Skip to main content

The science of Canberra


What do I do on holiday but go to work, of course!

Just for something a little different during these Easter school holidays we decided to pop down to Canberra for an overnight stay. We drove down on Tuesday morning, stopping at pretty Berrima for a tasty lunch of meat pies at the award winning Gumnut Patisserie rather than suffer McDonalds at the Sutton Forest service centre, like most do.

Alex was so excited to be staying at a hotel, though it took us a little while to find the Aria. It's a friendly place and the rooms had a bit of character with a nice view of the area. We had brought Alex's bike with us, so we drove to the lake, hired bikes for B and I. The quality of bikes had much improved since we last hired, they were now equipped with gears.


Not Alex's, as he is still on training wheels. Despite that, he managed to cycle all the way to the chiming bells of the Carillon and back. The view of silvery skies and Black Mountain Tower silhouetted against the shimmering lake by the late afternoon sun was very scenic. Then there were all the colours of autumn. There is no doubt that Canberra is a very beautiful city.




It was about four o'clock and I thought we could squeeze in a bit of a look at the CSIRO Discovery Centre. I think B found it surprisingly fun, as did Alex. Buttons to press, touch screens to operate, turbines and levers to generate electricity, robot arms to control and microscopes to peer down. It was nice to share work with the family, though with the staff it was sharing the pain of looming job cuts.





It was a short drive to the Canberra Centre, which seems quite classy. We found it funny to go shopping at Zara, considering how many times we've done that on overseas trips.

Met up with a colleague friend and her family for dinner at Papparich. Despite not being particularly impressed by their branch at Chatswood I really enjoyed our meal there. Alex knew exactly what he wanted: Roti canai and prawn mee, though we stuffed up the order of the latter and got assam laksa instead.

He was so happy back at the hotel, singing in the shower, pretending to be a waiter for the hotel room notepad and sharing our bed.

The next morning, after a breakfast at McDonalds in Dickson (Alex told the car to go there), we met my friend again at Questacon for another dose of science. Despite no tesla coil and earthquake simulator for the moment, the displays were fantastic. Alex went wild pressing, poking, prodding, turning, measuring. It's even better than I remember it a couple of decades ago and is an excellent place to take a kid.








At the end he decided he wanted a flip out book on space from the shop.

We headed back to Sydney after Questacon, again stopping at Bowral where Alex demanded we return to Gumnut Patisserie. Their pies (we tried rosemary and lamb, potato, chicken and leek and cheese and bacon) are so good, as is their funky vanilla slice (definitely not a snot block).


It was so nice to visit Canberra for pleasure, not work. Alex was so happy to be travelling that I can't wait for our next family trip. I hope that we can return to Canberra more often too as there is much more to see and do.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A lazy day at the beach

It's 2am and somebody is still setting fireworks off on the beach in front of the hotel. I can't see the explosions as I have the window shuttered, but I can still hear them. I've wanted to have a lazy day and today was the closest I got. I woke up in the night from a very sad dream. Dreams follow crazy paths, but this one resolved itself as so. An entity had been causing disruption of computer systems around the world. It turned out that this entity had emerged from the computer networks and had been struggling to gain access to more computing power so that it could live. The entity had taken on the persona of a woman. The protagonist who had "defeated" the entity discovered that it was alive, spoke to it. Ultimately fell in love with her. But his prior actions would lead to its death. As a gift to her he downloaded his memories so that she could experience life even as she died. I know it sounds like a pulpy sf or technopunk plot, but dreams are about feeling

The sound of running water

We made it home from Osaka. There is a special feeling that comes when your arrive at your house after a holiday. It is utter relaxation. No longer do you need to worry about other language or customs. There is no need to look up directions, to plan out your day, to journey between sights. Then again, you now need to clean up your own mess, to make your own bed. Rather than eat out you need to cook your own dinner. The shower is weak and the toilet doesn't wash your bum. And you need to wake up early tomorrow morning in order to spend a day at work. You are back to your old routine. Looking back upon this holiday in Japan I've decided that the theme of running water has applied to each of the days. Sunday - Arrival in Osaka - washing ourselves Japanese style Monday - Matsuyama - water from the hot springs at Dogo Onsen Tuesday - Takamatsu - waterfall at Ritsuen-koen Wednesday - Tsumago - streams of water throughout the town Thursday - Takayama - the sounds of rushing water e

Insanity at 40,000 feet - Part 2

We could relax for a moment. The gate lounges at Kuala Lumpur's LCCT were crowded, but our gate was not yet open. Once it was we quickly made out way outside for the long walk to the aircraft. The terminal offered no air conditioned respite from the tropical weather outside and we were perspiring on both sides of the gate. It's a pity that taking photos on the tarmac is forbidden, because the tropical evening sun cast a beautiful orange-gold light. Our flight to Singapore was on an AirAsia A320, the workhorse of a low cost carrier. The legroom was shorter, but still adequate and the width felt greater than their longer cousin we had just flown. Alex sat at the window and was excited to see the world outside, chattering loudly. Captain Raj gave a detailed, but clear, explanation of the flight, listing runways and routes like an aircraft enthusiast. We launched into hazy grey skies that were soon dark for a very typical hour long flight to Singapore.