Archive | January 18, 2017

While Sydney swelters

This is the fourth summer holiday in a row we have escaped some of Sydney’s heat and humidity for a bit. Not to the beach. Not the great exodus north. 

This year we went south. Again. 

First stop Canberra. OK, being inland it can get hot but it doesn’t have the humidity of Sydney. And we were there for museums so revelled in air conditioning. 

We saw the National Portrait Gallery which has this painting of Captain Cook. 

On loan to the gallery was the death mask of Ned Kelly. It was ghastly. You can see the indentation of the rope from his hanging. I don’t know how I feel about it. Should it be displayed? It’s not like a painting or photo. It just seems too invasive of the man. 

Then we walked over to the National Art Gallery. It was late and we’d seen enough art in the Portrait Gallery but we went straight to Sidney Nolan series on, yes, Ned Kelly. (My interest continues!) We exited through some nineteenth century Australian art. 

That evening we stopped for some pre-dinner drinks at a popular but unimpressive pub. The weather was perfect for sitting outside. Then we had dinner at a contemporary Indian which was not your normal premade jar curry. Very fresh and and flavoursome. 

Day two was the real reason for our visit to Canberra. The exhibition at the National Museum of Australia from the British Museum: History of the World in 100 Objects. Boy it was crowded! And for good reason. It was very interesting. Those Pommies collected/stole some amazing objects. Mr S says that there was no stealing as so much was actually in The British Empire so they owned the objects anyway. (This is all meant tongue in cheek. I know for some the topic is serious.)

I am not sure that I agree with all the objects as representative of the history of the world. Either way it provokes thought and discussion. The continual creativity and ingenuity of mankind! This is why I rail against dystopian novels that have us reduced to fighting and scavenging. We always have done much more, even when subsistence living. 

We walked around the rest of the museum, starting with the novel rotating theatre. All up we spent nearly four hours there!

It was a day of museums. After lunch we went to  the Australian War Memorial. A few hours is not enough here. The World War One galleries are a must. They have been massively overhauled since I last came here. Mr S and I agree, its better than the British Imperial War Museum. 

In the WWII exhibit we stood on the model of a Lancaster bomber while it went on its raid – very moving. 

Mr S always has to see G for George. (Dam busters is a favourite Sunday matinee movie of his.) They’ve built a new exhibition space to incorporate more audio-visual narratives. We have to go back for this as we missed it. We closed our visit with the Last Post ceremony. Every afternoon they recite the Ode, play a tune on the bagpipes, read the biography of one of the too many who have died, lay a wreath and of course play the Last Post. On our day the brief biography was a man who died in the Cowra POW breakout. He manned the guns to stop the Japanese from escaping, until he was overpowered and killed. It’s so hard to understand why we keep killing one another. 

Can’t Segway in any meaningful way from that, so straight onto dinner. I picked the restaurant ranked one on TripAdvisor, Pomegranate. It was divine! I had the best ever zucchini flowers stuffed with the softest cheese and then Balmain bugs. And the dessert!!! Three scoops of sorbet: coconut, orange and passionfruit, and raspberry and pomegranate. 

The next day we went to Lake Crackenback Resort just below Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains. On the way we stopped at the only physical store of an online retailer, Birdsnest. I had to visit as I love how this online store gives you options to see clothes worn by models of different sizes! 10,12 or 14. How cools is that? I bought two dresses. Cool and flowing, perfect for back in Sydney’s heat. And the dress comes with pockets. I love a dress with pockets!!!

I bought one in blue and one in pink.

At Lake Crackenback the weather was perfect. Cool nights, mild and sunny days. One windy and rainy night that only made sleep more peaceful. It’s when it doesn’t get cool at night that the heat becomes unbearable! 

And ahhhh, the peace and quiet! Kangaroos at our back verandah. 

It was like a sports and rec camp for middle class adults. We walked 18km to the top of Kosciusko, did some cross-country Segway riding, swam, and relaxed. 

The Lake was perfect for swimmimg

We will definitely return and stay longer, try some mountain biking and river sledding next time. 

Our villa under the blue sky and at the base of the National Park

I could live there for a month!

On a previous roadtrip I wrote about how surprisingly green the countryside was. This trip the countryside was its normal grey and browns. So for you Dar, this is what the fields normally look like. Apologies for the bluriness and reflections, as this was taken from the car while driving at 100km/h.