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Travel Report from Near and Far

July 2012 Previous month Next month

The work portion of the trip is now complete. Full speed ahead with the personal time.


The weekend gave me an opportunity to take in a few of the many attractions that Canberra has to offer. I visited the War Memorial, the National Capital Exhibition, Glebe Park, Commonwealth Park, Lake Burley Griffin, Blundell's Cottage, Captain Cook Memorial, and the New Parliament House.


The Australian War Memorial was a good two hour historical learning experience. It covered the two World Wars and everything since. The evening news today features a lot of anti-American sentiments around the globe...It was heart warming to see and read about Australia's admiration and thanks for the United Sates roll in defending its country during WW II.  The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the walls filled with names of those who sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom were humbling and emotional.


The walk through the National Capital Exhibition was great. It told the story of Canberra, the Australian Capital, from design plans in 1912 to today. Very well done.


A few pictures of my time spent in Canberra:


Roos 5 of 6.JPG

The time difference from EDT in Philadelphia and the Eastern coast of Australia is 14 hrs. The Aussies are a day ahead..It's Sunday here, as I write, and Saturday in Philly.


The trip started in Philly on Thurs. 7/12 and ended in Canberra on Sat. 7/14. The long travel time from PHL to DFW to BNE (Brisbane) to SYD to CBR (Canberra) concluded with arrival at the Crowne Plaza. There are no Marriott properties in the Australia capital of Canberra.  The timing on each leg was 3 hrs from PHL to DFW...3 hr layover...19.25 hrs from DFW to BNE...same plane for 1hr to SYD.  I trained it from SYD to CBR on Country Link, sort of like Ausralia's version of Amtrak.


The news every traveler never wants to hear greeted the Qantas passengers in Sydney....You're luggage did not make the trip. It's sitting in DFW. It will be at SYD this time tomorrow and delivered to your final location.  "WHAT???" was heard from over 150 disgruntled flyers. Luckily I packed the extra clothing in my back pack, but my work clothes and supplies were in the big suitcase. There were a few ladies in tears. They landed in Sydney but were traveling to the Northern Territory. They were certain their luggage wouldn't get to them any time soon.


Australia is the 6th largest country in the world. It is broken down in 6 States and 2 mainland Territories along with 1000's of islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The six States are, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. The two Territories are The NorthernTerritory and The Australian Capital Territory.


Canberra is in The Australian Capital Territory. It's a city that will celebrate it's 100 yr anniversary in 2013. The city was designed by American architect and landscape architect, Walter Burley Griffin.  Together with Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Griffin was considered to have developed America's first original architectural style. It was known as the Prairie School, according to a PBS documentary. In 1912 Griffin won the Canberra Commission for the design of the federal capital of Australia. To this layman, it's similar to Washington DC with a lot of circular roads and roundabouts. I hope to share some of the historical buildings and locations of the city over the next 10 days.


Day 1... Big Travel

Posted by painedplatinum Jul 12, 2012

I better start at day minus one.  Yesterday was get ready day. I printed off all important documents and made copies for my wife. Sort of a home made itinerary. I created one spread sheet with all flight, hotel, train, and work info. I like to include addresses, phone numbers and time at location. I also leave copies of my passport and the 2 credit cards that will travel with me. I packed my work supplies. Next was to gather additional suitcase and backpack. Once that was set. I was ready for travel day.


The trip to the airport was to start at 1PM for a 4PM flight. I like to get up early (6:30) and do the last two loads of laundry for ease of packing. Everything was ready to go by 9AM. We like to use the bed as the staging area for the big pack session. A few years ago, I started to roll all items prior to putting them in the suitcase. I read this somewhere as a tip to avoiding most wrinkles. It works pretty well. I carry a backpack for these long overseas journeys. An extra set of clothes, a small towel, toiletries and a computer are in the backpack. I also bring along a clipboard full of puzzles and a pen. The train I'll be taking from Sydney to Canberra has luggage size and weight restrictions. I converted kg to pounds and found that 44 lbs equals the max of 20kg allowed. The conversion of cm to inches was done and everything was packed and under the limits.



Off to the airport 1:05PM...... Have to run to the next flight, will share an embarrassing story later.... you'll next hear from me in OZ.