A new capital

Canberra

Canberra

Back in October, I was travelling in Jordan with my best mate Adrien.  While we were couchsurfing in the Wadi Rum desert, we met Wancy & Valerie, 2 Australian girls from Canberra.  Read more about it on my Jordan travelblog.  Wancy was so nice to invite me to Canberra in her home and so I changed my plans and drove inland to the capital of Australia!  Most people told me it was not worth a visit but now that I saw it, I disagree. I drove inland from Bateman’s Bay and drove for hours, crossing neverending valleys, lakes, hills, pristine forests, …  I couldn’t imagine that I suddenly would stumble into a huge metropole.

Canberra

Canberra

I kept on driving through the fabulous green surroundings when suddenly, when I reached the top of a hill, I finally saw this very compact city in the middle of nowhere surrounded by rolling hills and filled with lakes.  Canberra is located in the Australian Capital Territory just southwest of Sydney and first got its start as a capital city built specifically with one thing in mind: to bring an end to the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne for national capital status. This is why it’s one of the most highly-planned cities in Australia with streets in a grid and while many have argued that it was a waste of good pasture for livestock, it doesn’t change the fact that Canberra is now one of the most secure private-sector cities in the nation, complete with a major university presence and a picturesque view of lakeside parks, rolling hills, and plenty of Australian backbone. The city is the culmination of everything Australian, and there’s no better place to get beneath the surface than in Canberra.

Wancy & me, home made cooks

Wancy & me, home made cooks

And so I met Wancy again after 5 months.  She welcomed me in her huge apartment in the very center and I couldn’t wait to explore this newly born city and hear all about it’s ‘history ‘  This year, 2013, happened to be the centennial and the whole city organised events for this purpose.   Wancy worked for the government as a legal advisor and that’s the main reason why she moved to Canberra.  Passionated by photography & cinematograhy just as myself, Wancy took me to the ‘French Film Festival’ & the ‘Latin American Film Festival’.  She also showed me around in the modern center and took me to the lakes, the war memorial, the Parliament House, …  The whole area reminds us of Washington DC where the Capitol & the War Memorials have the exact same structure, designed by architect Walter Burley Griffin. To finish the day in beauty, we ended up in her kitchen where Wancy cooked a delicious & fresh home made meal…

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