Monday 24th November: Canberra (and back to Sydney)

To my surprise, I had an enjoyable day in Canberra after dropping Rob off to his meetings at the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Belconnen (a satellite town of Canberra).
I stated with a stroll by the local lake (Ginninderra), then I drove back into Canberra for a cruise on Lake Burley Griffin (the one we didn’t manage yesterday). It was very enjoyable, mostly focusing on the (somewhat bizarre) history of Canberra’s development from sheep station to national capital.
I then headed up to Parliament House. It was quite fascinating to see, including going into the Houses of Senators and Representatives (although there were hardly politicians actually there).
After lunch, I went down the hill to the Old Parliament House (now the Museum of Democracy). To say, I was charmed was an understatement. A mere $2 (£1) to enter, and there was absolutely loads to wander round, including exhibitions, the prime minister’s office suite, the original Senate and Representatives chambers (much nicer than the new ones!) and more.
I could have spent even more time there, but needed to get back to Belconnen to pick Rob up so we could get to the airport.
Our flight was delayed by half an hour (given the number of flights we’ve done this month, it’s a miracle that was our first delay).
Back in Sydney, we popped down to Circular Quay for a late tea.

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Friday 21st November: Sydney (and Rob’s birthday)

We both slept very badly last night – the air conditioning wasn’t working properly and the room was really hot (we had complained when we arrived, bit they had no spare rooms to move us to, but lent us fans). This meant we had a bit of a late start today.
We wandered down to Circular Quay, the second busiest quay in the world (in terms of frequency of departures) after Hong Kong. We found somewhere for a late breakfast and then boarded a three-hour cruise around Sydney Harbour, which is huge. It took in places like Manly, Watsons Bay and the relatively narrow opening from the ocean into the harbour. Given it was sunny and the temperature was around 34 degrees, we were glad of the breeze!
It’s just possible that I took around a hundred pictures of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House…
After this, we wandered round to the magnificent Opera House and on into the Botanic Gardens, which are lovely.
We retired to the hotel (and got a new, cooler room) for a while before heading out to Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay this evening for dinner and another wander. There’s a real buzz about this area (and the CBD- Central Business District), which we both enjoyed.

Neil