Friday, January 21, 2011

Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne

How does a week evaporate so quickly? All of a sudden it was time to leave Sydney and head south by train to Canberra, Australia's capital city and a very interesting place. To see a bit more of the country (we've elected to not rent a car), we took the CountryLink train and got a wide-window view of rolling hills, grasslands, scrub brush, and some steep canyons.

We were met at Canberra by friend (and baker) Peter Groeneveld who took us to Bakery Culture, his bakery in Jamison Center, a newly renovated neighborhood indoor shopping center. Peter and his crew turn out a big line of breads, pastries and cakes in a compact, well-organized shop. Among his great offerings was a good selection of meat pies and sausage rolls...

Later we went to Peter's suburban home for an evening meal with Cindy (his wife) and Eloise and Isabelle, his two energetic, smart and cute children. Lots of food, bread and desserts later, we left, were driven to the city center and checked in to our Novotel room and fell to sleep immediately. (Traveling can be exhausting!)

The next day the Groenevelds played tour guide, proudly showing us their city of 400,000. We visited the spectacular National Museum, Parliament House, and had a relaxing evening meal at the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

We're next on to Melbourne...

Ready to go --- clean, comfortable and sleek...CountryLink is a great way to travel Australia

Rolling countryside south of Sydney
Lots and lots of grass along the way.
Sheep and lambs along the way are spooked by the train --- which makes only 3 round trips a day.

We're welcomed to Canberra

Cindy (left), Eloise and Isabelle make Anzac biscuits
Peter works his magic on the BBQ
Reflecting pool at the center of the Australian National Museum

One of the many aboriginal wall hangings on display. So much to learn about life in this great place!
We're still fascinated with the amazing variety of Eucalyptus bark
Puffy, billowy clouds over Lake Burley Griffin....and it's warm, too!
Microwave, radio and TV antennas atop Canberra's Telstra Tower on Black Mountain
Lake Burley Griffin from atop the tower
Downtown neat and tidy Canberra

Entrance to the striking Australian Parliament House.
From Parliament House, looking to old Parliament House (white) and War Memorial (red in background)
Southern Cross Yacht Club --- for a relaxing meal.
Baker Bill molds bread at Bakery Culture
If Peter had his way, he'd be producing more sourdough loaves --- but many of his customers prefer yeasted pan breads
More breads and rolls
Patricia and fellow staffer wait on customers
So what appeals to you?
New to us: caramel slices and Lamingtons

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