Friday, November 17, 2006

rest of australia part 2

just a few additonal things about my time in blackheath. it snowed in the blue mountains a few days ago. that usually only happens at this time of year when you are in the northern hemisphere! and i had the opportunity to see a wood cutting competition as they have in the loggers competitions which was pretty cool for the first round after that it gets a bit repetitive.
so when i headed down to sydney on the tuesday, i checked out the sculptures by the sea exhibition that featured over 100 pieces of art from bondi beach to tamarama beach, about 15 minutes walk away. the cliffs along the walk were as interesting as the sculptures. that filled the morning and then i rushed back to the train station to catch the bus to canberra, the capital of australia. nothing much happened that evening since nothing much happens in canberra.

sea creatures and a melted ice cream truck!

the next day i rented a bike and headed out to see the town. first stop was the cook fountain. a giant jet of water that sits in the middle of the lake in the middle of canberra. pretty cool, but found in too many cities right now (geneva and hamburg). then off to the free museum to learn a bit about the history of australia. there was an exhibition on beads so that was cool. then off to see the canadian embassy, this time i actually wanted to see it as opposed to when i randomly came across it as in rome and london. the place is ok from the outside with a haida totem pole but i didn't check out the inside because there was so much more to see that day in canberra.
i checked out the old parliament building and got a tour of it. and the building houses the national gallery. after going through the gallery for about 5 minutes, i recognised a bust of a chinese guy with little ppl crawling all over it. turns out that the national gallery of australia had an exhibition in denmark while i was there and that i saw randomly at the end of a tour of the castle in hillerod. the danish crown princess is from australia and that's why they had that particular exhibition in DK. it was cool to see some of the paintings again although i didn't recognize a lot of them. after that it was time to see the new parliament building that everyone knows. the building was really cool. the marble columns in the entrance represent a forest of gum trees and you can walk on the building roof to see the rest of the city and of course they include a guided tour that was really informative.

the cook fountain with the 2 parliament buildings in the background

the forest of marble columns

view from the top of the parliament to the old parliament and the war memorial museum

after the guided tour, i headed to ANZAC parade (australia new zealand army corp, there is a memorial in every single town and village in australia and probably new zealand). there are war memorials for absolutely everything from the vietnam war, WWI, WWII, for the air force, the nurses and the wars in greece. it's interesting to see how they are all different and how they still have room to add more. unfrtunately, the museum at the war memorial was closed so there is something left to see in canberra should i go back. the evening was good as i ran into the guy who had made the necklace in byron bay (really random since he was heading north at the time and i was heading south) and with 2 other guys (a scot and an aussie (go figure meeting an aussie in a hostel in australia)) we hung out at the bar in the basement of the hostel until i had to catch the night bus to melbourne.


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