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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

03 April 2008

Capital Stuff in Canberra

Last week, Breslyn had to go to Canberra on work. Since I’ve never been to Australia’s capital, Caitlyn & I decided to go along for the (3-hour) ride.
The city, if you can call it that, is so well-planned! Broad streets, enormous roundabouts (unfortunately, they threw me for a loop; I’m the world’s worst map reader), leafy trees soon to sport their glorious autumn garb and, of course, the national attractions.

The highlight of my trip was the guided tour through Parliament House. Smack dab in the middle of the city, sitting majestically atop Capital Hill, this magnificent edifice overlooks Old Parliament House. So much thought must have gone into its creation; the design to bring in maximum light; the buildings in the shape of two boomerangs enclosed within a circle; the muted green colour scheme of the House of Representatives chosen to mirror our native eucalyptus trees and the corresponding dull pink in the Senate to reflect the gumnuts…

And I learnt some interesting trivia, too… Did you know why the kangaroo and the emu were selected to be on Australia’s coat of arms? Because they are the only two national animals that cannot walk backwards, thus suggesting that the country always look to the future.

We also visited the Australian War Memorial, its displays and collections a fitting tribute to the service and sacrifice of Aussie soldiers in wars ranging from WWI to present-day conflicts.

Our next stop was the National Gallery of Australia, housing works by masters like Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Monet, Reubens, Aboriginal landscapes, Indian sculpture… My head started reeling from all that art!
And on the way back home, we took a detour through Murrumbateman, home of the famous Clonakilla Winery. We just couldn’t leave without a bottle or two of its prized Shiraz Viognier. Cheers!!

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