Nat and Beck Go Large!
We arrived in Canberra, after a 10 hour bus journey, to a lot of excitement. On one of the stops on the way from Melbourne a young couple with a baby got on the coach and said a teary goodbye to their family. When we got off at Canberra station there were police there waiting for them. After some major (yet subtle) earwigging we heard that the bloke had broken his parole and there was a warrant for his arrest! How rude! Natalie had a moment of foresight when they got on, their family did look a bit dodgy, and made me keep tight hold of my handbag on the coach. She must have some sort of sixth sense for criminals! After that little bit of excitement we booked into our hostel and found that we were sharing a room with a bloke who wasn't really wearing anything on his bottom half, but carried on talking to us as if that's an everyday occurrence. Luckily for us they had made a mistake on our booking and moved us to another room. We were sharing with another girl but she was never there so we had the place to ourselves. After a bit of a sleep we ventured out for a spot of sight seeing. Canberra is the weirdest place ever, its like a huge 'small town' and is suprisingly quiet considering its the capital city. There are huge roads with hardly any cars on and not very many houses at all. We realised, a bit too late, that you really need a car or bike to see the sights cos they're so far apart. We walked for about 10 miles (no honest we did, I'm not even exaggerating!) and only managed to see a couple of things. First we went to the Parliament building, we got a bit lost 'cos its a bit difficult to get to if you don't know where you're going. Round the back of the building there is a fitness track, tennis courts etc and we had to climb up a bit of a grass verge to find the entrance. Luckily enough we managed to get in without being arrested for trespassing and got ourselves on one of the tours. The cutest old lady ever wearing jam jar glasses and pigtails took us around some of the main features of the building. Although she'd obviously learnt all the facts off by heart she kept losing track of what she was saying and had to keep taking a minute to collect her thoughts. We nearly peed! She had a small hissy fit when she realised that the tapestry she had wanted to show us was covered up due to the PMs 10th anniversary celebrations. We nearly peed again! Also she kept showing us something and then scurrying off to the next stage of the tour so we basically had to chase her around. We were there in time to catch Prime Minister's question time, which is even more cringe worthy than watching the British version. Basically a load of bloated middle aged men (and a surprising number of women) scoring points off one another. Had to laugh though, Australians are so blunt and the MPs think nothing of calling each other 'bloody idiots' even while being filmed for national TV. You couldn't get away with it in in Britain, they just keep shouting insults at each other until the Speaker throws them out. We reckon they all had somewhere better to be and were doing it on purpose! We had our lunch in the Parliament cafe - as you do - and then went to look for the War Memorial. We walked past a few other sights and monuments and about an hour and a half later we managed to get to the War Memorial just as they were playing The Last Post and closing the doors. Was pretty special but a bit of a bummer that we couldn't see the exhibits. By this time we thought we were going to pass out with heat and walking exhaustion and headed homeward in search of a pub/cafe/shop/can machine/puddle for something to drink. We were nearly home by the time we found somewhere we could buy a drink, we quickly downed about a litre of pepsi each before heading to the local Irish bar for further refreshments. In the evening we went to a really nice Italian for dinner as we hadn't bought food to cook due to a strenuous day's sight seeing. Then we went back to the hostel to go to bed. What they don't tell you on the hostel advert is that they close the lift at 10pm - can you believe they do that? I mean what do they gain from closing the lift? - so when we arrived back at 10:03 we had to walk up about a million stairs to bed! Rude! This morning we got up super early to get the bus back to Sydney, Yay!