Everyone was just sort of milling around in the lobby waiting for the bus so we joined them and took some more photos.
I *really* enjoyed our stay here, I wish all hotels in Australia were as thoughtful and interesting as East. Even just waiting around the lobby was fun because I got to watch their art exhibition on the gigantic projector screen. Thank you very much for having us, we hope we can come back again soon!
Bergamot took advantage of the free candy. No surprises there!
After everyone finished checking out we piled on to the bus. I’m going to admit I was still mostly asleep at this point >_>
We were driven to the Museum of Australian Democracy for a picnic breakfast. It’s funny that Canberra is so well set out that everything is like 10min away from each other… in Melbourne sometimes it takes me more than half an hour just to get a few suburbs in the ctiy!
I’m honest when I say I didn’t expect this part of the tour to be particularly interesting because, well, democracy…
It was extremely nice to lay on the blankets and listen to the band while waking up slowly with breakfast though.
There were a couple of speeches and then a different musical duo sang some political parody songs… which was honestly a little strange and unexpected.
We were told a little of the history of Canberra and how scary it is that the younger generations don’t feel the same connection with democracy and therefore don’t find it important. I had to disagree slightly with that, I think many have lost faith in the people involved in the democracy rather than the system itself. But Australian politics and government is a rant for another day XD
Relaxing jazz was relaxing though and I really enjoyed this group.
After breakfast we were split up into groups and went on various tours of the museum. We went on the tour that got to see the mace… yep it’s a gold mace that used to be used for protection back when politics was a lot more dangerous.
I posed with King George…
James voted in a mock election…
I spotted another pretty “Ceiling of Canberra”…
James posed in front of a lectern and pretended to give a speech…
Government doesn’t interest me like it once did so I spent most of my time enjoying the beautiful architecture. This is Old Parliament House by the way, the actual politicians don’t go here anymore as they have a fancy new one.
So much dark wood! Apparently the green fabric that everything is made of was chosen because green was the cheapest dye at the time XD
More beautiful architecture:
There were some interesting exhibits here as well.
This was the film crew which followed us around for the time we were there, they were very sweet!
On our way out to the bus we were greeted with some of the staff staging a mock protest begging us to stay! It was very cute, their signs said things like “Vote NO to going home”, “Blogs not bombs”, “Make tweets not war” etc.
They were yelling a lot of chants too but I can’t remember what they were, totally cute though! I don’t think I’ll ever have anyone protest me leaving again haha!
We all sat on the steps and took some group photos and videos.
They gave signs to all of the kids to hold… and me too haha. I got this one:
As we got on to the bus the protests started up again, so cute!
From there we went to the Canberra Glass Works and I saw another bee! Now I’m a hard edged city girl I’m not used to all this nature!!
The Glass Works is a gallery, shop and working studio. They also hold classes from beginners to advanced.
The exhibits are mostly for sale too, how cool is this vase?
James was mostly interested in these glass donuts XD
My favorite was this seahorse, so elaborate *_*
After a bit of a look around we were invited to participate in a glass making class and make our own tile.
We used special pliers and glass cutters to cut up little scraps of glass and arrange them on to a base tile.
The competition was fierce. You guys know how ridiculously competitive James and I get when it comes to these kinds of things!
James made a “camera”. I say “camera” because it was more like a big black blob.
I hadn’t though of any designs so I just piled some pink and green shards together and called it art > : D WINNER
We left our tiles there to be fired and they mailed them to us a few weeks after. Ours arrived safely but I haven’t had time to take photos yet. Just imagine they look like the above but slightly melty 😉
After our fail at being artistic we were given a private tour of the gallery and also the artists who were working below.
SO MUCH ARCHITECTURE!
Seriously >_< I was on pretty building overload.
The glass artists working together to create some very cool things and the public gallery watching. I could have stayed there for hours because it was quite hypnotic.
We wrapped up our tour and headed next door to the last stop of our packed tour: The Old Bus Depot Markets.
It literally is an old bus depot but it’s been transformed into a massive market place.
We thought we’d seen it all then realised there was an upstairs which was just as big as the section we already went though.
They had a swing dance school who was putting on demonstrations, it looked like so much fun!
Our hosts had bet us that we couldn’t leave without buying something and they were right. James picked some delicious blueberry jam.
And I went home with handmade squid ink pasta. How can anyone say no to that?!
And that was basically the end of our sight seeing, we met the group back at the bus and headed back to pick up our bags and off to the airport. Thanks for showing us around Sarah and Rei!
I couldn’t not include this photo of our host Rei as she put her sunglasses on to see us off, the pose is total CSI Miami!
So Canberra? What is my impression now I’ve actually been there?
Well I didn’t see one politician. I did meet a lot of extremely nice and passionate people.
There were no fireworks. But there were a LOT of amazing views.
Boring? Every second of our trip was packed with something interesting!
Would I go back? Yes. I don’t think 2 and a half days was enough to see everything Canberra has to offer. We went to a lot of places but even then we didn’t see everything at those places. Canberra may not be as big as other cities in Aus but I think I would need at least a week to explore it properly. There are so many places like the Zoo and Questicon that I would like to go to. I’m always going to be a Melbourne girl but I could definitely see myself spending a weekend or two a year in Canberra to check out the exhibits.
Visiting Canberra did change a lot of my negative perceptions about it. It’s nice to be pleasantly wrong ^_^
So thank you Canberra for having us, thank you Canberra Tourism and HumanBrochure for bringing us down and thank you to all the places we went and people we met!
One thing I suggest though is maybe putting some shops or something into your airport… our flight was delayed and it was so boring that this happened:
While he was asleep I entertained myself trying to take photos in the reflection of his sunplastics.
We made it home safely (obviously as I’m writing this now!) and came home to an extremely happy puppy.
On the walk from the station home we remarked how weird it was to have so many tall buildings around and how narrow the streets were. Such a big change from the weekend!
Good bye pretty skies of Canberra, hopefully I’ll be able to visit you again soon 😀
I hope you guys enjoyed this series of posts, we’re going to be doing quite a lot of traveling this year both domestically and internationally so I can’t wait to show you where we go!