A Rainy Day in Canberra

Today we were off to explore Australia’s official (and sometimes forgotten) capital city, Canberra.
I’ve got to warn you beforehand – the weather was shocking! We probably couldn’t have picked a worse day for our travels there. On the bright side, a lot of the day was to be spent driving down to Capital Territory.

    

Unfortunately for us, our first stop was Mount Ainslie, which normally offers clear, sprawling views of Canberra for as far as the eye can see. But, yeah, it didn’t quite work out like that for us…
Thanks to the fog, there wasn’t too much for us to see. You can just about see the orange mall which takes you to the Australian War Memorial, with the red stones representing the blood shed from the wars. 
Next stop, the war memorial itself:

It really is a beautiful monument to cherish those who lost their lives fighting for Australia. It’s very peaceful and calm, and painfully eerie. There’s nowhere quite like it.
You can purchase a poppy for a donation, and join in those remembering lost ones.

And a flame burns on in memory.

Such a beautiful tribute isn’t it!?
Once our very kind tour guide had finished showing us around the memorial, we shuffled on to our next stop: the National Gallery.
Unfortunately, I was unable to take any pictures! It’s most definitely worth a visit, however, and I wish we would have had the time to spend longer there. We whizzed our way around some fascinating Aboriginal pieces that represented some really harrowing truths, and some more contemporary Australian art also. The Ned Kelly paintings are a highlight in particular.
If that’s not your thing, you can always feast your eyes on Monet’s waterlilies and some other European classics if you visit soon. 
One of my highlights was the Pollock painting thrown in amongst the pop art displays. A very controversial – and expensive – painting, it really is one you either love or hate. What do you think? http://nga.gov.au/international/catalogue/Detail.cfm?IRN=36334&MnuID=2&GalID=1
Once we had finished up our brief tour, it was back on the road. This time, to the Australian Parliament Buildings.

We had to clear security for obvious reasons, so once again unfortunately I was unable to take any snaps.
It was really worth a visit – I was amazed at how much you can see on the inside, and we actually watched parliamentary debates which got very heated! It was some good old entertainment!
Afterwards, we had a quick detour to see the embassies. Each embassy is built and decorated in the style of its respective country, which was pretty interesting!
The British Embassy looked very authentic, with roses and ivy trawling across the building. The American Embassy was also pretty interesting – supposedly the biggest and built on real, imported American soil! Make of it what you will. It felt like a super speedy tour around the world in just a short drive.
That was it for our flying visit to Canberra! What a pleasure it was, and I’d love to see more. Back on the road, and back to New South Wales (if only for a short while!)

Have you visited Canberra? What did you get up to?

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