaroos) in their tummy pouch. And they were not at all afraid of humans.
As it was getting dark we decided to go home and rest for a while before going out for dinner. As soon as we reached the house, it started raining very heavily so we ended up cooking dinner at home. It was a typical Nepali dinner with rice, dal, kwati, chicken, pappad and tomato achar.
All of us were in the dinning room till 2 am, talking, when we finally decided to go to bed. It was a really good fruitful day.
On Sunday, we decided to have a big breakfast. We were all up and cooking bacon, mushrooms, eggs, toast and tea. After breakfast we went to the National Dinosaur Museum where we saw displays of dinosaurs, prehistoric fossils and lots of information about dinosaurs. It was a quick stop before we went to Lake Burley Griffin. The lake is surrounded by well maintained walking and biking paths and lots of greenery to just relax or have a picnic. It feels good to see so many well maintained parks in the centre of the city in Canberra.
Then we drove around the Australian National University to go to the Telstra tower on top of a hill. The tower is not as tall as other towers I have been to but was a great place to see the whole Canberra city. There were open and closed observation decks on different floors. The main one has a café as well. With the glass surrounding, we were able to go around the tower and view and identify different landmarks. The view was amazing. The top observation desk was open and it was very windy, it felt like the wind was strong enough to blow us off the tower. Thank god none of us girls were wearing skirts!. We just went around once very quickly and came back inside.
After that we returned to the city and had our lunch is an Italian café. I had chicken risotto, PA had spinach penne pasta, SS had chilly penne and AS had Calzone. After lunch we just enjoyed the weather and relaxed for a while.
We were in the middle of the city and the there was no traffic except an occasional bus and some few cars. It was really nice to be away from busy Sydney life style for a change. Finally it was time for us to return to Sydney. We bid adieu to PA and the three of us were back on the road home.
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Ya it was beautiful and quite place Mel.