Visiting the Nation's Capital
Last weekend, Mandi, Sveta and I rent a stylish red/pink Toyota and had the best time in Canberra, the Federal Capital, 3 hours south of Sydney.
The construction of Canberra was decided in 1901 (year of the constitution of the Australian Federation), in order to end the dispute between Sydney and Melbourne.
As a planned city, Canberra is a very organised place and, as the capital, it hosts most of the national governmental entities. On the other hand, the place has a small population (only 300.000 people) and not so much of a soul, if that makes any sense.
Anyway, we had the best time there! We visited the War Memorial, the new Parliament, the Science Museum and the Art Gallery, all great places, which helped us understanding Australian history and arts better.
On the social agenda, farewell party in Lauro’s place – with heaps of Brazilians and the first decent forro since I arrived in Australia! – and meeting Angie, my colleague in the UNDP Peace Project in Poland 2003.
Angie deserves a special paragraph. She is finishing her PhD in peace & conflict in Rwanda, is very relaxed and just joined the Australian Foreign Affairs Department’s Diplomacy Program. She is working in the Chinese economic committee and told me a story that made me feel in the West Wing. Apparently, the Chinese government may not sign the Free Trade Agreement as planned because it’s unhappy with the possibility of the Australian Prime Minister’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, because of the Tibet issue.