I returned home last night after a long day – a total of 9 1/2 hours driving including meal and refueling stops, plus dropping daughter at the station, and collecting the dogs from their holiday camp. The weather on the return trip was perfect, warmish and with blue skies, a total contrast to the trip North when it poured with rain most of the way and we were forced to stop a couple of times because it was impossible to see the road or cars ahead, and it was dangerously frightening to continue.
It was a lovely weekend, the exhibitions were as good as expected, but because no photos were allowed, I cannot show you the treasures we saw. The Ballets Russes and Close Up at the Portrait Gallery were favourites. I would love to be able to spend a whole lot more time at the National Gallery, its collections are huge and varied, and one could not do it justice in one day. The National Museum is one about the social history of Australia, its discovery, development and achievements, its indigenous people, their art and the terrible things that were done to them by white people. It was well done, but my only complaint is about the building which looks amazing, but it seems difficult to find one’s way up and down the different levels and around it all.
We also went to the Black Mountain Tower (where the coffee shop was closed!) and the best tip shop ever……I think it is called the Muga Way Recycle Centre…..it was huge, and one could have found almost anything you needed if you were setting up a flat, though only a few small items came home with us. On the way back to the city, we stumbled on the Old Bus Depot Markets where we spent a little and bought food for lunch back at the hotel, it too was well worth investigating.
I would not want to live in the ACT, though Canberra may be a good place to live when one knows it better, however it seemed to me to be more like a small town and less like a Country’s Capital City. Sure, it has a few spectacular public buildings, but the multitude of three or four story blocks of flats in the city area makes it very bland. I did not go into the suburbs, but photos of real estate for the ordinary person seemed pretty….ordinary.. and expensive. I loved all the park land and massed native tree plantings, particularly of the different species of Eucalyptus showing different trunk and leaf colours, but the road system with roundabouts and circular boulevards must use up an awful lot of petrol when going a short distance as the crow flies. We tried to find somewhere close to our hotel for dinner on Sunday night, only to find most places were not open on Sundays. If we had wanted to go by car, no doubt the choices would be better, but we wanted to have wine with dinner, so we needed to walk. In the end, we bought the makings and cooked in the apartment……but it would have been good to have our last night out to celebrate a good weekend.
My own photos were disappointing…….due to operator errors, but here are just a few….starting with the view from the balcony of our apartment on the evening we arrived.
View from the balcony
Early morning Lake Burley Griffin
Black Swan on Lake Burley Griffin
A Darter or Snakebird by the Lake
Pears by George Baldesin - National Gallery Sculpture Garden
Cones by Bert Flugelman - National Gallery Sculpture Garden
Black Mountain Tower
Canberra from the Black Mountain Tower
Early morning ballooning over the Lake
The hotel next door at sunset
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