Last weekend James and I went to Canberra for the long weekend, both for the first time ever. You might think I do lots of travelling in Australia, given that I just blogged about my trip to the Great Ocean Road, but that’s not really true. These two trips were the first time I’d been travelled within Australia since New Years 2009, and the reason was pretty boring: I had to visit the Swedish Embassy in Canberra to renew my passport.
We drove up on Saturday. Door to door, it took about eight and a half hours, and as we were getting close, the light outside the car was so beautiful I couldn’t resist getting my camera out and snapping some photos through the windows.
Throughout the drive, I couldn’t stop marvelling over the unique Australian landscape. I rarely get out of the city, and the vegetation here is so different from what I’m used to in Sweden. Of course, James found me ridiculous: “It’s just normal Australia.” Yeah, after six years here, I’m still a tourist.
One of the first things we did was go to visit Parliament House. We walked from the hotel, which was really bizarre because it was so quiet and empty. We were sure there’d been a zombie apocalypse. Parliament House itself wasn’t really that exciting, but we felt like it was something we had to do, given that we were in the nation’s capital. The most interesting part was just knowing that this is where all the decisions get made.
It is, however, a pretty interesting building, which looks sort of like a fortress, set up on a hill and buried under the ground.
You can also take the lift up to the roof and look out over the city.
Next, we visited the old Parliament House, which has been turned into a museum. In many ways it was much more interesting than the new building. James pointed out this sign: no knitting in the House of Representatives!
Overall all though, the highlight for me, if you can call it that, was visiting the Australian War Memorial. I didn’t think it was going to affect me that much, but walking through the museum inside which details Australia’s involvement in World War I and II gave me a lump in my stomach and made me tear up more than once.
Seeing all the exhibits and then the names of all the people who gave their lives was incredibly humbling. This is something I won’t forget for a long time.