Chapter 15: Capital Detour
Trip Start May 10, 2006
21Trip End Dec 17, 2006
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Ali drove Josh and I to the airport Monday morning. Josh caught his flight and I went out to find where to catch the bus from. Airport personnel told me to catch it at the group bus stop. I waited there for a long time and saw the bus drive by on the outer road. D'oh! I called Greyhound and they said when I booked online I needed to specify an airport pickup (online actually only gives the option of Sydney (no specifics) but their timetable shows an 8:20am pickup at the airport). So I got stuck waiting another hour for the next bus. Luckily I spotted it at the city bus stop so raced over there to get on (damn airport personnel had me at the wrong bus stop). The guy in the seat next to me was taking up about 1/4 of my seat so I was kind of squished against the armrest. Towards the end of the ride we started talking about me trying to get a job and he was suggesting looking in other areas like Queensland or in the west since they're in more need of employees. I survived the 3.5 hour trip to Canberra and was picked up at the bus station by the hostel. I chose to stay at Victor Lodge since it's smaller (the other option was the YHA but those tend to be big and impersonal). The hostel is located on the south side of the city near Parliament. That first day I figured I'd walk around and get my bearings a bit.
In the morning I had breakfast at the hostel and got myself a day bus pass. I wasn't about to try walking all around this time. First went out to the Australian War Museum. The lady at the hostel told me it takes about 3 hours to see it and I was thinking "sure it does". But the museum is really good with lots of information on Australia's involvement in WWI and WWII. There were lots of interesting displays and paraphanelia from the wars. I ended up there about 2.5 hours before succumbing to hunger and catching a bus to the city for lunch. Found some cheap Chinese food then bussed to the Mint. I thought it might be kind of interesting with the various coins, but it wasn't very exciting. Bussed back to the city and walked to the Australian Museum. Unfortunately, I was there right before closing so had 15 min to race through it. It has lots of memorabilia from Australian history. Bus back to the hostel for a little rest. Went out on the town that night and discovered Canberra doesn't have much of a nightlife (people sitting at outdoor cafe tables).
Breakfast again in the morning then bus to the city. Walked over to the Sound & Film Archive to check it out. There were many displays with clips from tv, movies and radio. Far too many to see them all. I watched some commercials and clips from Skippy (an old tv show with a guy that could understand kangaroo talk). Then it was time for me to get myself back to the bus station for the ride to Sydney. I could've spent another day in Canberra and had plenty to see [at the museums].
Where I stayed