Well, it’s down to the Destroyer and me. Rob and Barb D got off this morning, only a day late. It turned out that the original flight had been cancelled a whole month and a half ago, and our agent failed to alert us of this before we left. So Air Canada put us all up at the airport Holiday Inn. I started to develop a cold in Canberra, and so spent most of the day sleeping on those heavenly beds. In the evening we caught some local theatre, “You’re Nobody Until Sydney Loves You”. We also explored King’s Cross area and drove across Harbour bridge, just to say we did.
Back to Canberra. It was one of our favourite cities in Aus. It had the good fortune of being chosen as the national capital in 1908, and could be entirely planned, as there was nothing there to start with. This makes it a dream to drive, and most good stuff is in walking distance of each other. Also, the city has an emphasis on green space. We decided to call on the Canadian High Commision to lodge my declaration (the Canadaian gov’t likes to know where it’s people end up). The lady behind the desk had an expression which practically begged to “Please leave me alone and go away”. That only made me more enthusiastic to make her do something to earn all you beautiful people’s tax money. The irony arrived in my inbox later that day, informing me that the HIGH COMMISSION (The top representative of my country here) cannot process the paperwork, as Canadians living in Queensland must register with the Sydney consulate. Our bureaucracy is alive and well abroad, available in both official languages. We moved on and toured the Parliament buildings, most of which are under a hill. Then we summitted Telstra tower on Black mountain, which gives a fabulous view. Later that night we hit King O’Malley’s (look him up, it’s a story of the scheister to end all scheisters), a late night pub. Then we window shopped in the closed arcades and enjoyed the sculptures until midnight. The next morning, Rob and I dropped off Barb at the National Art Gallery, and we went to geek out at the Canberra Space Centre. One of their dishes produced the televised clip of Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon. The same antenna monitored Armstrong, Collins and Aldrich’ vital signs during the mission. It was cool to see the original EKG of the three. A nerd’s paradise!!! We reconnected for lunch and then shopped the stores we had scoped out the night before. We then left for Sydney, arriving around 8 pm. The next day we toured the Sydney Opera House, rode the ferries up and down the Harbour. Several misconceptions were dissolved for me: The Opera House is not smooth and bright white, but rather shades of creamy and tiled in patterns. Second, it is several buildings, not one. Who knew? Again, check out the story of building the Opera House (Wikipedia?) as it is an amazing tale of its own right. By that point, I had decided my cold finally deserved drugs, and spent the rest of the day snoozing off the congestion.
So, as I said, it’s down to me heading back to Brisbane along the Pacific Highway. I drove from 9:45 am until 7pm, and landed in Woolgoolga for the night. It’s been raining steady all day, and I have no desire to drive a highway I don’t know in a car almost as old as I am (even though he’s been a faithful old gent so far) in the dark and the rain. So one more stop.