Aug 6 2013

Flashback: Mont St Michel

Back in 2009 we visited the thoroughly impressive monastery which lies just off the northern coast of France.  This trip had been a life long ambition of mine since I was a teenager studying history in high school.

Now, here is a photo retrospective of that exciting journey, now over four years ago…

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Jul 28 2013

Charlotte Visits: Canberra Tourism – Day 2

Today we had a late start, cramming in some breakfast (toast and coffee) before heading out around 10:30am.  We drove across town to the Kingston Old Bus Depot Markets where we introduced Charlotte to the handcrafts and local foods on offer,

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After visiting the Creative Silk stand, and browsing the many stalls, we departed for the next destination: Commonwealth Park by the side of Lake Burley Griffin.  The park sits south of the city centre, and contains amongst other things a great stone castle, which Jake was able to climb through and investigate.


Unfortunately we did not have the same beautiful blue skies as yesterday, however the sites were still decent.  Luckily, today had little breeze, so being outdoors was bearable.

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Moving on, we went towards Black Mountain and visited the National Botanic Gardens, which gave Charlotte an introduction to many different types of native Australian flora.  We started with my favourite section – the rainforest – before heading to the Rock Garden and desert areas.



At 2pm we returned home and Charlotte packed up her bag. We returned to the ANU area and had lunch at Ka Ramen, before driving up to the Jolimont Centre.  Here we bid our friend goodbye, and hope she enjoys the remainder of her trip in Australia!

Jul 27 2013

Charlotte Visits: Canberra Tourism

Yesterday our friend Charlotte from Hangzhou arrived from Sydney as part of her holiday in Australia.  We had dinner in Civic at Happy’s (Garema Place) before retiring for the evening.

Today I took our friend out for a tour of the nation’s capital, starting with a drive up to the top of Mount Ainslie to view the lay of the land.

View South from Mt. Ainslie

Canberra provided excellent weather with superlative blue skies and plenty of sun.  The view was simply outstanding, and we snapped some shots before moving on.  The next stop was Parliament House.

The entrance to Parliament House

Main Foyer

It’s been a little while since my last visit, but not much has changed.  It’s a very nice building, and very modern.  Of course, you would expect this, since the building was only completed in 1988!

Charlotte at the Senate / Rob at the House of Representatives

We visited both houses of Parliament, starting with the Senate and finishing with the House of Representatives.  The Great Hall was closed as it was set up for a dinner event, but we could still see it from the level 1 gallery.

After we left, it was quite late (after 2pm) so we went via Manuka where the kind folks at Timmy’s kitchen entertained a late lunch for us (we arrived at 2:20pm, they close at 2:30pm).

The we swung past the new house out at Wright, before heading back north via the National Arboretum.  The views, particularly east and south were excellent, although on top of Dairy Farmer’s hill, the wind was brisk and fairly icy.

View East from the National Arboretum

View South from the National Arboretum

Afterwards, we returned home to find Jake awake from his afternoon nap.  All-in-all, a good start to the weekend.  Another day of tourism kicks off tomorrow!