Canberra

View of Canberra
View of Canberra

We leave the town of Wollongong to head to Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Located halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, this town is an urban planner’s dream. The entire city is geometrically laid out, so that Capital hill sits at the center, with the War Memorial directly across and the rest of the city fans out from there. With all of the triangles and circles this city reminds me of a Dan Brown novel.

Filled with government workers by day, it’s surprisingly quiet in the evening with most shops and exhibits closing by 5 pm.  First stop on the list, visiting the new Parliament building.  Constructed in 1988, it offers a refreshing architectural design from the traditional layout of British Parliament houses.

Parliament House
Parliament House

It embraces a modern feel while still having the historical elements in the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Next on our agenda visiting the National Art Gallery of Australia. The gallery is currently showcasing a collection of impressionist works from Paris, featuring pieces from Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh. The collection is on display until April and is worth the $25 ticket price. I would also recommend the audio guide for those who haven’t studied art history.

Directly across the river from the Parliament is the impressive War Memorial.  The walk up the long pathway provides impressive views of the Parliament back across the river.  Visiting the Capital of any country is a must do as it provides a great insight into both their culture and history. Seeing the Parliament today reminds me of the common ties between Canada and Australia and feels like a small piece of home here on the other side of the world.

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