Monday, May 14, 2012

First Week in Canberra

Canberra is obviously the capital of Australia, so it has all the government and national buildings; parliament, treasury, art galleries and museums. Some accuse it of being sterile, and it is certainly functional. Every tree has been planted for a purpose; every park designed just-so, which makes it an easy city to negotiate with appropriate amenities and facilities where you need them.

The National Treasury of Australia

I was a little surprised that the buildings were so staid - there are few flourishes and curlicues in the architecture department, considering they could have been designed in practically any fashion. However, I saw a quote in the Canberra Times from architect, Paul Wilson, about the High Court that makes sense.

"It's not a mean building. It's bold and confident. [But it was designed] to have a presence that should engender in people visiting it a fear of the power and stength and significance of the law in our country and a respect for that role and position in our democracy."

The High Court

A walk around Lake Burley Griffin proves that there are hills in this city. They are called mountains, which is probably a little debatable, but it's certainly not flat.

Captal Hill across Lake Burley Griffin

King Edward Terrace
These sculptures were created for the Melbourne 1996 Olympic Games bid, and were relocated to Canberra as a permanent exhibition.

The following pictures are especially for The Great Galah, as they feature his namesake. The screeching pink and grey parrot is noisy and ubiquitous, and yet, somehow quite charming.

A couple of lovebirds on Lake Burley Griffin made a cool silhouette. Actually, they're cormorants. They call them shags in New Zealand.

We had a lovely afternoon at Mt Majura Vineyard, where an extremely friendly and knowledgeable bloke talked us through a tasting, while we sampled the wines and a platter. I love these bottle wind chimes; the different levels of water within alter the tune when they chink against each other.

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