For some reason, we always get terrible weather when we visit a big city… Canberra was no exception. Luckily, to see the most interesting sights in this “artificial capital”, you don’t need an umbrella. Canberra was engineered as the nation’s capital, because Sydney and Melbourne couldn’t settle their rivalry to become Australia’s most important city. So they created a whole new city somewhere in the middle, with the sole purpose of housing the government agencies. They also made room for war memorials, museums, and art galleries, converting the city into the national epicenter of all things cultural and historical.
This may sound a bit boring and frigid, but it actually works really well! There are hardly any traffic jams, there’s ample parking everywhere, so all major buildings are very easily accessible. There are also some really nice restaurants and bars to accommodate the hungry commuters, and living in the suburbs is very affordable.
Another example of how well though-out the city is, is the fact that the parliament house looks out directly to the war memorial. This way, politicians are reminded daily of their responsibility, and the potential consequences of their decisions. Well, that’s the theory at least. We visited parliament, and attended question time in the senate. We noticed that politicians here are just as fond of debating in front of the cameras as they are in Belgium, only to NOT come to a conclusion, and leaving as soon as question time is over (and the cameras are turned off). Perhaps they need a new reminder a bit closer to the parliament building? Our suggestion: a new head office for the taxation department, to remind them who they’re working for. 😉
In any case, definitely don’t skip Canberra, we had a really good time there, despite the rain!