Sunday, January 29, 2012

On My Way to Canberra

January 3, 2012

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. My bag weighed twenty-nine pounds, not bad for a sixteen day trip! A few random travelling observations:

Wearing pajamas to travel in your car is fine; on airplanes it is just disgusting. Please bear in mind, not talking babies or little children, but grown men! YUCK.

Most peoples’ carry-on bags are too big. And then there are the women who cannot life the bag into the overhead compartment and ask for help. Really dislike this.

If you carry a dog or cat onto the plane in the main cabin, what happens if people are allergic to the dogs or cats?

I really like the charging stations in Atlanta and Los Angeles for your electronic devices. They came in handy for my NOOK.

I left West Palm Beach at 11:00 am for Atlanta, left Atlanta at 3 pm for Los Angeles, then I left LA at about 8:30 pm for Sydney. The flight to Sydney was the longest leg, but once we were settled and flying high, we had dinner. I watched some tv and slept most of the flight. We landed early in Sydney and going through customs was quick and easy. My big question is this, I left home on Tuesday, got to Australia on Thursday, where did a day go?

January 5
The plane got in early and after renting a car, I waited for Elisa for a bit. Once she got there we were off to Canberra, the capital of Australia. It took us about two and a half hours to get there. Our hotel was in Queanabeayn, Canberra, AU. We had a wait a bit for our room but then we got settled in, cleaned up and went into Canberra to see the Parliament Building and the War Memorial.

Everything closed by 5 pm so we went back to the hotel after eating dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

The next day we had big plans. First stop, the Australian National Botanic Gardens. It was very beautiful, with well-marked paths including how long it took to get where you were going. If I were to give a prize for the best signage I saw, it was in this garden. There are eucalyptus tees everywhere of course, and it smells so clean and fresh. After the Gardens, we ventured forth to the National Zoo and Aquarium.

The koalas were definitely my favorite animal. I don’t recall ever seeing them before. We also went into the open part of the zoo where you can pet the animals. I did this for my daughter. I stood very still, trying not to blend in so that the kangaroos, emus and whatever else may have been there ignored me. I was doing well, until a kangaroo hopped by me and I jumped. Elisa laughed, so did some other people truth be told. She went and sat next to the emu and was near the kangaroo. No amount of coaxing was getting me near them!

There was a dingo cage with an electrified fence, but no dingoes. So we moved on to the tigers. Then, we saw a zookeeper walking the dingoes around the zoo on leashes.
After the zoo we went back to the capital and went to the National Library and National Museum. The library had Apple computers so we quickly emailed and went on Facebook to let folks know what we were up to. There were no books to fond in this library on shelves that we could see. People were reading books and you could do research, but it must have all been somewhere inaccessible to the public.

The museum had a mixture of many art forms and periods. There was Aboriginal art which I found very striking. Asian and Indian art was also in abundance. Elisa and I agreed that Modern art seems quite pointless to us. The least inspiring we saw: a large canvas, almost the size of a wall in your home, with a border of black and then inside of that border a smaller one of burgundy. It looked like an empty, double matted frame. Just don’t get it.

We tried to find a pub for dinner, but couldn’t so we went to Hog Breath’s for dinner. I decided to was time to taste some beer so I had a Carlton draft, very light, not much flavor so I will not have that again.

Tomorrow we are off to Melbourne!

War Memorial

Botanic Gardens

National Library

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