I would have last weekend if it were not daylight savings! We took what is called Cup Week off work in Melbourne (horse racing carnival) & headed up to Sydney, Canberra & Wollongong to visit family.
We usually try to take a week off around this time to recharge before the inevitable Christmas rush - it was much needed this year!
A quick drink at the airport & we were away.
Spent the weekend hanging out with my cousin's mainly eating, drinking & catching up on each others lives. While we live in the same country, sometimes we only see each other once or twice a year if we are lucky!
12 hour smoked goodness above & some funky street art below
Monday morning arrived in a flash & time in Sydney was done. Next stop: Canberra - the capital of Australia - to visit my aunt who has lived there for about 4 years now. This was our first visit to her in this location. I hadn't been to Canberra since I was a teenager & remembered little about the city other than the roads going around & around in circles & Mum being sacked as map reader. I got promoted to the front seat - not sure I was any better!
flowers from my aunt's dining table arrangement
Canberra is home to many national things of which we visited the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, National Library & National War Museum with my aunt as tour guide. We particularly liked the sculpture garden that is part of the National Gallery.
And the portrait gallery was amazing. We spent a couple of hours in the national gallery & saw only a small portion of what was on offer. This piece affected me the most:
We attended the war memorial twice: the day we arrived we spent a couple of hours in the afternoon before attending the closing ceremony for the day whereby a solider is remembered & the last post played, very moving. We went back before we left for Hubs to see G For George - his father was a mid & rear gunner in this plane in during WW2. It was hard to get the whole plane in the picture due to the space it was in, but you get the idea.
The plane was impressive & it was both good yet horrifying to learn the statistics about the men who flew in these things. The survival rate was not high. Hubs father survived, but did not have a single friend who survived at the end of the war.
We moved on to look for information on the Black Cat Track which is where my grandpa Blue fought - no a mention although a little of the area; most was about Kokoda in the Papua New Guinea campaign section. Lastly we found the names of my great uncle (Blue's brother, who's grave we saw when we trekked the Black Cat in 2013) WW2, & my Great Great Uncle (Blue's uncle) WW1.
While I am interested in the history because of my family & in particular Blue, I found this place incredibly sad. So much death. So much destruction.
The last leg of our journey was Wollongong, an hour or so South of Sydney on the East coast of Australia to visit friends. There was much eating & drinking (way to much of both) but we had a lovely time just hanging out & again catching up on each others lives.
And finally, what would a running blog be without running! I'm still in the recovery phase from the Melbourne Marathon - 4 weeks ago today. I ran lakeside in Canberra, in the suburbs & on the beach in Wollongong & the same again + Parkrun also in Wollongong.
5kms lakeside in Canberra - chilly 12 degrees @ 9am
7.5kms through the burbs to the beach & along the beach in Wollongon - maybe 17 degrees by 9.30am; the view below across to the City of Wollongong from Corrimal beach
Parkrun morning I set out from where we were staying & ran down to the beach, along the beach to the park where Parkrun starts - or so I thought, to find that the start point had moved to the other side of the park back at the beach where I pretty much started from!
Luckily I'd allowed plenty of time. It was a beautiful morning & I didn't mind the extra kms - it was the longest I'd run since the Marathon.
Nice & sweaty here - maybe 18 degrees by 9am.
Back home to 30+ degrees & I'm scrambling to keep up & get back into routine. Need to shift the 2kgs I acquired around my middle while I was away! Onwards!