Canberra

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Mount Ainslie in WinterI live in Canberra and it is a quite beautiful place. It is cold in Winter (although Europeans disagree with that) and hot in Summer but never really uncomfortable.
About Canberra
Because it is the national capital, Canberra is more like a big city but with a small city feel too. The roads look like the highways in Holland – running through the cow paddocks around the urban areas that are distributed widely from the city centre. There are many bike paths to travel around, 2 universities and all the national cultural institutions. Bike paths are great for commuting. It takes me 25 minutes to ride slowly to work in the city. Some people could do it in 15. With luck, the bike paths will be improved as more people use them and less will be spent on roads.

Parliament House A view form Mt Ainslie. From foreground to the back. The War Memorial is at the bottom of the mountain. The long straight road is ANZAC Avenue. Across Lake Burley Griffin is the National Portrait Gallery and Reconciliation Place. Further up the line is Old Parliament House. New Parliament house has the big mast on it and is actually underground. Covered in grass. The background is Red Hill and the Limestone Plains.
The original plan was to have Canberra laid out around this area. As Canberra grew it expanded a long way past the original plan and, unfortunately, it happened mainly after WWII. This meant that public transport was not in favour and roads were built rather than establishing trains and trams. Fortunately, the bush atmosphere has been retained to a large extent. You only need to travel 5 Km to be out of the city in most places.

The mountains.

From Mt Kosciuszko This is taken from Mt Kosciuszko. The highest part of mainland Australia. We go walking there often, in Summer.


 

The Snowy River You can see the walking track going up the right side. It goes past the glacial lakes and the best views across the sources of the biggest rivers in south east Australia. These ancient mountains were once the height of the Himalayas.


 

Snow in SummerYou can see Tristan playing in the snow that lies in a hollow at the side of the path to the peak. This was late in January and the snow was still around on the south slopes of the mountains.


 

Seaman's hutThis one is of “Seaman’s Hut”, near the summit of Mt Kosciuszko. It was built after a donation was made by the parents of a young man named Seaman after he died in a sudden blizzard. It is stocked with firewood and matches which are enough to keep people alive for a day or so. The greatest danger is in the Summer and Autumn when the sun is shining and people go walking with shorts, T-shirt and thongs. The weather can change in a matter of an hour or less from 18 degrees to -10 degrees Celsius.

I remember a day in March a few years ago when walking here. There was snow falling around the hut and several people inside with light cotton clothing. Fortunately the people I was with all had extra coats and jumpers to share around.


 

A quiet wilderness ...January 2001. You go to all the trouble of finding a remote place in the wilderness… What do you find? A crowd so big that you cannot find a place to have lunch.


 

Tristan in snowThis is a winter picture of snow and skiing at Perisher.


 

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