Friday, June 13, 2008

A weekend in Canberra

Although the Queen's official birthday is actually in April, here in Australia, we
have just celebrated it with a long weekend in June. April is an inconvenient time to have another public holiday. We already have Anzac Day and the Easter holiday's in April. It's an awefully long winter if we don't have at least 1 public holiday. Truth is, no-one really cares the reason behind the holiday, we'll just take what we can get. Regardless of the reason, we decided to pack our bags and spend the weekend down in the Nation's capital, Canberra.

There were a few mandatory places of interest that we needed to visit. Parlament House and the War Memorial were among them. Surprisingly they were both pretty interesting.

There were theories behind how we planned our weekend. We left very early on Saturday morning so that Maeghan would sleep most of the way down there. Naturally she only slept 1/2 an hour of the 3 hour drive. Then we thought we would tuck her up in the pram to have a sleep while we took a tour around. Well, of course she cried and cried until we lifted her out of the pram. She didn't sleep at all on the drive back to Sydney either. Cheeky girl! Luckily she still slept well at night so at least we got a good night's sleep too.

And when Maeghan got bored with sitting in the pram, she hitched a ride up on Derrick's shoulders. The view was much better up there.

There were a lot of really cool things down at Canberra that I didn't expect to find. The Old Depot Markets were a little bit like Sydney's upmarket Paddington markets, but a lot less crowded and a lot less pretentious. We tried to go to Questacon, which is a really interactive Science musuem, but it was mobbed with kids so we gave it a miss. Instead, we hired some bikes & went on a ride around Lake Burley Griffin. We had so much fun. Maeghan was really good. The bike helmet was too big & kept going down over her eyes & it was late in the day with not much sleep, but we managed to ride for the hour without too much drama.

As you can see from the photos, we're all reasonably rugged up. Canberra is in the depths of winter now & is generally a fair bit cooler than Sydney. Well, when I say that it's in the depths of Winter... obviously not an Irish Winter. The daytime temperature was probably around 13-15 degrees.

Of course, we had to do a drive by of the Embassy of Ireland. It wasn't the most exciting looking Embassy of the lot, but it certainly wasn't the worst. Though when we were driving around & saw some temporary fencing around a building, we expected the worst & thought that would be typical. Luckily it was the construction site next door.

The surprise highlight of the trip was a visit to a place called 'Cockington Green'. It's basically a display of minature villages. It was really well done. There were little scene's set up in each display, each with their own subtle humourous storylines. Football fields with streakers, working class villages in England, with dogs lifting their legs on unsuspecting farmers, sunken boats for sale. It was quite cute. I think when Maeghan is a bit older, Canberra will be a really great place to visit

Anyway, till our next exciting adventure...

PS. Happy Birthday Stephen for the 3rd & Happy Birthday Annette for the 15th June.

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