November 12, 2013
I think Canberra has to be the most unusual capital in the world.
Capitals are normally grand old cities (well, besides Washington, Brasilia, and a few other such exceptions to the rule), with pompous historical centers, town halls, royal residences, mayor’s offices, large central squares, bronze horsemen, pigeons galore, paving stones galore; crowds of locals plus plenty of tourists with their cameras a-clicking. Plus the central railroad station. Plus traffic jams.
In Canberra it’s all just the opposite. It’s a small city of nearly 370,000. Very cozy, very green. In the middle instead of a square there’s a lake. It’s also a very young city – just 100 years old or thereabouts. There are no traffic jams! At all! Ever! From parliament to any ministry it’s just a five or ten minute drive. Parking space-wise there are also no probs at all. There are never that many folks about, civil servants are rarely to be seen on the streets in the center (in the university district it’s a little more lively – pubs and cafes, but not that many). Up above of course there’s the bright, hot Oz sun.
Read on: finally 404!…
June 4, 2013
Yes, here I am still, in sunny Oz, and as happy as a sand boy. We were recently on the east coast, in the green band between the Pacific and the edge of the massive desert interior of Australia. We did Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne – the main cities – from north to south. From Brisbane to Sydney it’s approximately 1000km. So if you ever find yourself down-under with two or three days to spare, I really recommend renting a motor – preferably a soft-top – and doing the whole route.
The early bird catches the… surf
More: Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Miami, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie…
May 27, 2013
G’day all – from Paradise!
That’s the name of the place I was lucky enough to find myself in just recently – Surfers Paradise. And it just so happens to be one of the best places on earth for catching the sunrise at dawn – from the 60th or so floor of the Q1. And the daybreaks this year were better than ever – clouds either were absent completely, or complemented the view of the horizon. Breathtaking!:
More: more sunrises, Oz beer & retro VW…
June 1, 2012
The Great Ocean Road, Australia. I can now say I’ve been there, traveled that, got the… confirmation: it’s another must-see place in the world. And +1 to my list…
So just what is the Great Ocean Road? Surprisingly, it’s a road. It’s also great, as in both great – super, and great – long; and it mostly hugs the ocean shore. It was built in the early part of the last century along a stretch of the craggy coast of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. It’s rich in heritage, incredibly curvy, and offers breathtaking views from the road itself and also just off it a little inland – you just need to leave the road a hundred meters or so to get extra special views at the right, marked places.
More: a two-way trip…
May 29, 2012
Australia. A huge territory, practically completely covered with desert, with thin inhabited zones along the coast. There are some populated areas inland, but not all that many.
The population of Australia is around 22 million (the 54th largest in the world); GDP is almost a trillion US$ (18th in the world – between Iran and Taiwan); and per capita income is US$40K (19th – between Austria and Kuwait) (source: CIA World Factbook).
More: A fascinating, magical country …
May 16, 2012
Yesterday I set myself a personal record – my longest plane journey: 8575 miles, in just under 16 hours. The route we took is the third longest in the world at the moment, but bizarrely enough it doesn’t make the top-ten longest in terms of time taken to fly. It’s probably due to the wind over the Pacific Ocean assisting the plane and saving time (and kerosene). Info on the longest air routes in the world is here.
More: From Paradise Island to Surfers Paradise …