We made it to Canberra! Eventually…
Both of us had a wonderful time relaxing in the Virgin lounge, we sipped champagne and beer, we ate the array of food. Life was good. Until we looked at the board and noticed the “final call” sign on our flight, things needed to get moving quickly! We rushed ourselves to the gate only to be less than a minute late, bags offloaded and flight closed. We’d missed it… Three hours early and we missed it. No paging calls, no help… The beginning of our trip of a lifetime and there we were in Brisbane, not on the plane.
Off we went to find our luggage and to then try and book a new flight, $480 later we were once again ready to head to Canberra. We managed to convince the check-in desk to allow us access back into the lounge for the four-hour wait until our next flight and seat us in the exit row (hello extra leg room!). We were a little more vigilant this time around!
Thankfully, when we arrived into Canberra we were warmly welcomed by Tristan and Tash who picked us up from the airport and put us up for the few nights we stayed. Whilst in Canberra we did all of the touristy things including the War Memorial and Parliament House. The War Memorial is somewhere both of us could spend days inside, it is such a moving experience seeing the memorabilia and reading the stories from the past. The preservation of the items in each display is incredible, especially the items from World War One. The display that hit home the hardest was the last one just before the exit. It was the flags and plaques from those who have died most recently. The flags were white, made from spun marble with poppies placed on top of them; a beautiful display but saddening given how many were there. Parliament House was only a quick stop off, we wandered around inside and admired the portraits of past Prime Ministers. Almost every time we’ve been overseas there has been some form of leadership spill and the Prime Minister has changed, it will be interesting to see if that’s this case this trip. The poor guy who does the portraits has evidently had his work cut out for him in the last couple of years, the most recent portrait on display was Johnny Howard’s… evidently, the continual change of leadership has made the painter’s life a little difficult.
Canberra has a lot of amazing places for food. We were fortunate enough to have some local expertise in where to go and what to eat around the city and we were certainly not disappointed! Our first stop was a very cute little breakfast place along the Burley-Griffin Lake, followed by an amazing dinner in the evening at Monster Kitchen. Delicious is an understatement! There was an array of pulled lamb, beef tartare, crispy pig, kingfish ceviche, yabbie jaffles, and so much more! If only we could afford to have the chef there cook for us all the time. We farewelled Canberra with another amazing little breakfast place called Space Kitchen. Between us we devoured a pulled pork hash brown, beetroot hollandaise, perfectly poached eggs, minted pea puree a mountain of bacon, chorizo and squid ink brioche, all washed down with buckets of coffee. The Canberra food scene has definitely overtaken Brisbane’s; I’d honestly be willing to move to Canberra just for the food!
Tristan set us a challenge for the trip – since we started in Canberra and visited parliament house, we need to get as many photos of us in front of parliamentary buildings around the word as we can.
Following the debacle of the first set of flights, we had plans in place this time around to ensure that we were going to make it to the airport in time, be on the plane and if all else failed we would catch a bus to Sydney. Arriving into Sydney we were met by Aden and given a grand tour of Liverpool. We ventured back into the city to catch up with a few people, see a couple of sites and, again, eat far too much food! There was steak, Nepalese cuisine, desserts, drinks and cheeses…maybe a little over-indulgence but hey, what are holidays for?
Fortunately whilst there we were able to catch up with James who coincidentally lives just down the road from our apartment in the Valley. There were many laughs and childhood stories shared! We then caught up with Liesa, whom Dee worked with at Hayman many moons ago. The casino happened, as did ridiculous selfies, a photo bombing, far too many cheap cocktails to count and a couple of long train rides spent people watching.
But alas! It was time to leave and work our way through the next set of flights. Next stop: Tassie!