Britain is currently experiencing a cold snap, and it is hard to believe that a year ago, I was enjoying the warmth of Australia. Where does the time go?
As a fabulous 50th birthday present, for my friend and me, my friend’s husband flew me to Australia to spend the best part of a month relaxing and seeing some of the sights. I had a few days in Singapore on the way out and then on to Canberra to see my friend.
Sultan Mosque, Kampong Glam
Singapore was sunny, beautifully warm and slightly humid. I walked so far that blisters the size of golf balls formed on the souls of my feet, and there was not enough time to do and see all that I wanted.
I have the need to wander, and Singapore was the perfect place to do just that. I left for Australia knowing that I would love to come back and see more of this fascinating place.
It is only when you fly over Australia that you realise how big the country is. Five of the eight hours it took to fly from Singapore to Sydney was over the Australian land mass.
I knew nothing about Canberra before I got there, except that it is the Capital of Australia. It had a relaxed atmosphere and reminded me of Washington DC in that, because it is a city that was planned from scratch rather than grew organically, it has wide streets and lots of open space.
Lake Burley Griffin is the lungs of the city, and around it the buildings housing the Government have been built, plus art galleries and museums. I had three days to myself and spent them having a fabulous time at those museums and galleries, looking at artifacts from around the world and some absolutely beautiful Aboriginal art.
Food in Australia is healthy and tasty, and the portions rival those found in America. Tasty, fresh fruit salads topped with a dollop of plain yoghurt provided a great breakfast or light lunch, muffins the size of small boulders provided sweet treats, and sandwiches packed with lovely salad and vegetables kept me well fed, and I don’t think I had a bad coffee.
My friend, Carol, and I had a week in Melbourne and a week in Sydney both vibrant, multicultural cities. Melbourne seems to have more of a bohemian feel to it with some stunning architecture, particularly the houses in Fitzroy. Sydney is a busy metropolis, but head to the Rocks and you find a quieter part of the city, in the shadow of the famous bridge, steeped in history.
Australia has a huge amount to offer, and I did not even scratch the surface. So, twelve months later sitting here in the cold looking at the photographs of my holiday, I wonder when I will be able to go back.