Bonjour à tous,
I hope that you are well! It has been a kinda crazy past few months this year, but things are most certainly looking pretty good at the moment. I have just got back from a trip to Canberra for a Summer School in Linguistics, which was a fantastic experience and I am so glad that I did it. It is definitely worth it to go out of your comfort zone and do something which will help you to learn more about the field you intend to go into.
And, of course, on this trip I got to see some of Canberra! I had no idea what to expect (except maybe seeing a politician or two getting around), but I certainly hadn’t expected this spacious, hilly, meticulously landscaped and planned city. Below I’ve got a little run-down of what I did and saw, and some recommendations on what you should see too!
The War Memorial Museum
The War Memorial Museum was really moving. I think that it is very important that we understand our history and the things that our predecessors went through. I didn’t get to see everything in the museum, as I had limited time and it is a HUGE museum, but I did get to have a fairly good look at the First World War, the Vietnam War and the Korean War. Many of the displays were quite interactive, and, of course whilst there was no way to see the horrors of what it would have really been like, they had made it so that you could sort of get an idea. It was quite unbelievable.
Also, in the photos above you will see the true dreariness of the day in Canberra that day; raining down and grey skies, in comparison to my edited photo which looks bright and sunny! Be prepared for rain and grey skies!
Mt Ainslie offers a beautiful view of Canberra below. You can see both the north and south of the city centre, and from a certain viewpoint you can see the road which leads up to the old and current parliament houses, which looks really quite cool and grand.
I also noticed that the skies in Canberra often look really pretty; even if this happens to be an effect of relatively frequent storms and rain. These weather patterns create really pretty colours and shapes in the sky which were a joy to see. But definitely always pack an umbrella when you are going for a walk in Canberra, especially in November/December.
The Arboretum was created in Canberra after the area was burned out as a result of bushfires in 2001 and 2003. The trees were all planted in 2005, and the design which was used for the arboretum proposed 100 forests and 100 gardens focussing on threatened, rare and symbolic trees from around the world.
Some of the trees in the Arboretum include forests of Himalayan cedar, cork oak and Turkish Pine. The Turkish Pine is native to the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, and it was planted to commemorate Australian service personnel killed in all conflicts. Other really cool plantings include the Chinese tulip tree, the Dragon tree, the Yoshino cherry and the giant redwood. It was just really pretty and awesome to see so many tree species in the same area.
Lake Burley Griffin
On the first night that I stayed on the University campus, I had made a few new friends and we all walked down to the lake together after dinner. It was a lot of fun chatting together and getting to know each other. The lake was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It became really pretty when the storm started and the whole sky turned pink, but then we had to go and cower under the bridge because there was lightening! We only just managed to get back to the accommodation when it started raining.
The Botanical Gardens
During one of our breaks between classes we were offered to go to the Botanical Gardens. One of the girls studying at the university’s Dad was a tour guide at the Botanical Gardens and so he took us around and told us all about the plants and flowers. We also saw a lot of really cool lizards just hanging around. It is near Black Mountain so if you wanted to go up the walking trail to the top there to get another view of Canberra, you can. It costs about $7.50 to go to the top of the tower.
One of my favourite areas was the orange desert through which pretty flowers grew. I couldn’t believe that the flowers thrived in such a dry environment; it was so beautiful! It was a really bright blue day as well which contrasted really prettily with the colours of the flowers.
I had some really yummy food throughout the week as well! There was this awesome food area on Lonsdale Street in Braddon. There were heaps of restaurants open there, and a cool outdoor seating area that was surrounded by pop-up food vans as well as fixed food outlets. I enjoyed some tasty pizza from one of those places for one of our dinners.
There was also a pop-up food spot at the University, which is shown in the second picture. It had an awesome vibe; there were a lot of different foods available with all of the food trucks and the fairy lights were so pretty.
On the final night with the crew from the Summer School we went to the Polish Club for dinner. I really enjoyed this a lot, as I adore Slavic languages and enjoy food from around that area. I got a Czech beer as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Portrait Gallery
I absolutely loved the Portrait Gallery and I really recommend it. It taught me a lot about famous Australian people throughout time. It was really nice to go to a gallery with a thoroughly Australian focus. I also thought it was really cool to see pictures of many people that I’d heard of but never seen; or put pieces of history together. For example, the original David Jones was in a portrait in these galleries; how awesome! Some of these people are really inspiring and have done amazing things, like the White Mouse who was known for her resistance in the Second World War. I was in awe as I walked around this gallery.
I had a lovely time in Canberra and I really recommend it as a travel destination if you like national history and pretty nature. I’m now thinking about where I’ll go for my next adventure – any recommendations?
I’m thinking of doing a Great Ocean Road trip and some smaller road trips over the Aussie summer, and then perhaps we will see about going overseas again.
Lots of love,