Imaginary Holidays: Canberra

Canberra is actually quite pretty. [source]

After walking around the parliamentary district of Wellington over the past couple of days, I’ve started thinking about how I’ve never been to Canberra1. “But why on earth would you want to go there?!” I hear you ask. Well, concerned chorus in the Shakespearean play that is my mind, there are a number of reasons.

Firstly, it’s out nation’s capital. You can do a free tour of Parliament House and see where all the federal politicians buy their lunches. Sure, it doesn’t sound that exciting, but this is as close as Australia has to The White House. I’d love to pretend that I was CJ Cregg, taking a look at other parliaments of the world [which I would obviously do inside my head, as I look nothing like Allison Janney, and don’t need any more people thinking that I’m mad]. Also, as the capital, Canberra has the right to name their museums [and other buildings] things like The National Gallery of Australia and The National Portrait Gallery. Adding the word ‘national’ to these titles makes them seem far more important than they probably are, but also invites foreigners to say things like, “But you live in Australia – how come you haven’t been to The National Zoo and Aquarium?!” I don’t need some French tourist telling me that they’ve seen more of Australia than I have!

Secondly, Canberra is small. And, as my recent trips to Hobart and Wellington2 have proved, I love small cities. It’s nice to be able to walk everywhere. In a big city like Paris or London, you can spend a week there and barely scratch the surface. Sometimes you just can’t spare the time for a it long holiday, and in a smaller city like Canberra, you only need a few days to give the place a real once-over. It’s the perfect getaway for someone with a busy schedule – a screenwriting student, perhaps.

Just one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s magnificent works. [source]

There is one other reason that I’m keen to visit Canberra at the moment, and that’s the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at The National Gallery of Australia. The French history nerd in me is desperate to see more of his work after studying it in my 19th Century Paris course a couple of years ago. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painted real characters of the Parisian Social scene, and even to the impressionists [the art-world outcasts of the time] his works were considered quite unique.

Of course, before I get there, I’ll need to book some Canberra accommodation, which is where Adina Apartment Hotels comes in3:

Adina Apartment Hotels are celebrating their recent evolution by giving away a trip for 2 to Germany. The prize includes return economy flights on Qantas and 7 nights accommodation in Berlin and Frankfurt. To enter visit the Adina Apartment Hotels competition page.

Good luck!

1 Okay, apparently I went there once as a baby, and was bitten on the face by a dog. This explains my lifelong fear of canines, but doesn’t count as a visit because I definitely don’t remember it.
2 I’m currently writing from a bar on the Wellington waterfront. It’s quite beautiful.
3 Although this post was written in partnership with Adina, all thoughts and opines expressed are my own. I really do love the paintings of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and if you’re ever in Paris, I implore you to take a look at his paintings at the Musée d’Orsay. Or, you could always go to the NGA exhibition in Canberra…


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