Canberra

Canberra City map
Canberra City map
Canberra resident.
Canberra resident.

Canberra the forgotten City.

When we set out to come here we couldn’t find anyone who could give us directions to get here. To their Capital City!

I would find it hard to say anything bad about Canberra. It’s very clean, easy to get around, there’s masses of shopping, great restaurants, bars and a few Pub’s. The buses have bike racks on the front so cyclists can use the bus in combination, though I’m not aware there are Boris bikes here and hire seems to be dominated by ‘Mr Spokes Bike Hire’ down at the lake.

Lake Burley Griffin is man made (started around 1958 but the date varies dependent on what article your reading) and covers 7 square kilometres. We drove around parts of it yesterday looking for a spot to have a picnic but there was a very strong wind and we decided to move when the lettuce blew off my fork before I could get it in my mouth.

There is a cycle path all around the lake edge and it’s all off road so a great place to cycle.

Cafe’s are plentiful as are BBQ pits and picnic tables. There are also several parks with various attractions an Arboretum, Zoological Gardens as well as Boat trips, canoeing fishing, in fact any activity related to water is available, in the middle of the Capital.

We spent a pleasant hour in the Zoological Gardens and got some great photo’s though parking was expensive and you have to keep an eye out for Brown Snakes which live there, as does every fly in Australia.

The apartment were staying in Mode 3 is outstanding, Infact the best accomodation to date. Great lounge and a kitchen with a dish washer!

Down below there are several restaurants, three or four different take away’s ( we’ve used 2 so far and they have been spot on) a bottle shop (off licence) and a couple of bars, so were not having to do much cooking though if we did, the kitchen has everything we’d need, and it all brand new.

Initially we picked up the keys and were sent to an apartment in O’Connor which is a suburb but way out of town. It was immaculate but there was nothing around it other than houses so we asked if we could move closer to the City and they put us here on Lonsdale Street, Braddon, which is right smack in the middle of town.

This morning Jaki walked a few block to the main shopping centre whilst I sat on the balcony in the sun. This afternoon we walked to Canberra Museum and Art Gallery which was much smaller than expected and didn’t have a great deal to see ( think some areas were being refurbished) and enjoyed an hour looking at the exhibits. Unfortunately this was disrupted by a rather pressing bout of wind which was difficult to conceal in the peace and quiet of a gallery, which made it all the more amusing. Well to me it did.

We were amused to see that Billy Bragg will be playing here in March 2014. He will have his work cut out as I’m not sure Canberra is a hot bed of Left Wing politics.

In fact Canberra doesn’t seem to get very excited about anything.

If I have a criticism it’s that Canberra is to sterile, too sanitised, a bit safe, a bit cautious. It doesn’t have the Wow factor of Sydney or Brisbane. It’s Cheltenham without the race course. You’d let yer granny loose here without any worries, and that is it’s Achilles heel.

One of the exhibits in the Museum was a display of memorabilia from the Punk Era in Canberra, but it seemed too passive. There were pictures of local punk band’s, some of which only Vicky Martin would know. They had the studs, the hair, the tattoos and they appeared to be giving some pretty outrageous performances. But the audience looked like a class from the local public school, or a group of office workers who had just popped out for lunch.

That for me sum’s up Canberra.

The guy in the restaurant below told us this is a great place to bring up a family but it’s not so good if your 24 -36 years old.

So, Bill Bragg will need to polish up his act if he’s to get a result here. I’d love to come and watch and see the reaction because even their politics here is amateur. Their politicians light weights, and as a result they are more prone to take themselves seriously. They crave Gravitas.

They have some pretty heavy right wing agendas and are mercilessly carrying out the world wide Tory agenda that were familiar with in the UK, but I don’t see them being happy when Bill rips it into them.

But at least they have the cricket.

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