Trip Start Oct 16, 2013
Trip End Nov 25, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Australian Capital Territory,
Friday, November 8, 2013

We had toast and cereal in John and Lois' room and it was over 30 degrees by the time we left the motel.   We went to the Gundagai information centre to see an amazing model of a cathedral, made out of marble by a local guy.  It took him 28 years to make and was extremely intricate.

After a visit to Woolworths and a bakery to buy food for lunch, we drove a few kilometres down the road to see a famous monument called 'The dog on the tucker box'.  It has some significance to Australians but wasn't particularly impressive.  

We arrived at a place called Yass which was quite pretty but couldn't find a suitable way down to the river so we stopped for a coffee in the park. A guy arrived and proceeded to crash his car into the kerb!  

 The rest of the drive into ACT was on highways.   Like Washington DC, Canberra is a capital in a small area called the Australian Capital Territory.  There is a rather nice stone sign beside the road announcing your arrival. By now it was sunny and getting hot, 35 degrees.

Just before we got into Canberra, we stopped at a model village called Cockington Green. This place is a series of models built to one twelfth scale and is beautifully presented with lovely flowers.  The first part of the village is all British buildings and then there is an international area.  The very first model is of the village of Cockington near Torquay in Devon.  We visited the real one on holiday a few years ago.  There are plenty of cottages and houses that represent English buildings, plus Stone Henge and a Scottish castle.

After a good look round we found a picnic spot in the grounds for lunch and were serenaded by a couple of magpies.   Their sing is very soft, unlike the English birds that squawk.  

We drove on into Canberra itself along the main road and across the lake.  We passed the Novotel where I stayed before and I recognised some of the city.  We drove around the Embassy area and took photos of the more interesting buildings. The American Embassy is huge and when we did a 3 point turn outside, I'm sure they took our number plate!  We got lost a few times as the city is a bit confusing.

We eventually found the road up to Black Mountain where there is a very large Telstra Tower. Inside, we went up in the lift to the viewing area at the top.  It had become quite windy by now so unfortunately the outside platform was closed.   Never mind, the views over the city were pretty good!   I rang Diana to say we'd soon be arriving, then we bought a coffee and went to see an exhibition downstairs and a video about the building of the tower.

We arrived at Diana and Brian's house about 4.30.  They have a very nice place in a suburb called Lyneham.   Diana's mum lives with them in a granny flat and it was lovely to catch up with her and reminisce.  We had lovely steaks cooked on the BBQ by Brian and afterwards, a dessert made by Mum.   We all sat in the garden in an undercover area until about 10 pm and enjoyed the food and plenty of wine.
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