Canberra & Melbourne
Well, Canberra was certainly different than Sydney. Canberra seemed a much more leisurely city than Sydney, even for a weekend. I also felt quite comfortable and safe walking alone to the bus station close to midnight.
Canberra is a planned city about 100 years old and was a chosen site for Australia’s capital. There is lots of green space and the buildings are not crowded together. Consequently, I had to do lots of walking to see everything on my list.
I saw the huge Ozzie war memorial, walked along the artificial Lake Burley Griffen, and saw the old and new Parliament buildings. It sure didn’t take the Ozzies long to outgrow the first building.
In what they call the “Parliamentary Triangle”, there were not many places to get food. The few places that existed had a very short menu and fairly expensive items. So I suggest bringing a picnic if you visit that area. As far as parking goes, there were huge amounts of pay parking in the main parts of the city but not many vehicles in them.
The last stop on my journey was where I started my Australian tour, back in Melbourne, for 5 days.
One evening I went to see the penguin parade (of the world’s smallest penguin) on Phillip Island. These small penguins come ashore every sunset to their nests and their young (if they have any at the time) after a busy day fishing. After several nervous attempts, the penguin groups cross the beach and make their way to their respective burrows or nests. It was great to watch but photos are no longer allowed during the parade as the flashes could affect the penguins.
The coast on Phillip Island was beautiful.
I took a ferry ride along the Yarra River to historic Williamstown where I walked and explored for several hours. In Melbourne and Williamstown, I saw many historic buildings.
One thing I noticed about Oz is that they seem to be a little more innovative in architecture than in Vancouver. Check out these modern buildings in Melbourne.
On my last day and to top off my trip, I rented a bike for the afternoon and covered quite a few km. I cycled to South Melbourne and St. Kilda beaches, and up the Yarra River a way. I also went to Albert Park, cycled around the lake and even got to cycle on the Melbourne Grand Prix track they were setting up. I guess my speed wasn’t good enough to race the cars so I won’t be back for the big race in March.
I finally got to the Victoria Market in Melbourne. There are lots of treasures there. I also recommend Victoria Market on Wednesday evenings as it is a totally different attitude with tons of different types of food. Drinking alcohol within the market is allowed and there is plenty of live music throughout.
Even though I have returned safely to Vancouver, I have some other things I want to post. Stay tuned.